At just 27 years old, Sal Lavallo achieved a goal that very few people ever undertake – travelling to every country in the world.
He accomplished this feat in November after landing in Malta, which was the 193rd country he has visited. It was something he didn't even consider possible until a year ago. Oddly enough, Lavallo hasn't yet visited every U.S. state — something he said is on his bucket list.
Lavallo grew up in a small town in Indiana, but explained to CNBC's "On the Money" that he was always "globally-minded," with a father born in Italy and a mother with roots in Germany.
As a teenager he attended boarding school with international students and then went on to NYU, where he studied economic development and began traveling abroad for research and work.
After college, Lavallo landed a job at McKinsey as a management consultant based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, traveling 4 days out of the week for his job. Lavallo said he stayed loyal to Marriott hotels, racking up SPG Starpoints to use for his own personal travel.
Then two years ago, Lavallo took a break from work to travel full-time.
"I took off what I thought was going to be 6 months of work, that turned into a year and I had already been to about 160 countries by then," Lavallo told CNBC. "I said if I do one more year of not working I need to make it a goal - I need to achieve something."
However, since he didn't plan his travel strategically from the outset – his last countries were all over the globe.
"My final four countries were on 4 different continents so I had to go to from the Pacific in Tuvalu, then I had to go to Africa to Congo, then I went to the Middle East for Yemen and then to Malta for the finale."