Lexie Alford: Youngest Person Ever To Visit All Countries
Wanderlust is a staple social media bio term for every millennial today. Everybody has a desire to visit places and travel as much as they can. But often, let alone other countries, we don’t even travel across our own respective countries. But there are a few people for whom boundaries mean nothing just like for Lexie Alford, the American woman has become the youngest person ever to travel to all the countries in the world including North Korea and other such extremely inaccessible countries at just 21 years of age.
Alford’s tremendous feat shows her determination to continue with her travel goal doing several odd jobs on the way. “Honestly, in the beginning, I simply wanted to push the limits of what I thought I could do with my life and see as much of the world as possible in the process,” she said in an interview with Forbes. As her blog title goes, she is truly Lexie Limitless.
Through her journeys across the world, Alford had a focus and a larger meaning attached to her expeditions. She writes in her blog, “My ultimate goal is to show people that the world is not a scary place and every culture harbours kindness in spite of political instabilities.”
There are fewer people who can leave their jobs to travel the world or make travelling a profession in itself. From a very young age, she realised that travelling the world is what she wants to do. A California-resident, her parents owned a travel agency which might be the first instance that fuelled her burning desire to travel to all the countries in the world. “Travel has been a part of my life since before I can remember.”
“My parents would take me out of school and place me on independent study for weeks and months at a time every year,” she told Vogue. She saw the floating villages of Cambodia to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, from Ushuaia at the tip of Argentina to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt with her family. “My parents placed a lot of importance on exposing me to every way of life around the world and that had a very profound impact on the person I am today,” she said.
While she didn’t take travelling the world a challenge right at the beginning of when she started touring, it became so when she saw that she was having an impact on people who followed her journey. In 2016 when she turned 18, she took it as a challenge when she had already travelled to 72 countries by then. What makes her mission even more inspiring than it already is the fact that all her outings are self-funded. Through her journeys, she clinched a few brand deals and collaborations which helped her sustain in this wildly aspirational travel game. “I always knew I wanted to take time off to travel so I’ve been working every job I could find and saving since I was 12-years-old,” says Alford.
“When I travel I rely on blogging, freelance photography and selling prints to keep my bank account from drying up. I also spend an ungodly amount of time researching the best deals and thoroughly learning how to travel to exotic places on a budget,”
In her blog ‘How Do I Afford To Travel’ she wrote, “Over the years I’ve had many hustles, currently I work 3 very different jobs. I’ve been money hungry since I was 12 years old. I started as a construction rat on my dad’s job sites, mostly painting houses. I eventually turned to landscape: Weed eating, mowing lawns; classic preteen grunt work. My friend and I even ran a (wildly successful) lemonade stand until we were way too old for that to be appropriate.”
“When I travel I rely on blogging, freelance photography and selling prints to keep my bank account from drying up. I also spend an ungodly amount of time researching the best deals and thoroughly learning how to travel to exotic places on a budget,” she added. It is evident that one has to work hard to make things happen for them and there are no short cuts to success.
A woman travelling solo is always seen dramatic by patriarchal societies across the world. Alford’s life story defies all such notions and more and instils confidence in women to travel more and not be restricted by what people say about women travelling solo.
Picture credit: Lexie Limitless