My short bio: What's up Reddit?!

Over two years ago I left my home in New Jersey to embark on a five year, seven continent trek around the world. In Texas I adopted a dog, Savannah, and we’ve been walking together ever since. I’ve been walking for 687 days and have covered 9600 miles over fifteen countries. Currently I’m in Dublin, about to take on Europe and North Africa.

My previous AMA was a year ago and I was in Macará, Ecuador. From Ecuador I walked through desert for months (and nearly lost my mind), did ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle, climbed to 15,000 feet to cross the Andes, and stumbled upon the Argentinian Carnival. After South America I took a ship to Antarctica where I took a plunge in the icy waters and kayaked beside humpbacks.

Savannah was four months old when I adopted her. When she was a pup I pushed her in my cart. Now she’ll walk thirty miles a day and still be running around at night. In Central and South America it was fairly easy crossing borders with her. To get her into Europe we spent a month in New Jersey doing her paperwork (which is easier now than it used to be apparently). I’ve spent nearly every minute of every day with her since adopting her. She’s my best friend and a great watch dog at night.

As to why I'm walking around the world, I had a friend, Anne Marie, 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 and 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 Anne Marie 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 write a weekly blog post.

If you’d like to support the walk check out my patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/theworldwalk

Also, here's an infographic which shows some highlights of my first two years.

My Proof

Edit: That's it for me my friends! Thanks for all the support. I hope I was able to give you a better idea of what life is like walking 8 hours a day. All the best, Reddit!

Comments: 1924 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

blazedTraplord1631 karma

Hey Tom been following for almost two years now, since you got savannah, really enjoyed your story so far. Will you come to the city of Nuremberg, bavaria, when in Germany? If so hit me up 😊 save travels!

Theworldwalk1039 karma

I don't think I'm going to make it to Germany unfortunately. I will absolutely get there one day though!

And thanks for following so long! Glad you're enjoying it!

fLeXaN_tExAn1244 karma

Does Savannah ever give you the look of "where the hell are we going, anyway?" Surely she must be confused as to why she's always on the move. By the way, thanks for the Reddit update. I don't do those other sites but remember the beginning of your trek vividly!

Theworldwalk906 karma

Haha less than you would think. She's determined as hell when we're walking. Usually she's pulling on me.

And of course! It's awesome you've been following for so long!

nyrangersallday1075 karma

Do your feet hurt?

Theworldwalk1368 karma

In the wrong shoes...so much.

kittenpantzen468 karma

What are the best shoes you've found so far?

Theworldwalk932 karma

Still Brooks Cascadia. They have a new Goretex version too which fit just the same.

thatwasnotkawaii113 karma

Do you aim to grow a Forrest Gump beard?

Theworldwalk184 karma

I wish. My beard gets so patchy.

tells_eternity618 karma

For Europe, do you intend to go through every country/how long do you expect this leg to take?

Been following along on Instagram!

Theworldwalk912 karma

I actually still not 100% certain on my route through Europe yet. Right now it looks like the UK, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. I think that should be a little under a year. Unless I find a quiet beach town to stay at for a few months...

Fatete340 karma

Just a heads up, look like the Algeria-Morocco border is closed: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algeria%E2%80%93Morocco_relations

Theworldwalk352 karma

Thanks for the heads up! I had a friend tell me the same a few months back. The plan is ferry to Spain then ferry to the other country.

Nuclear_Night588 karma

Would like to do something similar, but I'm still young (16) How much has it cost you so far?

Also, do you miss home

Edit: Cheers for the reply, I guess I could do a smaller version, Thanks for your time talking about this, It has inspired me :D

Theworldwalk840 karma

You have time. :) I'd guess minus the Antarctica trip I've spent 12-14k a year. Sometimes I miss home, but when I get into wifi a good conversation is only a skype call away.

KittehAmaz513 karma

Among all the questions mentioned here, there's one that needs to be known by all: is Savannah a good girl? Do help me tell her that she's a good girl. 🐶

Theworldwalk512 karma

Who's a good girl?!

uiet112480 karma

How did Savannah fare in the desert? What was the greatest overall difficulty of the desert for you?

Theworldwalk1301 karma

Savannah did well in the desert. In north Peru it actually wasn't too hot, then in Lima I had her hair trimmed so she wasn't holding in too much heat.

The greatest difficulty of the desert was probably the solitude. There were times where I felt like I was going insane. My mind was as blank as the landscape. It seemed I thought every thought.

