Cassandra (Cassie) De Pecol
Born on June 23rd, 1989, Cassie is a World Traveler, Explorer, Environmental Activist, Women’s Rights and Peace Activist, Keynote Speaker, Triathlete, and Entrepreneur.
Cassie is from a middle-class family and was raised in a rural, small town in Connecticut. She was homeschooled until the age of 12 along with her brother. Her home schooling included “out of the box” courses such as nature studies and multi-cultural experiences. Cassie then attended public schools and graduated from high school in 2007.
Cassie’s college experience started off at Long Island Universities ‘Global College’, studying under the major of ‘Global Studies’ in Costa Rica and Nicaragua her freshman year. Here, she lived within local communities and studied rain forests, economic/political systems and global studies. Wanting to pursue more environmental studies, Cassie transferred to Green Mountain College in Vermont. She then transferred to Santa Barbara City College in California taking courses such as Meteorology, Oceanography and Geology, while paying her way by working in the hotel industry, lifeguarding and babysitting.
In the summer of 2010, Cassie saved up $2,000 and decided to “see the world”. She left in August of 2010 with her brother, Jason, to Belgium where they then spent the next month traveling to the walls of Berlin, the gardens of Munich and the mountains of Switzerland, before parting ways. Her brother went on to travel to France before returning home, while Cassie’s travels took her to Turkey, where she’d spend the next two months working across Olympus, Kas, Fethiye, and traveling everywhere in between. She was able to travel for two years by couch surfing and working at eco B&B’s and resorts which gave her an enormous understanding of worldwide culture and eco-conscious hospitality venues and finally landed back in California. During these years Cassie had traveled to roughly 25 countries and made the $2,000 last through budget travel and working along the way.
As of February 2nd 2017, Cassie has traveled to 196 countries alone on a journey she calls, “Expedition 196”; promoting positive peace through sustainable tourism. Learn more about it by clicking here.
In High School, Cassie was what some would call a “wall hugger” on swim team, but she did have a niche in backstroke. She was on track team before realizing that running wasn’t her strong suit. However, at the age of 16, Cassie competed in her first Triathlon, the Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon in small town Washington, Connecticut. After that, she was hooked on the sport of Triathlon. She went on competing in Olympic and Half Ironman distance races. In 2018, she hopes to compete in her first Full Ironman race. Throughout Expedition 196 (traveling to 196 countries), Cassie has managed a toned physique, thanks to keeping in line with her fitness and health regimen, seeing the value in a healthy and active lifestyle despite the stress and difficulties that rapid travel presents itself. Cassie is also an active Krav Maga fighter at Krav Maga Worldwide.
After having studied Environmental Studies in College, and Sustainable Tourism thereafter, Cassie has made it a life commitment towards completely offsetting her carbon footprint. Coming from a family of environmentally conscious citizens, Cassie knows that it is her duty to offer her footprint set fourth by Expedition 196, which is why she’s started, the ‘Expedition 196 Tree Planting Project’. Click here to learn more about Cassie’s environmental efforts.
Cassie considers herself an educator in the environmental studies and entrepreneurialism field. After spending 1.5 years speaking to over 35 universities across 41 countries, her strengths rely on her entrepreneurial spirit to educate the youth and in particular, young women, to pursue a passion project that will aim to alleviate some of the worlds most pressing issues in accordance to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To learn more, click here.
In 2012, she received an internship with Solimar International and USAID and lived in the Bolivian Amazon (Rurrenabaque), advising tour companies on their marketing and sustainability initiatives. Shortly thereafter she began an internship as a ‘Sustainability Advisor’ at an eco-hotel within the Achuar communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The experience of living with indigenous people deep in the Amazon would be a life changing event that opened her eyes to the extremes of human culture.
After the Amazon experience Cassie took a 9-5 job in Washington DC to experience “a normal life” for a while. She found the corporate world to be extremely unfulfilling and moved back to California to reflect on her passion and figure out what her career might be.
With major travel experience under her belt and an intense passion for travel, ecology, women’s achievement while promoting peace, Cassie decided to make “an impact on the world” and began planning the “Expedition 196.” In July of 2015, after a year and a half of planning, saving money, obtaining sponsors and endorsements, she launched her Expedition on stage LIVE at a major public event called The World Domination Summit, in Portland, Oregon.
In 2017, Cassie, at 27 years old, has finished her journey, “Expedition 196” in Guinness World Record time. As of February 2017, Cassie has traveled to 196 countries alone. Cassie is now working on the editing and distribution of the educational documentary she’s been filming, a book, TV shows, speaking engagements, branding agreements and has developed a seminar to help other fulfill their dreams and passions in travel.