A 21-year-old Lexie Alford became the youngest person in history to travel to every sovereign country around the globe.

Taking to Instagram, she posted an image, alongside the caption, “OFFICIALLY TRAVELED TO EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD it’s crazy to have years of hard work culminated into one single moment. I’m so grateful to everyone that’s helped me get here. The greatest chapter of my life is coming to a close. Cheers to a new beginning.”

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Motorcycle adventures through the Canadian Rockies 🇨🇦 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It rained, it shined, we ran out of gas on the side of the highway and we had the time of our lives😆 my brother @meat_iomc is a part of a motorcycle club and they have chapters throughout North America. At first I was a little hesitant to call up some people I’ve never met and come stay in their home to explore a place I’ve never been. But wow. Just wow. People are so unbelievably kind! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Here’s a pro travel tip: if you want to travel somewhere but don’t have a lot of money, think about your family’s friends, friends of friends. Any distant connections you might have anywhere in the world. Then put yourself out there & ask if you can come visit. Chances are you’ll find yourself being welcomed like family with home cooked meals and once in a lifetime experiences. How about that, eh? #alberta #weekendwarriors

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT 😆 Today is the beginning of the 7 day count down until my last country, #196 North Korea!! After months/years of trying to get around the only US travel ban, I finally have the opportunity to go to the North Korean conference room (in the legendary “blue house”) in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone between North & South Korea. It feels a little anticlimactic to only be taking a step into the country but I’m grateful to have the chance to break the world record soon rather than having to potentially wait for years to visit properly. These words feel surreal as I’m writing them. I’ve been having so many crazy thoughts and feelings about all this I don’t even know how to process it all. Seems like a perfect way to start honoring all the inherent highs and lows of adventure, and beautiful unpredictability of journey between the two. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photos by @angelanunninkphotography

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Nothing says “sit and stay a while” like rolling green foothills adorned with an untamed river 🌿 Something I never expected to get out of traveling was an overwhelming appreciation for where I grew up. It’s also funny showing people photos like these because no one ever expects there to be more to California than what they’ve seen in Hollywood movies! When I got out of school I wanted to get as far away from this little town as possible but for the past couple of months I’ve wanted to spend time at home more than anything. Maybe this means I’ve found my tipping point – how long away from home is too long. Or maybe it just means that 124 countries in 2 1/2 years is simply too much travel😂 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thanks for capturing the beauty of Northern California with me!💚 @angelanunninkphotography

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Misunderstood creatures 🐍 I honestly did a terrible job planning my trip in Sri Lanka. I usually try to get away from cities and tourist traps to get a more authentic feel for the country I’m visiting. Choosing the path less traveled can occasionally/inevitably lead to unexpected complications, wasted time and frustration. Sometimes we miss once in a lifetime opportunities. Sometimes our experiences don’t live up to the expectations we created in our minds. And that’s to be expected! Being able to accept that things didn’t go the way you wanted them to and making the best of it anyway is a really important life lesson traveling has taught me. This photo reminds me that even mistakes can result in something beautiful & unexpected

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Happiest in high places ✌🏼this was one of the most rewarding hikes of my life! I’ve always been a mountain enthusiast & Northern Pakistan has some of the most epic mountains in the world. Literally though, Pakistan is home to more than 100 peaks over 7000 meters (23,000 ft.)!🤯 In the top right corner of this photo you can start to see the summit of Nanga Parbat, also known as “Killer Mountain” because of the notoriously difficult climb. It’s the ninth highest mountain in the world at 26,660’. The first person to summit it wasn’t until 1953 and no one was able to summit it again for another 10 years. I didn’t realize there’s such a cool history left behind on these mountains by the crazy humans that are addicted to the thrill of being on top of the world ⚡️

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This first photo is the wallpaper on my phone because every time I look at it I’m reminded of one of the happiest days of my life. It took months of planning, multiple visa apps, 3 flights and a boat ride to get to this waterfall that I didn’t even know was on the itinerary. I had never seen a photo of it or had any other expectations about Canaima National Park in Venezuela. For anyone that’s heard the stigma that Venezuela is dangerous or scary to travel through, that was not my experience at all! I was blown away by how much beauty is here, in both the landscapes and the people. I’ll never forget that feeling of pure discovery and adventure when we spent all day running back and forth on the path behind this waterfall✨⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photos by @fearlessandfar

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What are 3 defining moments in your life? I’ve been thinking about this a lot and thought it would be a fun exercise to do with you guys. As someone that goes through tons of phases, both positive and negative, I get so nostalgic when I think about the things that brought me to where I am today. Here’s a few of my turning points: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. The day I passed my exams to skip Junior & Senior years of high school. 2. Bungee jumping in Switzerland the summer after I graduated from college.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3. The very first time I thought about breaking the world record for the youngest person to travel to every country ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ve got a pretty huge life achievement coming up with visiting my last country (!!) which I already know is going to change so much in my life. This photo may be a hint about the first place I’m going back to after I break the record 😉