But at other times the solitude was magical. Like throwing my tarp under the stars at night and everything being perfectly quiet. Those were nice nights.

Dr_EG480 karma

I've been following you for the last year, very inspiring!!! What's the biggest challenge in having Savannah with you? Also, what's HER biggest challenge? Thanks for doing this AMA! :)

Theworldwalk848 karma

There aren't very many. Paperwork for crossing borders just takes a little consideration. And every once and a while it'll be hard to find a hotel to accept her, but in South and Central America I was always able to convince someone to let her in.

Her biggest challenge was Honduras I think. It was super hot and her paws cracked. I put antibiotics in the cracks and kept her paws in the booties for a few days. Since then though her paws have been like stones.

developeire465 karma

You're in Dublin? Fancy a pint?

Theworldwalk413 karma

Always

ThePlayfulPython454 karma

Greetings Tom!

Would you be so kind as to elaborate about the time a man woke you up with a machete in Honduras?

Theworldwalk1783 karma

Yeah haha

So I was only in Honduras for five days. Every night but the last I slept in a hotel room. The last night there was nothing around, but I found this two story watchtower-type structure and decided that would be a good place to hide.

I hid my cart then climbed to the second story. All was well and the view of the valley below was incredible. As I started dozing off lights of a truck turned onto the watchtower. Then there were voices and someone coming up the ladder.

I stood. A second later there was a silhouette across from me of a man with a machete. A moment of quiet felt like a very long time, then the silhouette laughed and yelled down to his friend, "It's just a gringo!"

He stepped forward and I saw it was an older man. After rattling off the fastest Spanish I've ever spoken, he said I was fine, but that someone had stolen some cows the night before so he was on high alert. He unfurled this hidden bed and said he was going to stay the night.

I offered him oreos and went to bed figuring have a guy with a machete on my side meant I was safe for the night.

Debater3301428 karma

Hi Tom! I think it's really cool that you are walking all around the world. What's the coolest piece of nature you've seen, and what's the coolest human-made structure you've seen so far? Do you have any plans related to this walk once you are done with it? Thanks!

Theworldwalk695 karma

Hey Debater3301!

The Paramo in Colombia between La Plata Huila and Popayan was gob-smacking. I felt like I was walking through the spirit realm for three days.

Then a few weeks later I came to Las Lajas Sanctuary which is like something out of LOTR. A river-spanning church which they light up at night. Just insane.

No plans just yet. Hopes sure, but trying to see this walk through first!

trexeric318 karma

How much of a language barrier have you faced while traveling? Has that ever caused much difficulty for you?

Theworldwalk444 karma

In Central America it was a little difficult. I was never completely useless in Spanish, but it was isolating not being able to connect on a deeper level with people. It'll be interesting in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia where I won't have the time in each country to pick up much of the language.

ProfessorGigs296 karma

Tom! I'm an avid follower on Facebook, and you've inspired me to do some long-distance walking myself - I want to walk across each of the 50 states before I turn 50 years old (my latest being Connecticut).

Have there been times during The World Walk where you've felt stuck uncertain, or in trouble? How did you cope?

Theworldwalk347 karma

Dude. That's an amazing journey! Mad respect. I'm 100% certain you'll reach you'll goal far earlier than 50.

The worst of my doubt came in South Peru and Chile. The desert was really wearing on me and I missed the hell out of my family. Every conversation I had with the locals just felt so pointless. There was never any thought of giving in though. I knew with enough time my mood would turn for the better, just a rough patch.

brotherxandepuss197 karma

Do you walk in silence or listen to music/podcasts/books on tape/etc?

Theworldwalk315 karma

I walk in silence a lot. I like walking in silence for about an hour in the morning. By then I've usually woken up even for music or a podcast. Then I'll probably listen to something for a few hours and stop when the sound gets annoying.

mrdeeds23195 karma

What do your meals consist of? Do you keep a cooler of any sort on your cart? Did you ever have any problems in certain countries getting dog food for Savannah?

Theworldwalk348 karma

If I don't come across any restaurants or small stores, a typical day would be a pbj or some sort of bar for breakfast, lots of nuts and snacks during the day, then two pbjs for dinner. I had my stove stolen in Guatemala and didn't get another until Argentina. In Argentina I started making a good amount of soup and pasta.

I don't have any cooler. And dog food has been incredibly easy to get a hold of. Even in the most remote towns there are dogs and dog food. Sometimes it was just a guy with a massive bag of dog food selling it in smaller bags.

