FAKE NEWS: Cassie DePecol Not Actually First Woman to Travel to Every Country in the World?

Over the past week there have been tons of headlines across all form of media about Cassie DePecol who reports having visited every country in the world. And she’s only 27.

But along with the impressive feat there’s another one being attributed to her.

The consistent claim that she’s the first woman to have done it. My reaction when I first heard this a week or so ago was, that can’t be true, can it? That I know a handful of guys who have accomplished it, but were there really no women?

If it was true, that she was really breaking some kind of solo traveler mold, then that’s impressive. And there’s no question that men are represented heavily in my field of travel.

On the other hand I certainly know many female travel bloggers, one has even booked awards for BookYourAward.com for some time. Many do the ‘nomadic’ thing, traveling for months at a time. None really racked up this achievement?

Earlier this week Rapid Travel Chai wrote a guide on “The Women Who Have Traveled to Every Country in the World” — Stefan is himself “at 189 UN countries and 292 Travelers’ Century Club territories.” He reports that the Travelers Century Club has a female President and Vice President.

And he contends there are at least 10 women in addition to DePecol who have visited every country in the world.

Christina Beekenkamp
Cassie DePecol
Phyllis Henson (also completed TCC list)
Christine Kloner
Dorothy Mowery
Cathy Parda
Dorothy Pine (also completed TCC list)
Nina Sedano
Marian Speno
Lynn Stephenson
Audrey Walsworth (also completed TCC list)

DePecol claims to have done it in 18 months and 26 days which is as impressive as doing it by age 27. So this isn’t meant in any way to diminish her achievement.

At the same time, there’s no need for her achievement to diminish the accomplishments of other women who have come before her.

Congratulations to Cassie DePecol for visiting every country in the world, doing it by age 27, and in just over a year and a half. Congratulations to all of the women and men who have set foot in each of the world’s countries before.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When I first read an article about her I thought all the press was because she did it in such a short period of time, not that she necessarily was the first to do it, though I could be wrong.

    Although in such a short amount of time I can’t imagine she got to see much (which is a shame).

  2. I visited the Four Corners a few years ago. I did the obligatory hand in one state, the other hand in another, foot in a 3rd state and a foot in the 4th state…does that mean I visited all 4 states? The only state I actually didn’t do anything in, other than put a hand, was Arizona…

  3. Everybody has their own standard for how they count places traveled. Personally I don’t agree that she has visited every country, but nevertheless she did a heck of a job marketing herself and getting paid to wander the earth.

  4. I’ve read the article twice and I’m not sure that I understand it fully. Is the claim that she is the youngest woman to visit every country in the world, “fake news,” or not? The title seems to say that it is, while the article doesn’t seem to say why. Am I missing something?

  5. How do you delete comments? I see I suffered from a lack of reading comprehension, and therefore posted my last comment.

  6. News that’s fake is no longer a thing. It’s everywhere all the time.

    In fact there seems to be a gradient scale emerging: misleading, fake, and “Very Fake”.

    News that’s not fake, if you could find any, now that would be something remarkable. 😉

  7. She may indeed be the youngest woman to do it. She may indeed be the fastest in elapsed time. She is not the first, and if she markets herself as such, she’s a fraud. Probably looks better in a bikini than most of the others who have done it.

  8. I followed her from the beginning of her journey and she has publicly stated that she was frustrated by Guinness World Records’ “Fastest Man” and “Fastest Woman” categories rather than just a single “Fastest Person” category. Then she had stated what the current Women’s record was before her journey. So she isn’t the one saying that she is the first woman to do it. But she should make an official statement to clear this misnomer up. The travel community is right – the media shouldn’t be ignoring the other women who have visited every country in the world. That’s not right not respectful for such a difficult task to accomplish.

  9. Cassandra De Pecol says:
    1. That’s not a credible source due to the fact that there is no supporting facts of those women having traveled to every sovereign nation. And while the women on that list surely might have traveled to every country (which, awesome for them!) none of them have proven that they actually have through official documentation. And when we are discussing women’s history, this is vital information to have in the books. It’s simple fact. It would have been very easy for me to tell the public that I went to places like Syria and North Korea, but without verified evidence proving that I actually did, who would believe me? Did I actually go? Having this evidence where in some cases, major risk was involved in order to obtain, makes me the first woman on record.
    2. I left the airport in every single country which was a requirement for Guinness World Records and there were only a handful (primarily within the Pacific and Central Africa) where I spent less than 24 hours due to either a) my strict schedule of meeting with students and Minister of Tourism in the following country or b) lack of funds to stay for an entire week until the next flight, which is common in some of these more remote countries where hotels/inns are few and far between and very expensive.
    Please, do your research before you make assumptions and add negative and bias commentary.

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