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On May 31, a 21-year-old American apparently became the youngest person to travel to every country on earth. Lexie Alford took to her Instagram page to reveal from North Korea that she accomplished her record-setting goal in three years.
“Officially traveled to every country in the world,” she captioned a picture of herself holding up a sign that read North Korea May 31, 2019 Country #196. “It’s crazy to have years of hard work culminate 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.”
Alford was not able to visit the controversial country and instead only set foot in The Blue House, known as the Joint Security Area of the Korean Demilitarized Zone in North Korea. But, according to Guinness World Record guidelines, that counts.
“I’m honestly very disappointed that I didn’t get to visit the country properly because of political issues,” Alford told Forbes. “But I’ll be visiting again as soon as the U.S. travel ban is lifted.”
And while it has yet to be verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, if it’s true, she will beat out James Asquith, who won the title in 2013 at 24 years old. She would also be in good company with people like Cassie De Pecol, who broke the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to visit every country.
As Guinness reviews almost 10,000 pieces of evidence, fans of Alford have been following along on her journey via her social media account and blog, Lexie Limitless. It was there that Alford stated three years ago that she decided to embark on the journey after already having logged 72 countries thanks to her travel agent parents.
“My parents placed a lot of importance on exposing me to every way of life around the world,” she told Forbes. “And that had a very profound impact on the person I am today.”