CalDY23193 karma

Has doing the walk impacted any of your relationships in any serious way at all? Can't imagine it'd be easy sometimes, being away from everyone for so long.

Love your page, cheers :)

Theworldwalk305 karma

The Walk has been almost nothing but positive. I'm walking and turning over thoughts all day. I have a lot of time to appreciate everything my family and friends have done for me. Also, being away from everyone for two years made me appreciate them that much more.

And thanks! Cheers :)

to_deffers179 karma

This AMA is the first I've heard of you, but I'll be following your journey now:)

Do you believe that what you're doing would be safe for a female? Have you ever encountered a situation that has made you fearful?

Theworldwalk231 karma

I've been asked this a few times and really I'm not sure. I think being a female is a very different experience than being a male. I know women have walked around the world before though. Polly Letofsky would be the one to ask!

https://www.pollyletofsky.com/

I've had a few scary encounters, but less than you'd imagine. Most people are good.

dankwizard69420179 karma

How do you cross the seas?

Theworldwalk334 karma

Fly

recreationAtion174 karma

What place has the best bathrooms?

Theworldwalk323 karma

Machu Picchu. At least they did. I overheard a guide talking about the bathrooms and holy cow did those things have a view.

BearBong149 karma

Been following you for years now! Journey looks incredible! Thanks for sharing it.

Question: what's been your worst or craziest encounter with wildlife while on your World Walk?

Theworldwalk316 karma

Thanks for following!

I haven't had any encounters too insane. The most memorable was probably in Costa Rica. I woke in my tent in a palm forest and when I sat up there was a tarantula on the other side of my bug net, literally an inch from my eye. In an instant I punched that thing as hard as I could and it went flying out of sight.

KevinC91973 karma

Hi Tom,

I am originally from Cherry Hill, NJ and have really enjoyed following your amazing journey! I love your photography and would like to know how to purchase some shots. Please let me know if there is anyway I could to do so in person in the South Jersey area. Safe travels!!

Theworldwalk97 karma

Hey Kev!

I have some prints for sale here: https://society6.com/theworldwalk

gjbbb149 karma

I would like to hear about Savannah - specifically how would you describe your relationship with your canine friend after spending every hour of every day together? Is there some type of deep understanding or bond formed, do you communicate well? When Trek is over will you keep him/her?

Theworldwalk509 karma

Sav and I are totally synched up. She listens to my slightest command. She is exactly the dog she needs to be. When we're walking she is a trooper and sees each day through without complaint. When I rest, she rests. When I stand, she stands. At night she doesn't like sleeping in the tent (unless it's raining). She patrols the ground immediately surrounding me and barks if she sees something. When I wake up she's there to greet me outside the tent shaking with excitement. I'm protective of her, but also trust her. She could do all the walking without a leash, she'd stay right beside me if off it. I like to have her on the leash in case something startles her though. I'll have Savannah forever. Couldn't imagine it otherwise.

SquashMarks126 karma

What is the most stunning photo you've captured so far?

Theworldwalk243 karma

Matter of opinion I suppose. For me it's a photo of an overturned humpback in Antarctica. It was grazing against our zodiac. I could have reached down and touched it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSQ5ZGdD3LC/?taken-by=theworldwalk

lilybeans20101118 karma

  1. What was the most boring section of the walk so far? The most captivating?

  2. What advice or wisdom would you give to someone who wants to do something similar?

  3. Can you sign my comment?

Theworldwalk201 karma

  1. South Peru. So much desert. It was still incredible, just tough. And the paramos in Colombia. I was walking through there in perpetual awe.
  2. You can't walk around the world in a day. You can't plan a walk around the world in a day. It took me nearly twice as long to start this trip as the trip itself will take.
  3. Tom "the tall gringo with a dog pushing the baby carriage" Turcich

mr_himselph113 karma

Wow. This is incredible! Do you have a smart phone or are you using maps?

Theworldwalk198 karma

Smart phone baby. And thankfully GPS works even without cell service.

thekdude106 karma

Hey Tom! I absolutely love all of the amazing photos you've posted on your Instagram as you've gone on your journey! That being said, which photo do you think is the best one you've taken so far, and why?

Theworldwalk146 karma

Oh man, that's a tough one. There are a ton of photos in Peru that didn't receive a ton of likes because they aren't classically Instagram beautiful, but which I just love because they capture the rawness and feeling of Peru.

NickFortuna95 karma

Hey Tom, been a fan since your last one of these!

Anyway, how well do you think you get to know a country and its people and culture by walking through it? Is it more in ways you wouldn't have expected? Less in any way than what you expect?

