My short bio: Hola Reddit!

Over a year ago I left my home in New Jersey to embark on a five year, seven continent trek around the world. I’ve been walking for 466 days and have covered 6300 miles over ten countries. Currently I’m in Maracá, Ecuador (on the border of Perú) making my way down to some cousins in Uruguay.

Last we spoke I was in Texas, I’d just adopted Savannah and hadn’t even crossed my first border. Since leaving the States I’ve had a hell of an adventure. I’ve had to learn Spanish, climb the terrible mountains of Guatemala, sprint through the deserts of Honduras, and sleep in the Costa Rican rain forest. There have been a few run-ins, but besides a shiv to the neck in Panama City nothing too serious. Mostly, I’m amazed how generous people are. I’m brought in by strangers far more often than I ever imagined.

My dog, Savannah, has grown from a mange-ridden street pup I pushed in my cart to muscular, walking machine. She’s been on the olfactory adventure of a lifetime. We walk every mile together and with the right paperwork crossing borders with her has been a breeze.

As to why I'm walking around the world, I had a friend, AnneMarie, who died at seventeen. I'd never been close to someone who died before. Her death reordered my understanding of the world. I suddenly saw life as something fragile and fleeting. I needed to make the most of the short time I had - I wanted adventure, to see the world. When I discovered Karl Bushby the idea of walking around stuck in my head. So from seventeen to twenty-six I kept The World Walk my aim. I went to college, worked, paid off loans, saved, then set off before I had too much responsibility. By twenty-six I had enough saved that if I lived frugally I could walk while still paying off my student loans for two years.

However, about a month before leaving, the owner of Philadelphia Sign reached out to me. He knew AnneMarie and wanted to support my walk. Now, Philadelphia Sign gives me enough money to see this thing through and donates a dollar a mile to AnneMarie’s scholarship fund.

If you'd like to follow along I do my best to post photos daily and weekly blog post.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheWorldWalk/

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/theworldwalk/

Site: http://theworldwalk.com/

Proof

EDIT: Alright guys, that's it for me. I hope I gave you a better picture of what life is like walking eight hours a day. Thanks for all the support! I'm looking forward to sharing more of my journey with you. Also, so many Pokémon Go questions! If battery life weren't a question I'd certainly be the very best, but alas...

Anyway, thanks again Reddit! All the best!

Comments: 1446 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

taumuller731 karma

Do you play pokemongo? Because you have the potential to hatch a ton of eggs doing this.

Theworldwalk433 karma

Ah I was just looking at downloading it yesterday, I really, really want to, but can't afford the battery drain...

LivingReaper102 karma

Would you be able to carry a solar charger of some sort with you? Many are small and could just be fashioned to hat I'd think.

Theworldwalk149 karma

I have a small solar charger, it's not efficient enough though where I can be on my phone all the time. And I actually had two Goal Zero panels on my cart, but now that I'm in the southern hemisphere I do most of my walking with the sun behind me so I cast a shadow on the panels. I left them behind for a family in Colombia to cut weight.

julianpozzi402 karma

Homie,

What country/city has had the finest looking females?

Theworldwalk806 karma

Colombia. Good god, man.

iamasid254 karma

Big ups to you Tom for taking this is up, especially love your company in Savannah! :)

My questions:

  1. What is the most challenging climatic condition that you've had so far?
  2. How was the difference in language with locals (if at all) affected your experience with locals.
  3. Do you listen to music when walking or do you prefer the local sounds?

All the best for your journey ahead, hope to meet you when you're in India. (I'm currently walking across India :) )

Theworldwalk195 karma

Thanks! 1. Costa Rica by far. The jungle held in all the humidity. I started getting up at four, walking until ten, then waiting in the shade until two or three in the afternoon before putting in some more miles.

  1. Not sure I understand, the different dialects? There are small differences, such as 'Aqui' vs 'Acá.' I move so slowly though I usually have time to adjust.

  2. Lots of music, lots of podcasts. If it's a peaceful road though I'll just listen to what's around me.

Enjoy the trek across India! Must be amazing!

Bad_Karma2135 karma

Aqui and aca actually mean two different things, but I've had a native speaker try to explain to me the difference and I still don't understand. Maybe a native speaker could chime in here and clear up the confusion?

Theworldwalk25 karma

Whoa, didn't even occur to me. I'm sure I miss a lot of the subtleties.

Nahwi166 karma

I'm from r/fitness. Can I see a picture of your calves?

p.s. No one post pictures of baby cows. If you do, they better be very cute.

Theworldwalk111 karma

This is back in Mexico, but I think they're about the same now.

BlueVegas149 karma

Have you hooked up with any women so far on this trip?

Theworldwalk228 karma

A few, but it's not easy when I'm usually only in each place for a few hours.

soufend9 karma

So you hooked up with a few while waiting for that axle replacement? (I've been following you on IG before you hit Texas)

Also - what device are you shooting your photos with?

Theworldwalk10 karma

Not in La Plata actually.

