Lonely Planet Writer

Will this 23-year-old become the youngest person to visit every country in the world?

For some people, once they get bitten by the travel bug, there is no looking back. One such example is Taylor Demonbreun from the United States of America, who at 23 years old is attempting to break three world records for global travel, including becoming the youngest and fastest person to visit every single country.

Taylor at the Taj Mahal in India.
Taylor at the Taj Mahal in India. Image by Trek With Taylor

After spending a semester studying abroad in London, which allowed her to travel to twenty countries across Europe, Taylor was inspired to continue her adventures. “I realised that I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. I have always loved travel and wanted to visit as many places as I possibly could. And, one day, it all just sort of clicked – I want to work in travel, and I want to inspire others to travel as well. My journey so far has been an amazing leap into something that I love,” Taylor told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Taylor at Machu Picchu in Peru.
Taylor at Machu Picchu in Peru. Image by Trek With Taylor

Taylor is attempting to break three separate Guinness World Records: to be the youngest person to travel to all sovereign countries, to do it in the fastest time overall, and to be the fastest female to visit all sovereign countries. The current world record for youngest person to visit all sovereign states in the world is held by James Asquith from the United Kingdom, who completed his journey at the age of 24 years and 192 days old. So far, Taylor has explored all of the Caribbean, Central America, South America (except for Venezuela) and Europe, as well the majority of both the Middle East and Asia and a handful of countries in the Pacific. “The biggest areas left on my to-do list are Africa and the Pacific. I have been almost everywhere else,” Taylor said.

Taylor first got the idea to visit every country in the world after studying abroad in England. Image by Trek With Taylor

Some of Taylor’s favourite spots that she has seen include the world famous Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, and the Great Wall, as well as lesser known, low key sights in countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Palau and San Marino.

Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Taylor at Iguazu Falls, Brazil. Image by Trek with Taylor

While breaking world records is an impressive goal to aim for, Taylor says that the experience that she has gained so far from her travels has been a reward in itself. “I have learned more over the past few months than I ever could have imagined. I have been able to see the world and meet so many of the incredible people in it. I have learned so much about different cultures and the history of nations and have also grown so much as an individual. As someone who has dealt with severe social anxiety my entire life, my travels have challenged me to face that head-on. I have seen just how kind and willing to help people are in every country of the world and have really grown so much in how I am able to relate and converse with others,” she said.

More information on Taylor’s adventures is available at her official blog and website.