My name is Lexie Alford and if all goes according to plan, I will break the Guinness World Record for the Youngest Person to Travel to Every Country. I’m 19 years old and I have traveled to 96 countries. I will make it to 17 more countries by March. I aim to travel to all 196 countries before I’m old enough to drink in the United States. I intend to inspire others to choose the path less traveled by breaking down common misconceptions about millennials, women and foreign cultures.
Showing people that the world is not a scary place, every culture is accessible and kindness is present everywhere in spite of political and societal instabilities is my ultimate goal. This is my opportunity to become a part of history by personally demonstrating the interconnectedness of the world and to leave behind a positive legacy encouraging women everywhere to pursue their ambitions.
Traveling vast distances quickly and efficiently is a relatively new ability, for hundreds of years people never knew how much was really out there; until now. The world is becoming a smaller place and I feel overwhelming gratitude to experience the world in a way no one has before. The more I travel the more I feel at home anywhere in the world and if the whole world is your home then everyone that lives here is our family. It has become my mission to share this journey with you.
I’m often asked, “Aren’t you afraid of being kidnapped or killed? What if something bad happens to you?” My answer is that I’ve come to a place of acceptance that it is very possible that I could die attempting this record. This is a risk I’m willing to take because if I die, I would die doing something that fills my life with passion. It’s better to live a short life chasing your dream than a long life filled with missed opportunities and regrets.
I attribute every aspect of the person I am today to the way I was raised. My father set no limits to what I could become and my parents chose not to shelter me from the world around us. They didn't cover my eyes when I saw a family of four sharing one motorbike lying in a pool of blood after a collision in Vietnam. I grew up learning very real life lessons; the importance of wearing helmets is permanently engrained in my soul. Memories of the past make us who we are. I will never forget what it felt like to crawl into the Great Pyramid of Giza or the rush of diving into a shark cage surrounded by 16 ft. long, hungry great white sharks.
Everything in life happens for a reason. If it wasn’t for toxic relationships and depression, I may not have had the motivation to change my situation and graduate high school at 16. If it wasn’t for my experiences with orphans in Asian slums I may not have appreciation for the simply things in life most people take for granted. A lifetime of traveling the world has taught me many lessons but above all, I have learned to be grateful. To genuinely understand that this life, this very moment, is a gift because you never know which moment will be your last.
My intention is to use my experiences to make the world a better place in every way I can and I feel honored to have this opportunity to share my story with you. Supporting my mission not only empowers my journey around the world but also supports a new generation of women everywhere to pursue their passions not regardless of the obstacles we face but because of them. To find out more about this world record breaking mission check out living-lost.com or Instagram @lost_lexie and ask yourself, "how can you change the world if you have never been there?