Thanks!

Theworldwalk111 karma

Glad to have you following!

I'd say much more than flying into a place then going to more touristy destinations. I'm forced to pass through all tiny one-horse towns. I eat at the typical restaurants all the other locals are eating at. In that way I think I get to know a country very well.

At the same time I don't think I get to know a country as well as if I were staying with a family. There is a lot to be learned from wikipedia, but I thinking having a local as a guide explaining the details would be ideal.

derekcanmexit93 karma

I see in your infographic that there was an attempted robbery in Panama. Where exactly was it and how did it happen? I currently live in Panama City and if you make your way back let me know so that I can walk with you for a bit. Definitely fascinated by your story!

Theworldwalk317 karma

Yeah, it was on my last day in Central America and I was just six miles from an AirBnb I had booked. I was on the outskirts of the city, probably a mile or two from the Bridge of the Americas. I knew for a while I was in a pretty sketchy area. I was hungry and tired though, and once I thought I was through the worst of it I stopped in a store to buy some breakfast. As I sat outside eating it I felt something cold on my neck. I glanced up to see a nasty, red-eyed guy holding a shiv. I jumped up. He came towards me and I backed into the shop. Savannah was tied to the cart. My backpack had my knife and mace and I'd taken it off, it was by my cart. I got backed against the wall. I was yelling at him, he was yelling "shutup!" in English at me. I remember looking for something to defend myself with and seeing nothing but bread around me. "There's nothing but bread!" I thought. Then suddenly the guy took off. I followed and there was a crowd outside. They pointed down an alley. The cops were throwing another guy against a wall and my backpack was laying on the ground (with my passport and Savannah's paperwork in it). The cops must have been there immediately because the whole incident only lasted a minute or so. Big props to those cops saving my butt.

cards_dot_dll83 karma

What's the most bullshit anti-pedestrian policy you've run into?

Theworldwalk180 karma

Any policy that says roads can be built without a shoulder. There should be an international treaty requiring walking room, damnit!

Canada30679 karma

Hey Tom,

Has your adventure given you any perspective or clarity as to what you would like to do once you move onto the next step of your life?

Theworldwalk112 karma

In a certain way yes. I know I want traveling to be a part of my life. But I'm still not certain where I'll wind up after all this. I enjoy photography, I think it comes somewhat naturally to me. But I also enjoy writing, and I don't think it comes naturally to me at all so I really enjoy the challenge.

MrTristano79 karma

What is the most beautiful place you've been?

Also, your Instagram is the most amazing page on the internet.

Theworldwalk102 karma

Yeesh. There are a lot of beautiful places. Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is breathtaking. The paramos in the Andes are surreal. The deserts of Perú and Chile were powerful and harsh. Antarctica was like being on another planet. Each has their own aspects of beauty.

Harvey-dENT62 karma

Hey man, Can you tell us more about your ayahuasca trip? Stuff like what the was setting like? what lead up to it? How did you go into it and what did you find at the end of your trip. Any great revaluations? Not many people have walked around the entire world, I can imagine it must have been an intense sprituital experience

Theworldwalk119 karma

Sure. I have a friend who's been training to be a shaman and was living with shipibo indians working with ayahuasca traditionally for two years. I had a lot of faith that he'd do things in the purest fashion and when I arrived in Lima I was fortunate enough to find out he could get me in with a group who'd be dieting with the Noya Rau tree for a week. So I booked a cheap flight to Iquitos and met him there.

The meloka and our rooms were well out in the jungle. The entire experience felt very authentic and assured. I threw up too quickly the first two times to get much out of the ayahuasca. My body really rejected it. But the third time I held it down for an hour and a half or so. I saw myself from the outside a lot and in that way it was humbling. But mostly it was as though every thought was turned hyper visual. Every thought was like a movie. I didn't have any revelations. After walking for so long I'd already gone over all my memories hundreds of times.

The next morning though I felt a sense of awareness that I didn't realize I was missing. As though I'd been looking at the world with a sort of tunnel vision, automatically excluding a great amount. But that morning following the ceremony things were wide open, everything seemed possible.

DwarvenScience60 karma

How has the gear you're carrying with you changed over time? Anything you really needed but then realised you can do without?

