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Lexie Alford: Youngest Girl to Visit Every Country

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In India it’s a very common notion that a child follows in the foot steps of their parents. Aree you would have heard some old aunty say, “doctor ka beta doctor, lawyer ka beta lawyer” and so on. While it in no way stands true in the present times we live in, it may loosely hold true for a young girl holding quite an epic record. Meet Lexie Alford, the youngest person to have visited all 196 countries in the world at an age of 21 years! So, what was that family bit before you ask? Oh well her family owns a travel agency, so, let’s just say that that may have a little something in making this possible. ? Of course, along with her hard work. ?

youngest girl to travel the world

Whenever you read about an individual with an award as amazing as this, the natural question that follows is, how did you decide to do this? Lexie had been travelling since she was a child and at 18 years of age touched 72 countries. Up until then she was content being a traveller but now an adult, with this number she decided to break the existing world record (James Asquith at 24 years). Lexie had successfully obtained her Associates Degree from a local college in her hometown, Nevada, California, by the age of 18. She then decided to triple her number of countries visited count and break the prevailing world record of the youngest person to do so. She talks about how when she started doing this, she realized that what she was aiming for inspired a lot of people, especially young women. With this was her strength and acceptance that now she couldn’t give up even if things got tough. She had taken the challenge and was motivated to see it through.

lexie alford

While her family’s background helped, Lexie also saved up for her travelling dreams from the age of 12 years. In fact, those savings kept her going for the first year and a half of her 3 and a half years long endeavour! Man, I sure wasn’t putting my piggy bank to that good a use at 12 :p She also worked as a consultant in the family business and took up freelance work as a photographer and blogger while travelling. She mentions that looking for deals, offers and lucrative options was the key.

youngest person to travel all countries

As glamourous as the world of travel may look on Instagram pages and travel blogs, this young traveller tells the truth behind what it takes. So, on being asked what it takes to travel the world, she says: compromise, in a nutshell. Why compromise? She delves into the fact that you have to start saving from a very young age, cut down on expenses and really manage your finances. She suggests living with your parents as that can help reduce extra expenses. Dekha mummy, I already knew this! :p

More importantly, she also talks about how living in foreign lands for a stretch of time can be isolating. It can also affect the relationships you will have in life. And also while you may not have fancy materialistic things, you will gain a lot in experience and understanding the world and yourself.

inspiring travellers

The adventurer that she is, she tried crocodile cage diving in Zimbabwe. She adopted the local culture in Pakistan, swam in a cave in Samoa and in a cenote in Mexico and even trekked the most difficult volcano in Africa.

travel stories

Naturally, when someone has travelled the whole world (quite literally!), you’ll find not one but many interesting stories from them. My favourite from Lexie’s travels is the story of how on her visit to Afghanistan she asked a fellow American friend to accompany her. Not just any friend but a former US soldier who still had PTSD from his tenure in Afghanistan itself. The traveller asked the former soldier to come along, suggesting that it maybe the place itself that could heal him of the wounds he still carried. What may sound like an emotional challenge and struggle eventually proved worthy to the man in question.

youngest girl to travel all countries

Her last and final country was North Korea. She visited the demilitarized territory. To achieve a life goal and to have it all, the years, the efforts, the struggles, the sacrifices and the memories, all culminated into one single moment, would be nothing short of surreal, to say the least.

There’s a lot of fears that can play in one’s mind at the prospect of visiting the unknown, that too by yourself. Lexie set out not just to set a Guinness World Record but to also show the world that contrary to what the media depicts, the world really is a beautiful place and that there is kindness everywhere.

travel facts

Note: All pictures belong to the rightful owner, Lexie Alford. Images are credited to her Instagram account @lexielimitless

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