On May 31, 2019, a 21-year-old American woman named Lexie Alford stepped foot in North Korea and broke a record, becoming the youngest person in history to travel to every country on earth. In doing so, she beat out the 24-year-old current Guinness World Record holder and joined the historic ranks of other travelers like Cassie De Pecol, who at 27 became the first woman on record to make hisyory as well as the person to do it the fastest.
Traveling to each one of the world’s 196 sovereign nations is an achievement that Alford has been working on since she was a child — though she didn’t know it at the time. Alford grew up in a family that owns a travel agency in California. “Travel has been a part of my life since before I can remember,” says Alford, who describes herself as @LexieLimitless on Instagram. “My parents would take me out of school and place me on independent study for weeks and months at a time every year.”