Awareness

Pakistan – Through a Traveller’s Eye


Cassie

Cassandra De Pecol, an avid explorer who has visited around 192 countries, has stated that Pakistan is one of her favorite countries. While talking to the media in Pakistan, she mentioned that Pakistan was the country which she was most afraid to visit but ended up liking it the most. Her goal is to visit 196 countries in 17 months, setting a world record.

The hospitality I've received so far in #Pakistan and specifically #Karachi has been astounding! From being offered a random, free upgrade to business class on @gulfair to being graced with the amazing hospitality of the crew and entering the cockpit and meeting the Pilot (the Captain knew about my Expedition before I even told him!), speaking to the students at the Institute of Business Administration, meeting the Mayor of Karachi, Mr. Wasim Akhtar, for the planting of the Cedrus Deodara tree (the National Tree of Pakistan) 🌲, coming back to my beautiful (sponsored) hotel and seeing my story and Mission on the front page of Traveller International, and finally, meeting with @rotaryinternational tonight! So incredibly humbling. Also, just comes to show (for those who think I'm not seeing anything in the countries I visit and that 2-5 days isn't enough) that it's all about time management and maximizing every moment of your time to make the most with what you have. But same applies to everything else in life, doesn't it? My time here in Pakistan has just begun and has been one of the many wonderfully educational and culturally enriching experiences on #Expedition196. Don't judge a book by its color or a country by the media. Much love ❤️🇵🇰 #peacethroughtourism • • • ✨Snapchat @ cassiedepecol To view all videos from today including the tree planting and meeting with the Mayor, head to Facebook.com/expedition196 ✨

A photo posted by ᶜᴬˢˢᴵᴱ ᴰᴱ ᴾᴱᶜᴼᴸ| ᴼᶠᶠᴵᶜᴵᴬᴸ ᴾᴬᴳᴱ (@expedition_196) on

She explained that due to media portrayal, Pakistan’s image is quite negative in the Western world, but Pakistan turned out to be quite a surprise as she found the people loving and caring.
Her journey in Pakistan will be focused on Lahore and Islamabad as it is a 10-day trip. She started on her adventure on July 24, 2015, from Palau Oceania and it wasn’t an impromptu plan as Cassie had her heart set on achieving her goal from the start.

Managing criticism • • • It’s not okay to let others opinions (good + bad) shape who you are and who you aim to become, but I encourage you to let their words fuel you to pursue a life for yourself that you could have never in your wildest dreams have imagined. It’s always been a desire of mine to inspire others that would in turn, inspire myself to create and grow positively in the right direction. My motto has always been, “I want to live an iconic lifestyle where I do what I want, when I want, and inspire those along the way”. The negativity I get from this Expedition is vast, and while I’ll never know why I’ve been criticized for my hard work and dedication to make even just a small, positive change in our world or how I travel for that matter, this negativity contradictory, only fuels me to do bigger things and reach higher in order to craft something more vast and impactful to positively enhance our world, while leaving a great legacy behind. Thankfully, the judgements that I’ve read have really fueled me to start several major projects that I’ve recently started working on. I often wonder that if I never received this criticism from others, I’d never be driven enough to change our world for the better… and hopefully one day I won’t rely on these judgements to make these great forward movements in life, but for now, it’s worked well enough. Never define your value as a person based off what people tell you about who you are or what you do. Own your life, own your values, own your morals and never let anyone dictate your decisions or frame who you are or who they think you should be. It is your life and no one has a surefire solution to a successful and winning outcome, but you. So, I encourage you to use not only fear but negativity and criticism from others as embers to your flame. It is only then, once you let all those opinions go, and watch those embers burn to flame, your truth and your story will flourish and you’ll be boasting with confidence as to where you’re headed. Choose your hard. PC: @unmaderhyme

A photo posted by ᶜᴬˢˢᴵᴱ ᴰᴱ ᴾᴱᶜᴼᴸ| ᴼᶠᶠᴵᶜᴵᴬᴸ ᴾᴬᴳᴱ (@expedition_196) on

Not only is she the first documented female traveler, but she also aims to spread information to the masses about different cultures and give them an unfiltered view of the ground reality. To make sure that she is heard, she has been actively teaming up with universities and holding sessions on traveling and tourism with students. Not only this, but she is also doing her bit for the environment by planting the national tree in every country she visits, as well as collecting water samples to test them for micro plastics.

As she explores the world, Cassie is also working on a documentary which she believes will help the future explorers. The documentary revolves around education and tourism, and according to her, it will be focused on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which has been put in place to promote literacy. For the wanderer, the world isn’t enough, while answering questions; she mentioned that she would love to venture into space once she is done with her current goals.

Cassie declared that she enjoyed the Middle East most, while South East Asia and Africa were regions where she found traveling difficult as compared to other regions. On being asked whether she’d like to visit any place again, she said that out of all the countries she visited, Maldives was a place she’d like to visit again. She also said that this trip was eye-opening for her.

Cassandra De Pecol’s visit shows that the ground realities are a lot different from what is being portrayed on media. In Pakistan, tourism has suffered a lot due to terrorism which has added to the negative portrayal. It is time that our tourism is revived so that people can come and see for themselves the beauty and hospitality of Pakistan.

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