And a Nikon D5300 and my Nexus 5x

julianpozzi88 karma

I know that you had reached out to Bushby before your trek for advice. Has anyone reached out to you that may be as serious as about walking around the world as you were when you had reached out to him?

Thanks dude

Theworldwalk87 karma

I've had a few people reach out to me about smaller walks, a mere three thousand miles across the U.S., but not a walk around the world.

-paw-82 karma

  • Have you made any friends you will keep after finishing your walk?

  • When about do you think you'll travel europe?

  • Do you ever feel alone/scared?

  • And most importantly: Where do you take dumps?

Theworldwalk116 karma

Certainly. I've met loads of great people along the way. I'll have friends all over the world after this.

Europe should begin around spring of next year.

I definitely feel scared sometimes, I'm the only one looking out for me, but with a nice hidden camp at night I sleep easier.

Anywhere haha. In the woods, restaurants when possible. In Mexico though I got a bug and was struck by it more than once on the side of the road - not my best moments.

Kkadel781 karma

Tom - I've been following your posts since the beginning and have had conversations about your trek with friends and family. With time to yourself to think, meditate and ponder the questions of the world/universe. What are your thoughts on religion? Have your beliefs changed since you started walking?

Theworldwalk186 karma

Man, that's a big one. I went to church until I was a teenager but since then have been disinterested. I honestly don't think much about a higher power, I see a finite number a days ahead of me and try to make the most of them. If when I die there's a burst of white light and I'm sitting on a cloud, man, that'd be great haha.

sargentlu63 karma

Hi Tom! I got to know about you when you did an AMA almost a year ago: it's incredible to know that you're in Ecuador! I've got some questions:

  • Which country has surprised you the most?
  • How did you prepare to start your walk?
  • How much does your average pair of shoes last?

Thanks in advance Tom, and keep on walking!

Theworldwalk89 karma

Hmm...I'd have to say El Salvador for the first question. The only expectations I had were built from an article a friend sent about the current gang war. The people were probably the friendliest I've come across though, the coast was gorgeous, and there were cheap papusas everywhere. So good!

As far as preparations, not much other than gathering gear, getting some vaccinations, and going to the gym.

Shoes, about 500 miles. Thankfully I have a friend at Brooks who's been hooking me up!

j_obi221 karma

So you walk 500 miles, then walk 500 more?

Theworldwalk218 karma

Just to be the man who's walked 6300 miles

Fastfashionguy16 karma

Oh man, I love papusas! It's a shame that we can't get them in abundance here in the states.

Theworldwalk16 karma

So freaking good, and like twenty-five cents a piece.

Cheeze_My_Puffs54 karma

Do u have a picture of the scar from the shiv ? How did that happen and why are u badass?

Theworldwalk235 karma

I didn't get cut thankfully, the guy just held it to my neck.

So I came into Panama City at seven in the morning and even then the outskirts of the city can be pretty sketchy. I passed through what I thought was the worst of it, then sat outside a shop in an area I thought I was safer. I was texting my dad happy birthday and actually typing out how sketchy the area I just passed through was. I felt something cold on my neck and looked up to see a nasty-looking dude with his arm extended. He grumbled something. I didn't realize what he was doing at first but jumped up and away from him. When he came towards me with his arm out I saw the shiv between his fingers. I was backing away, yelling at him to back up. He was yelling 'Shut up!' in English with this terrible ripped up voice. He was tall, with long black hair, nasty skin.

I backed into a little mini-market. The guy followed. I went behind the counter. My mace was hanging on my cart and my knife was in my backpack which was sitting outside now. I looked for something to fight with but there was nothing around me but loaves a bread. I actually thought "Bread! It's all bread!"

The man closed in so he was a foot from reach. The storeowners had recognized what was happening and were yelling at the man to leave. The man was still yelling shut up.

Then something went off in his head and he bolted. I ran out of the shop after him.

A crowd had formed and they pointed down the alley. The cops were throwing another man against the wall and my backpack (with all Savannah's and my paperwork in it) was on the ground.

The man with the shiv got away, but I got extremely lucky not to have all my paperwork stolen. The whole incident was maybe a minute, amazing how quickly the cops got there.

BearBong49 karma

I love seeing your posts everyday - your photography eye and writing have really gotten stellar! What has been your biggest surprise since your last AMA?

Theworldwalk61 karma

Thanks!

I'm much better at language learning than I thought. It's so easy to become disenchanted in high school, but being surrounded with Spanish all the time makes it much easier to learn.

Rocky_Bukkake22 karma

too true! hey man i just learned about this but its kind of inspirational. lately i've been bummed because i want to go to china and teach, but the china subreddit here mostly seems to be full of people who don't like china :\ plus, i am not actively doing much towards learning chinese other than spending a little time each day going over characters i know or finding new medias.

anyway, it's nice to know that somebody has an idea of how he'd like to live, lives that way, and perhaps sees it holistically.. reminds me of my year in college. it's just nice to see somebody going through shit and not complaining that it's better somewhere else, or blah blah blah.

apologies if this is long and a little bleh, but it is quite nice to know somebody makes it doing what he needs to do and still is a human.

