At the end of May, Lexie Alford was in North Korea – the last country on her list. The 21-year-old American is the youngest person to visit all 196 states in the world.
When she realized at the age of 18 that she had already visited 72 countries, Lexie Alford set herself a goal: to be the youngest person to travel to all 196 sovereign states of the world. She has now achieved this goal. On June 2, Alford published a picture on Instagram showing her with a sheet of paper with the inscription “North Korea No. 196”. The 21-year-old American says that this country was the last on her list.
Before the Guinness world record is official, the globetrotter must submit 10,000 pieces of evidence and have them verified. The previous record holder is James Asquith, who won the title in 2013 at the age of 24. 27-year-old Cassandra De Pecol broke the world record in 2017 as the first and fastest woman to visit any country in the world. It took her 18 months.
Lexie Alford traveled the world when she was a little child. Her family owns a travel agency in Nevada City, California. “Travel has always been a part of my life,” she writes on Instagram. “My parents took me out of school and let me study independently every year for weeks and months.
Alford states that she financed her travels herself, without an official sponsor. “I research a lot in advance to find the best deals, use miles on my flights, stay in cheap accommodations like hostels or advertise hotels and get an overnight stay in return,” Alford says to Forbes.
Cassandra De Pecol, the fastest person to visit any country, was strongly criticised for not going into their destinations in depth, but simply checking off a list. The 21-year-old Lexie Alford is also likely to counter this accusation. At the end of the day we all prefer to travel in different ways,” Alford says to Forbes. “Some people prefer to spend months or years in only a few countries, others want to get to know the world at random. No matter what you prefer, there will always be someone who disagrees”.