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Afghanistan is one of the most unique places I’ve traveled to because it felt almost taboo to be there. So much negative hype has been built up around it that not many people get to experience this place which is a real shame. Honestly it is very unstable here and I don’t recommend going to Afghanistan casually. I got really lucky with my experience but I also put in the work researching where to go and how to do it safely. That being said, wow. Just wow. The food, architecture, smells, colors. Gorgeous people with dark hair and bright blue eyes. Sensory overload. I didn’t feel unsafe walking down the street although the traffic will give you anxiety. I visited a few colorful 1000+ yr old mosques and saw hundreds of people praying together. Everywhere we went there seemed to be someone genuinely happy to share their culture with us. Although Afghanistan was challenging to understand at times, being there made me feel so much connected to its people, their cultural history, their strength and struggle. It made me thankful for everything that I have and reminded me not to take it for granted. Afghanistan made me grow.

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Guinea Bissau was the last country out of 54 countries in Africa I visited for the record 🙌🏼 West & Central Africa is, in my opinion, by far the hardest areas of the world to travel in. The visas were tricky, there’s very little infrastructure for tourism, the language barrier makes matters even more complicated and believe it or not, this is also the most expensive area in the world to travel. There’s not many flights, hotels or guides so the operators have the market completely cornered. They can pretty much set whatever outrageous price they want because there isn’t very many options (besides maybe grueling & potentially dangerous bus rides). West Africa especially is the kind of place where even the most popular “destinations” are obscure (if you know, you know😂). But hey, I can genuinely say that traveling in this area of the world thickened my skin more than literally anything in my life ever has. And I’m grateful for it. Not sure when the next time life will pull me back to West & Central Africa, but when it does, I’ll be ready 💪🏼

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This was one of the top 5 craziest adventures of my life! After riding like maniacs on the top of our 15 passenger van through the Karakoram Mountains for countless hours we arrived at the launching point. We switched into these 4×4 rock crawling land rovers and ascended up the aptly named “most dangerous road in the world”. The local driver swerved recklessly around loose gravel corners with heart pounding 500+ ft. drops to the left. After nearly 3 hours of that, we arrived at the starting point for the hike to Fairy Meadows. Our group quickly fell into different paces which gave us time to feel even more secluded in the deep wilderness of Northern Pakistan. We hiked up roughly 2500 ft. as the sun set on the little Swiss cabins we would sleep in that night. The temperature dropped rapidly. All our bodies were acting funny because of the altitude. The 10 of us huddled around the common room stove sharing stories and stretching our deliciously sore muscles. ‘Twas a day & night that I’ll never forget ✌🏼#pakistandiaries

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5 in-person trips to the embassy in Los Angeles, 2 formal interviews, 3 different tour companies/fixers, 2 LOIs, countless phone calls and 6 months later I finally made it to PAKISTAN 🇵🇰 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The media always exaggerates and blows out of proportion but so far I can’t get enough of this incredible country! Every day has brought not only new tastes & sights but also a renewed sense of appreciation for the kindness of people in faraway places. Even this truck driver’s nice way of telling me to move out of the way was to just start driving forward slowly 😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you so much @cpicglobal for making this dream come true for me!

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I turned 21 yrs old today! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I thought I would have more mixed emotions because on the bright side: I can finally buy beer in America! But I’ve also been working so hard all year to break the record by this day specifically & I still have 5 countries left. I was expecting to be disappointed with myself but I’m actually quite the opposite- I’m so proud! I think a part of me never really believed I would get this far in the first place. Everything has been falling into place lately and I’m reminded to not take life too seriously & have a damn good time ⚡️ if anyone wants to celebrate this weekend you’ll find me at the nearest alcoholic beverage stand at Coachella 😂

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Hey guys! I wanted to share a super simple life hack that’s already helped me a lot. If you want to spend less time on your phone try switching it to grayscale! Naturally humans are drawn to vibrant colors and I think that has a lot to do with why we get so addicted to social media. On an iPhone it’s easy: General -> Accessibility -> Accessibility shortcut -> Color filters (ON) and if you click the home button three times it will switch the color back and forth. I also put all my social media apps in a folder so it’s not the first thing I see. I’ve been trying to use my spare time on my phone to read the news or write notes if I don’t have a pen & paper. These little habits have totally altered the way I use my phone, you should try it. If you guys have any other ones I’d love to hear about them.

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