Theworldwalk24 karma

Yea man, appreciate it. I tried learning Spanish before this and it didn't go anywhere. I'm sure once you're in China, and if you're practicing there too, you'll pick it up in no time.

Rocky_Bukkake10 karma

that's what i think. and i think i'll like it there too. what a lovely post.

hum. what place has the nicest beach so far? and what do you think of the further future, maybe meeting aussies or thai?

Theworldwalk12 karma

I stayed a week at Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica (not the famous Playa Hermosa, one more northern and secluded). That was incredible. Also, though the beaches of Mexico were fantastic.

therealnilesstandish45 karma

Don't your feet hurt?

Theworldwalk74 karma

When my shoes start wearing flat, oh yes.

BZ-B18 karma

What shoes do you wear? Also, tell us the shiv story.

Theworldwalk16 karma

Just answered the shiv story! Somewhere below.

SmokingPopes45 karma

What country are you most excited to get to? Most afraid?

Also, how or did you cross the Darien Gap?

Theworldwalk69 karma

I was most concerned about Honduras. Thankfully I was able to cross it in five days without incident.

Most excited for Uruguay and Croatia. I have cousins in both places that I can't wait to know better.

And the Darien Gap, skipped over that - took a plane from Panama City to Bogotá. Karl Bushby might be able to handle that swamp-jungle, but not me.

pkchang237 karma

How was Bogota? Was the altitude harsh? Did you manage to get a lot of help from the locals?

Theworldwalk27 karma

Bogotá is massive with loads of different districts. I stayed with a friend for a month and loved it. The altitude wasn't so bad, I didn't notice it actually.

People always surprise me. I'm invited in for meals, given water, offered a place to sleep. Most generosity happens when I'm on a long stretch of dry road, I'll get a lot of people offering me rides or given me drinks.

smokeNtoke19 karma

Do you take the rides?

Theworldwalk10 karma

I've taken two rides (beside the airplane). One over a bridge in Texas and another through a place I was warned off in Colombia.

briandeli9931 karma

Tom - Glad to see you doing this again - I missed the last one.
How has the food been? What's the weirdest, or most unique meal you've had the pleasure (or displeasure) of eating on this journey?
HT forever!

Theworldwalk22 karma

Weirdest meal was recent, cuy (guinea pig). It wasn't the greatest thing I ever had, but I got it from a pretty shabby place so not sure it was the best example of it.

donhoang1430 karma

I remember in your last AMA people were freaking out about Savannah. They were making comments about how difficult it will be to have the proper paperwork for her and that you'll have to abandon her at some point.

I'm very happy that it's working out and that she's having the journey of a dog's lifetime! I don't know how difficult it could've been to get the paperwork done. Was it difficult at all? What were some of the obstacles you ran into? Any advice on how to bring your dog over multiple borders?

Also I live in Amsterdam so if you ever make it over here, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help!

Theworldwalk36 karma

The paperwork was just a matter of time at the vet. The most important paper, The International Certificate of Health, had to be sent away for. It took a few weeks to get approved for, was mailed to my home in New Jersey, then my parents sent it down to me in Mexico. With that and the rabies vaccination paper bordering crossing has been fairly seamless.

Panama was the only country that took longer than a few minutes. Even there though there was never a question of Savannah getting in. We just had to jump through loads of bureaucratic hoops. It took about four hours.

Advice, I'd say hold on to every paper you get if you pass through other countries. Rabies vaccination paper is an absolute must. Also, have a printout of all your pets past vaccinations.

Awesome! I'm pumped to get to Europe, hope to make it to Amsterdam!

firstcitytrap27 karma

Hey Tom, Loving the pictures you post!

  1. Have you been running into many Eagles fans down in SA?

  2. People ask about your favorite countries you've been too but what have been your least favorite?

I always see the amount of miles you cover and I can help but think of the soldiers during the Civil War that often marched 20+ miles per day. Very inspiring man so keep on keeping on! Go Birds!

Theworldwalk30 karma

I run into guys wearing Eagles caps all the time but they never have any idea what the Eagle represents.

I don't think I have a least favorite, each country has aspects I like and aspects I dislike. When I was in Costa Rica I hated it, the humidity was maddening and I'd bought shoes that were too small. The country itself though, outside of walking, is incredible - super clean, loads of protected land, friendly people.

I'm averaging about twenty-four miles a day now! It took me a year but I've caught up to them! Thanks man! Go Birds!

Donutsndrums24 karma

Hi Tom, I follow on Facebook, and always look forward to seeing your updates.

Have you ever had to fight thoughts of giving up?

What's the most sketchy/scariest situation you've encountered?

Theworldwalk55 karma

Glad you're following!

No real thoughts of giving up. I've been thinking about this since I was seventeen and couldn't (don't want to) imagine doing anything else. There are parts that suck, steep mountains, brutal humidity, but at the top of the mountains are great views and once the humidity breaks it's like having a weight vest removed.

