The record is currently held by 24-year-old Taylor Demonbreun, who is three years older than Alford. Once they verify that she’s been in 196 countries as she claims, though, there will be a new world record.
According to Alford, she was able to accomplish this feat because of “a few simple life lessons” she learned along the way.”
These are to “never take no for an answer have the courage to pursue what you’re most passionate about, and problem-solve like its nobody’s business because where there’s a will, there’s a way. There were so many obstacles to overcome while traveling to every country and I learned the most from the true moments of struggle.”
Although she has had her share of hardships, these principles helped her overcome the worst in any given place. She has had visa issues, money problems, sickness, and exhaustion. Yet through it all, she kept her spirits and motivation high.
“When it came to visas or impossible itineraries or people simply telling me that I wasn’t able to do something, never giving up and not taking no for an answer got me through so many tough situations,” she said.
Alford was doubtlessly aided by the fact that her mother owns a travel agency and had already visited 70 countries by the age of 18. She had to work for the option of traveling so much, though.
“I started working multiple jobs and saving everything I’ve earned since I was 12 years old,” she said. “I’ve worked in everything from commercial painting to freelance photography and blogging to managing at my mom’s travel agency. I’m fortunate to be able to structure my work schedule in a way that accommodates my travels because my bosses are flexible and I also work for myself.”