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29 countries down, 169 to go

Thursday, 18th May, 2017 1:01am

A 24 year old is attempting to become the second and youngest woman to travel to every country in the world.

UK-born Phoebe Howlett spoke last night in St Patrick’s College in Montenotte as she spends a week in Ireland before her departure on 22 May.

Phoebe said: “400 men have done it and only one woman. The next closest woman is the queen. Why do men do it and not women?”

Phoebe, who went to a girl’s school, said girls often get hung up on who has the best skin, or who is the most beautiful, or intelligent.

She is aiming to speak in at least one school in every country she visits and is hoping her experience will be utilised as an example of female empowerment.

“It’s not the end of the world if things mess up. It doesn’t make you less strong. You don’t necessarily have to go to school, get good grades, get a job. You can do it different,” Phoebe said.

After her trip to Ireland, Phoebe plans to travel to the US, Central America and South America.

However up until recently, Phoebe was physically unable to travel. She had believed she was suffering from depression and work-related stress until doctors diagnosed her with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) in June 2015.

She realised the paralysis meant she wouldn’t be able to travel and was determined to get better so she could.

“If something unfortunate happens to you, it’s a good thing. It doesn’t hinder life. It only makes it better,” Phoebe said.

She had originally planned to do a bit of travelling and then move to Australia.

“People were worried about me travelling solo as a girl and I said I’m sure people have done it, so I researched and yeah, someone has, and only one,” she said. Phoebe was inspired by Cassie De Pecol, the 29 year old American who gained the title in February of the first woman to travel to every country in the world.

“In 18 months, which I think is absolutely mental,” Phoebe says of the time in which Cassie completed her travels.

To read more about Phoebe’s journey and keep up with her travels visit thechanceofchoice.com.

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