Sketchiest/scariest situation was probably the Mexican border. I passed through Reynosa, it was my first border crossing. It's a very dusty place. Everyone told me not to trust anyone. People were saying I was nuts for walking through there, they didn't even walk there. One night I slept about a mile from where a bus of tourist was hijacked in the night. It was very tense for about four days. Beyond a immigration checkpoint through the mood relaxed, people stopped warning me off walking, and the landscape was a bit greener.

pizzatoppings8813 karma

Wait. You saw a bus full of tourists get hijacked? Any idea what happened to the tourists?

Theworldwalk22 karma

No, I didn't see them. A man told me about it the next day. Everyone was robbed, but no one was hurt.

miketheboss23 karma

Hey Tom! Been following you on Facebook. I've got a few questions:

1) Have you had any close calls where you didn't properly ration food or supplies as you head into a remote area?

2) With all that time to yourself, i'm sure you have a lot of time to think. What kind of stuff do you find yourself constantly thinking about?

3) What are your plans once you complete your journey? Are you worried about acclimating back into American society?

Theworldwalk49 karma

Yo Mike,

  1. In Mexico, after Veracruz, there was a stretch of road unexpectedly barren. There wasn't any there for two days and the land was dry, nearly ran out of water.

  2. I've thought about my life from every which angle, resolved any bad memories I had. Now I'm mostly thinking about what the road is like ahead, Spanish, taking photos...

  3. Not sure yet. Hopefully a cabin in the woods.

justanotherdudebro15 karma

Now that you are more than a year into your walk, do you feel like it has been about what you were expecting as far as your personal experience is concerned? It's just such a monumental goal (walk around the world), but broken down into the daily parts of just getting up and going, I'm wondering how the reality of it meshes up with the dream. Love following you on Instagram, best of luck and good health to you and Savannah.

Theworldwalk27 karma

Thanks dudebro!

Yea, it's strange, before leaving the walk was a giant, singular idea. As I walked further and further the idea was broken apart into the new places I was learning. Now it's been broken down so much that I rarely think of it all at once. I just get up and walk, chip away a little more.

semaj3515 karma

Hey Tom! I've been loving your daily Instagram updates. I see your shout-outs to Philadelphia Sign. Could you tell me more about who they are and how they've helped you? Also, how do you balance caring for Savannah and exploring (when you're not walking)?

Theworldwalk34 karma

Thanks dude. Philadelphia Sign makes those massive storefront signs for Wells Fargo, Target and the like. The owner and ceo is from the same town as me. I went to school with two of his sons. They give me a bit of money every two weeks, not a ton, but enough to keep going. Savannah is with me just about every minute of everyday. If I'm in a city and have an AirBnb or a hotel sometimes I leave her behind for an hour or two but that's about it.

2boredtocare12 karma

Do you think it will be possible to finish your journey and be satisfied being tied down to one place when you come back home? I feel like once I was able to truly be a free spirit like that, there's nothing that would pull me back in to "normal" living. (And imagine Savannah's reaction! "Dude...come on, we got miles to cover!"

Also..what do you do when you encounter really bad weather in the middle of nowhere?

Theworldwalk7 karma

Haha Savannah is already restless. We'll finish a thirty mile a day and she's still running around. A static life won't be easier for her. As far as me, I don't know. The road is great, but there are also things I can't do while walking. Being static would allow me to develop skills and research things I'm interested in. I could go to the library. I think I'll adjust alright (I hope so at least).

I have waterproof shoes, rain pants, and a rain jacket. I strap those on and push through. It's not fun and the miles pass slow in the rain, but when you have no option you keep walking.

FanOfGoodMovies12 karma

How do take care of your feet?

Theworldwalk19 karma

Don't let my shoes wear too flat and wear good socks.

Mountainriver03712 karma

Hi Tom, please have some excellent luck going forward!

What would you say are your 3 most useful pieces of gear you carry?

Theworldwalk27 karma

Leatherman - I've used it for so many varied things: hammering in tent stakes, fixing my cart, snapping off and replacing zippers. An absolute necessity.

Hat with a neck cover - It makes such a huge difference to have the neck covered when walking in the sun. Without it I'd be overheating.

Camelbak - Not a necessity, but with it I don't have to stop every time I want a sip of water.

NZPIEFACE11 karma

What were your fondest experiences so far?

I think it's amazing that someone could do this, keep on going!

Theworldwalk52 karma

I have fond memories from all over. I really loved Lake Atitlan in Guatemala though. It remains the most beautiful place I've ever been. When I crested a mountain and saw the lake, surrounded by volcanoes, I yelled and whooped. I'd never been so struck by a sight before, just absurdly, inexplicably beautiful.

I stayed at a hostel on the lake for two weeks. Each morning I went for a walk at sunrise to take in the lake. During the day I went to Spanish lessons. And at night I hung out with the other international travelers. There were a bunch of dogs for Savannah to play with too.

