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Lexie Alford, a 21-year-old from the United States, has been trying to claim the record for the youngest person to visit every country in the world.
On May 31, Alford concluded her journey to 196 sovereign countries around the globe. In doing so, she beat Taylor Demonbreun, who currently holds the Guinness World Record for achieving the same feat at age 24. The Guinness World Records lists the most impressive human achievements.
To make the record official, Alford sent 10,000 pieces of proof of her travels to the management of the Guinness World Records. Her application is currently being reviewed and may take time to be verified.
Alford started traveling at a young age. Her parents own a travel agency, giving her the opportunity to tick some countries off her list early on. At 12 years old, she started saving up to fund her own travels. She began to travel full-time after earning an associate’s degree in college. By that time, she had already visited 72 countries.
To make ends meet while traveling, Alford spent a lot of time researching the best flight deals and booking the most affordable accommodations. She also got involved in a few brand deals and campaigns and did some photography and blogging on the side.
Now that she has finished her journey, Alford plans to take a break from traveling for her physical and mental health. However, she has plans underway, including writing a book about her adventures.
In an interview, Alford advised young travelers like herself to save up as much money as they can and to make sacrifices to be able to see the world.