Those were a good two weeks for sure.

TheMexicanJuan11 karma

How do you finance your trip ?

Theworldwalk22 karma

Saved for years and years, then thankfully got the support of Philadelphia Sign who gives me some money every two weeks.

Theworldwalk10 karma

I saved for years, but thankfully Philadelphia Sign sponsors me now. They give me a little money every two weeks, enough to keep going.

Yonsuo11 karma

I asked my girlfriend last night if she'd be interested in touring Europe exclusivley on-foot and she sort of cringed at the idea of so much walking. Is there some sort of threshold you get through after so long that transcends the tiresome nature of walking all day? Similar to when you run and after so long it just becomes methodical?

This is a very cool and inspiring thing you are doing, by the way!

Theworldwalk5 karma

The first month was really tough adjusting, but now I don't even feel the first fifteen miles I walk everyday, then during the second half of the day I know I only have a few miles left and that pulls me through.

Cheapliquid11 karma

When you get back to town id love to buy you a beer. Have you had any of your buddies meet you out on your travels?

Theworldwalk26 karma

That'd be dope! Yup, in Texas, Bogotá, and soon another friend coming to Lima, Perú. Seeing them helps the moral tremendously.

PM_ME_YOUR_BEERBELLY10 karma

This is such a great idea, I wish you the best of luck on your incredible journey!

My only question: what have you been reading on the road?

Theworldwalk19 karma

Thanks!

Right now I'm working my way through the Bourne Trilogy, on the last book now. They're not remotely like the movies, it's incredible.

otepp10 karma

Hey Tom! I love keeping up with your travels, dude. Do you have an iPod or music on a phone that you travel with? If so, what are some of your favorite tunes to walk to?

Theworldwalk27 karma

Definitely, too many hours on the road not to.

EDM when there's traffic. Mostly Ray LaMontagne and Willie Nelson when it's a quiet road.

bco_uknow10 karma

Have you come across and gorillas wearing ties on your journey? And is it true that when you are feeling drained you can simply press down+B to restore your energy?

Theworldwalk26 karma

You know, I keep a bat on me for those gorillas. Down+B can work, but generally I prefer my yo-yo to keep damage at bay.

neal18901110 karma

Hey Tom it's a friend from HT, what do you miss most about home or even the country? (Outside of the obvious family/friends)

Theworldwalk21 karma

Grocery stores...they're everywhere in the states...never take them for granted! Sometimes not hitting a city for weeks my supply of food gets real low and the only food around are chips or snacks from little shops.

lost_in_life_349 karma

Are you planning on visiting North Korea?

Theworldwalk22 karma

Not planning on it, but who knows?

PureSmoulder9 karma

What places in Asia are you planning to visit?

Theworldwalk16 karma

Some of the Stans, China and Japan - the route is subject to change though.

mrshatnertoyou9 karma

Has your walk overall fulfilled what you hoped it would or has it become something else entirely?

Theworldwalk26 karma

It's definitely fulfilled a need to escape. I'm sure everyone has the feeling of being somewhere and wanting to just be gone, to just be away. Well I'm gone, I'm a stranger everywhere I go. It's nice to be free of those social pressures. I pass through some of these places like a ghost.

The walk is both the same and changed. It's no longer in my head, but being lived out now. The details are being filled in. It's an adventure. I don't really expect anything from it, I get up an walk and see what happens.

dontwanttosleep9 karma

Are you tired yet?

Theworldwalk12 karma

After a week of twenty-four mile days I'm exhausted. Always the energy to walk though.

westla_throwaway9 karma

Is your middle name Arthur?

My dad's name was Tom (Thomas) Turcich. He's from New York and had ties in Texas. He died in 1999. I grew up in Texas and currently live in California.

Dad?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Not Arthur. Incredible there's another Tom Turcich though. I thought me and my dad were the only ones.

Fastfashionguy8 karma

Hey Tom, this is fantastic and I'm incredibly envious of your journeys. Out of curiosity, what are your answers on the below questions:

  1. What country have you found to be most receptive of you being an American.
  2. How many different forms of currency do you possess right now?
  3. Which country are you looking forward to the most in exploring?

Theworldwalk11 karma

Costa Rica essentially has a tourist economy, they also have a varied population of people, so walking through there (beside pushing a baby carriage everywhere) I didn't feel out of place at all.

Ha. I should possess more, I foolishly discarded a lot of my coins back in Panama to cut weight. I still some currency from Panama and Colombia though. I'll save a coin from every country from here on out.

Exploring, hmm...Perú should be interesting. It was a picture of Karl Busby in the desert of Perú that really stuck the idea of walking around the world in my mind. Perú is extremely dry along the coast. It'll be a challenge I haven't faced before.

jryanmonty8 karma

Hi Tom,

What is the best meal you have eaten? What country's cuisine has impressed you the most?

Thanks and Godspeed!

Theworldwalk43 karma

Oh man, so many good meals. I've always loved steak and since leaving the U.S. and proper steak was hard to find. All the beef was matted down to thin strips. But in Granada, Nicaragua, I found a great steak house/cigar bar run by an American couple. I had one ribeye, savored it with a glass of red wine, then ordered another. My body was so in need of a hearty meal and I'd been daydreaming about a good steak for months.

Mexico! Phenomenal everywhere.

TheSheeshKabob7 karma

Hey Tom I really enjoy your Instagram pictures and have been following your journey for about 9 months. My question, what do you use to take the pictures?

I find them very enjoyable and beautiful, and they're also very high in quality. You should consider a career in photography!

Theworldwalk10 karma

Thanks! I've been using a Nikon D5300 with the stock lens and my Nexus 5x. I'm really enjoy learning photography, it's a perfect hobby on the road. Sometimes though I'll see a shot but it's just too hot or I'm too tired to take it, I try not to let that happen too much though.

tjgamir7 karma

Wow! I just found about about you and I'm inspired! I'm going to start following your travels now. Traveling the whole world and stepping on every country is on my bucket list, and you're doing the same thing (I guess you won't go to some countries only accessible by air/sea travel [this is just me saying I want you to come to the Philippines lol])... and with Savannah! Anyway, my questions are:

  1. What's in your bag? Do you have something special that you brought from home, perhaps something like a good luck charm or one thing you cannot live without?
  2. Have you met a friend on your travels who you would like to talk to constantly after you finish your adventure?
  3. How do you catch up on news about your family? On tv shows you watch?
  4. What do you usually do when walking in a very secluded place? Listening to music, podcasts, talking on the phone?
  5. So far, what country has the nicest people?

Idea - make a map of your entire trek, or even a book after you finish. I for sure will buy it.

Theworldwalk18 karma

Awesome! All the best!

  1. I have two sentimental items with me. First, an Eagles hat. Second, a 220 yard dash medal from 1938. It's my neighbor's. He died last summer at ninety-two. I used to go over his house all the time and we'd listen to big band, argue about politics. He got an ipad and he'd never used the internet before so I actually had to explain what the internet is! At first he couldn't comprehend what a hyperlink on Google was. I had him playing Skyward Sword to which was great because he didn't have the energy to walk much anymore but could still go on an adventure. Anyway, he was just a great guy and a great friend so I carry the medal with me to remind me of him.

  2. Definitely, a few gents on their own grand adventure.

  3. When I'm in wifi I use Whatsapp to call the rents. I usually manage once a week or so. I only Netflix so when I have a hotel room I binge.

  4. Not talking on the phone, I did that in the states, but too expensive internationally. I listen to loads of podcasts. Dan Carlin, This American Life, Reply All, etc. If I'm in a very secluded place though it's nice not to have my earbuds in and just listen to the birds whistling.

  5. The most openly friendly El Salvador and Colombia I'd say, though everyone as been nice everywhere. In Ecuador I've felt the safest.

And I like the ideas!

pjmcflur7 karma

Who is the most interesting person you have randomly met and why?

What is the coolest piece of art you have seen on your travels?

I've been a nomad most most life. Kudos to you for making it world wide! I've driven most of America but haven't left the states yet.

Theworldwalk10 karma

The first two questions have the same answer. I met this guy in Virginia who was homeless growing up and now worked at Safelite replacing windshields. He lived in a little bungalow and used windshields as a canvas to paint on. The tiny bungalow was covered in paint.

And sounds incredible, America is a big enough place to spend a life in!

malcom_the_tenth7 karma

Hi Tom! Thanks for doing this!

  1. How do you protect yourself from potential thieves/robbers? You mentioned the incident in Panama City, are you worried something like that could happen again?

  2. What piece of advice would you have for someone who potentially wants to do something similar in the future?

Best of luck with your journey!

Theworldwalk33 karma

I have a knife and mace if it comes to it, but it's probably best not to use them. Savannah helps the most, I think, ward off would-be thieves. I'm not too concerned actually, it doesn't do any good to worry about it. The vast majority of people are friendly and if I were to start seeing evil around every corner I'd be emotionally drained in no time.

I'd say just stay the course. Keep moving towards it. Taking many small actions makes the difference over a large period of time.

drunkenknight96 karma

What is your general route plan? You mentioned seven continents so when will you tackle Antarctica and what part of it will you visit?

Theworldwalk13 karma

Yup, so along the west coast of south America then across to Uruguay. From Uruguay I'll take a boat to Antarctica, plant my feet on it, then head back. Then it's to Europe, north Africa, up into Russia, across China, along the south coast of Australia, then across the continental US.

rspownz6 karma

Big props to you for taking on such an incredible journey. My question would have to be, have you ever ran across any dangerous animals?

Theworldwalk9 karma

I nearly walked into a gator down on a in Louisiana, but it took off. Then in Costa Rica Savannah fought off some shadowy creature about her size at two in the morning. I didn't catch a good glimpse of what it was.

smellyshrimp6 karma

Do you plan to cross the ocean? If so, how? Boat? Plane? Edit: this may seem like a silly question but I meant it seriously.

Theworldwalk12 karma

Yup, plane, maybe boat.

thespd6 karma

How hard is it to use the bathroom, especially #2, on a daily basis?

Theworldwalk24 karma

There are always woods somewhere.

tabachoi935 karma

Hi Tom, any shoes you might want to recommend?

Theworldwalk8 karma

Brooks Cascadia - love, love, love them. I'm super prone to blisters but they're exceedingly rare with the Cascadias.

SubTachyon5 karma

Hey, I want to do a long walk myself at some point (maybe not 5 year long) do you mind me asking about the physical effects on your body? How many kilometers/miles a day do you walk in average? What sort of shoes and gear do you carry?

I heard other people say (3+ months of walking with all the necessary gear) that it takes a toll on your knees, joints and feet to the point where they were in some ways glad it was over when it was over.

Cheers and if you make it to central Europe and are looking for a place to crash do let me know. :)

Theworldwalk10 karma

Very cool. And not at all.

In the beginning the physical toll was much greater than it is today. When I started I was walking fifteen miles a day and my legs were throbbing and cramping. Now I'll do thirty miles somedays and with stretching at night I'm good to go the next day. Stretching is crucial. If you're walking everyday, stretch every night, it'll help big time.

Since I'm walking roads I just wear sneakers - mostly Brooks Cascadia to be exact. Gear, lots of things, tent, sleeping pad, inflatable pillow, water filter, dromedary bags, leatherman, headlamp, rain jacket, rain pants.

Yea, I don't know about walking with a huge backpack. I actually push a baby carriage to avoid that exact problem. I have a daypack with a Camelbak but that's all I keep on my back.

Thanks man! Cheers and good luck!

JimboYokimbo4 karma

Do you regret not waiting for Pokemon Go to come out?

Theworldwalk15 karma

No time like the present.

toomuchcommoncents4 karma

Do you have an other sponsors other than Philadelphia Sign? If so who are they?

Theworldwalk5 karma

WildFire Radio. They support my site. They run some podcasts and do website design. Great guys working there, they supported me before I even took a step.

GenericBlurb3 karma

I recently had the pleasure to meet Ben Davis, a guy who is similarly looking for an adventure by walking across the United States. He told me a story about a time he ran into a very strange family in the Midwest that opened their house to him. What's the strangest thing you've encountered on your journey? What's your biggest regret and your most rewarding moment?

Theworldwalk6 karma

Very cool. The strangest thing for me was being invited into a Georgian man's home. He revealed to me he "used" to be a drug addict and was molested as a kid. His home was lit by a single red lamp and his sister sat in a lounge chair totally zonked on Xanax.

Not many regrets, things have worked out pretty well so far.

Most rewarding moment would have to be when I was in Panama. I used to open Google Maps multiple times a day just to see my little blue dot on the land bridge that is Panama and think, "I walked here." That was a great feeling.

Heyahowsitgoing3 karma

What would you say your most vital piece of equipment you have with you is?

Theworldwalk8 karma

Leatherman, by far. Used for so many thing, well worth its weight.

cran3 karma

I would like to know where in the hell is Matt?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Dancing in his head.

JihadDerp3 karma

What kind of shoes do you wear? Any injuries along the way?

Theworldwalk4 karma

Brooks Cascadia mostly, I have a friend who works for them and sends me pairs when he can.

Some injuries, tight muscles, lost toenails, loads and loads of blisters, but nothing serious, just things to push through.

godsenfrik2 karma

When you did your first AMA a lot of people were really skeptical that you would make it even through Mexico, and especially because of the fact that you were bringing a dog. Do you have anything to say to those doubters now?

Theworldwalk12 karma

The U.S. is a corporatized, rule-based society. I think of a guy working a retail job who's decisions are made for him by sweeping, company regulations, there's no haggling because the price was set by someone ten levels above him. The rules are in print and can't be bent or broken. So I think there's a certain mindset as an American that rules are immutable. And when reading the regulations of border crossing with an animal on a state website there's a bullet point list of requirements. In actuality though the bullet point list doesn't exist. When I arrive at a border sometimes Savannah isn't even acknowledged. However, when paperwork is needed a rabies vaccination paper and international health certificate have always proved sufficient.

I understand why everyone was freaking out, they were being protective.

Killerko2 karma

hey man, why walking when you could ride a bicycle? :)

Theworldwalk4 karma

If I'd found a man who'd bicycled around the world when I was seventeen I might be on a bike haha

wartywarlock2 karma

Do you regret not waiting until PokemonGO had cone out to do this walk?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Haha I regret not having a huge battery in my backpack to play the entire time I'm walking. I'd certainly be a Pokémaster.

RondaArousedMe1 karma

How is it that you are able to travel with enough food and water to sustain two lives? You and Savanah that is.

Good luck and safe travels to you folks!

Theworldwalk3 karma

Just a little extra weight in the cart. Thankfully dog food can be found everywhere. I bring a bag with me until I'm running low then buy another.

Savannah drinks roughly forty-eight ounces of water a day, I drink roughly two to three liters (depending on the heat), so I try to keep that amount as an absolute minimum and fill up when I come to a good source.

RunninOnStalin1 karma

Hi Tom! Been following you since the first AMA and I'm very inspired by your story.

Of the countries you've been to so far, which has been your favorite? And of the countries you're set to visit, to which are you most looking forward?

Thank you for your work and for inspiring many every day.

Theworldwalk2 karma

Thanks Runnin

Guatemala has probably been my favorite, but each country has its different aspects that I love. Guatemala was just incredibly gorgeous though. The mountains made for terrible walking, but everyday it was view after view after view.

And looking forward to Uruguay the most right now. I have cousins there and can't wait to get to know them better.

antondlt1 karma

This may sound like a silly question, but when you say walking the world, when you transfer from continent to continent or country to country, do you take the ship or do you travel by plane?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Not a silly question at all! I'll transfer continent by boat or place, yes. I took a place from Panama City to Bogotá to jump over the Darien Gap.

MelissaMcLarney1 karma

Hey Tom! Enjoying following your incredible journey and seeing the photos of places most of us can only dream of. Some of my questions have been answered already but if you could have brought one thing with you that you didn't what would it be? Oh and are there Pokemon in South America? :)

Theworldwalk1 karma

I lost my Eagles cap, then bought one off an old man but it's pretty worn. I would have brought an extra haha. And I haven't downloaded Pokemon Go! I want to, any maybe I will, but I don't think I can afford the battery usage.

kp24121 karma

When and where will you be coming down to India? Have a great trip around the world. I wish I could travel the world one day like that.

Also, did you ever have a moment or what was the one moment where you just stood, looked around your surroundings with a huge smile and said, fuck.. I'm crazy, but this is amazing?

Theworldwalk5 karma

As of now the plan is actually to go north into Russia rather than south to India, so won't be passing through there.

Oh yes, haha all the time. Just the other night I was set up for the evening in this tiny town, watching the locals play soccer, and I thought "How the hell did I get here?" Such a small, random place, but I was so glad to be there.

curtian1 karma

Tom,

Someone already touched on your thoughts on religion. Besides that, have you had any deep or insightful emotional experiences during your trek?

Theworldwalk2 karma

You know, this is something I think about a lot while walking. After AnneMarie died I seemed to have profound thought after profound thought. Now I don't though. I think the foundations of my beliefs have been settled and now I'm adding in smaller pieces. I learn little lessons and integrate them as best I can.

However, I've had many emotional moments. There have been times it was so hot and the walking was so difficult I thought I was losing my mind. Other times, walking somewhere beautiful and not under much physical stress, I'll think how fortunate I am and what a strange life I'm living.

RedditDMB1 karma

Hi, started following you on IG since your last Reddit ama.

Couple questions: 1- gorgeous pics, are they taken on your iPhone or a camera? 2- do you have to worry about your cart and stuff in it getting stolen? 3-anymore plans for any friends or family to meet up with you again besides the one instance I recall? 4-do you have to resort to finding food for you and Savannah, ala survivor man style, ex berries, etc? 5-how does your back hold out on you with the unconventional sleeping and all that walking?

Best wishes for the rest of your journey!

Theworldwalk1 karma

Thanks! I go back and forth between a Nikon D5300 and my Nexus 5x.

I keep the cart in my sight nearly all the time. When I sit in a restaurant I take the window seat with a view of the cart.

I have a friend coming to Lima actually. I'll take some time off walking and we're gonna road trip Perú.

No Survivor Man necessary thankfully. There are always places to eat along the road.

Ooo, back is good and bad. Steep downhill walking can really do a number on the lower back for a few days. Overall though my back feels better than it ever has. All the walking has my posture pretty good.

Tiago921 karma

tom what kind of money does it take to sustain your journey?

Theworldwalk2 karma

I probably spend an average of $10-15 a day.

jenkemsmoker1 karma

Hey Tom, your story is truly incredible and inspiring. I am curious, what is the most frightening experience you have had so far?

Theworldwalk2 karma

The incident with the shiv was pretty frightening...I posted about it somewhere else in the AMA. And Colombia was an oddly frightening place, it seemed to possess two different personalities. The people were some of the friendliest I've come across, everyone smiles and says hello. At the same time though, most people (especially the older generation), talk about how dangerous the country is and how it's full of thieves.

I didn't have any problems while in Colombia, and like I said everyone was so friendly, but there was also an undercurrent of fear. I found myself looking over my shoulder more than in most other places.

Reck_yo1 karma

Are you planning on walking through the middle eastern countries?

If not, why not?

Theworldwalk2 karma

Nope, I'll be heading north to Russia and Kazakstan. It's either north or south and Russia holds more mystery for me.

EL_H_P0 karma

Are you playing PokemonGo?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Not yet...maybe when I post up in Lima for a few weeks.