Theworldwalk148 karma

I had two goal zero solar panels for all of North America. They worked great because I was walking with the sun in front of me. Once I was in the southern hemisphere and walking south the sun was at my back so my shadow blocked the sunlight from the solar panels. I wound up giving the panels to a Colombian family then realizing I never really needed them, I could charge my battery when I stopped at restaurants or a hotel.

cest_la_vino60 karma

Are you going to walk the Camino de Santiago? If you do I suggest walking the Camino del Norte along the northern coast - absolutely breathtaking views!

Theworldwalk50 karma

Thanks for the tip! The plan now is to follow the Eurovelos. This would mean walking along the south coast of Spain so I'd likely miss the Camino de Santiago.

whatinthereddit1234549 karma

hey, i'm 18 and just failed at this in europe after 3 weeks. Although i met cool people and learnt a lot, not eating and sleeping rough in cities destroyed me. How the hell did you eat and sleep well enough?

Theworldwalk57 karma

Yeah it isn't easy. After two years I'm pretty well trained. Just a matter of finding a good hiding spot and never sleeping in cities unless it's in a room.

jfjlax46 karma

Hey Tom. I've been traveling vicariously through you for years. Love your photography.

Just saw the infographic, awesome. You have so many insane sounding moments - "woken by machete", "stop robbery", "knife to the neck". Any chance of a book when you're done? And any chance you'd elaborate on one of those here?

Theworldwalk145 karma

I'd love to do a book when I'm finished. Frankly I've been through so much I don't know how I'd fit it into a single book.

The "stop robbery" is in quotation marks for a reason. I asked a guy in Nicaragua if I could sleep at his brick foundry (basically he had a big outdoor oven and bricks lined up drying in the sun). He said yes. So I laid my tarp there and fell asleep. Around 4a.m. I was woken by a locked being banged around. I sat up and saw three men with a flashlight working on the storage shed lock. After some consideration, I decided I had to do something. The owner was nice enough to let me sleep there, I couldn't stand by while he got robbed. So stood, stuck forward a bit, then lit the three guys with my headlamp beam. My Spanish wasn't that great and they were far away so I couldn't understand them. Savannah kept by my side. I stood in silence, staring at them, knowing my poor Spanish wouldn't give me away as a gringo. They approached slowly and soon we could make out each other. We got talking and they said they were workers (coming to turn the bricks? I can't remember exactly). But a minute later I watched the lock open as a guy finally found the correct key. They thanked me for attempting to stop their "robbery" then I went back to sleep.

nathandrake66646 karma

What's your playlist look like?

Theworldwalk126 karma

Good question. It varies a lot depending on mood. I swing between Tiesto's Clublife to Willie Nelson. My go-tos are Ray LaMontagne, Lana Del Rey, and Van Morrison. Lately I've been listening to A Bridge over Troubled Waters on repeat. Sooooo good.

Wrekaris45 karma

Hey Tom, incredible story and your walk truly is inspiring!

Honest question though: why walking? I mean, you could do a similar trip by biking or driving and seemingly achieve similiar goals of living life to the fullest, so what made you choose walking?

Theworldwalk71 karma

Initially it was actually just because I was in high school and had no money. I was looking for cheap ways to travel. Then the idea stuck in my head and I rationalized it, I suppose. I think it's a brilliant way to see the world though. You really get to know yourself and the places you pass through.

LittleBurtito41 karma

Hi Tom! You're very inspiring. I love following you and Savannah and seeing all of your wonderful pictures. What kind of camera do you use to take your shots? Stay safe out there :)

Theworldwalk52 karma

Thanks! Doing my best.

I use my Pixel when I'm lazy, and my Nikon D610 when I'm not.

Partymartyy40 karma

Whats the most beautiful thing you have witnessed?

Theworldwalk203 karma

So many stars at once they felt like a weight on my chest.

julianpozzi39 karma

Of the many places you have walked to. Which town or city outside the US could you see yourself living out the rest of your life and why?????

Theworldwalk79 karma

I could easily move back to Colombia. Such wonderful people. Such beautiful landscapes. There's a sort of magic about the entire country which I would love to live in for a little while.

sanfranceesco36 karma

I've been following you and Savannah since one of your first AMA's. How do you think this experience so far has molded or changed you for better or worse? I think this European leg has got to be an exciting one for you. Be safe and have fun!

Theworldwalk98 karma

I'm far more understanding of people in tough situations. Not everyone has had it easy, not everyone has it easy. There are a lot of tough situations to be born into. But irregardless of what a person has or doesn't have, irregardless of how they look, I start with the utmost respect for them.

I'm far less understanding of greed and corruption. One of the most profound lessons I've learned has been from crossing borders on foot. The only things that changes with a few steps is the government, but man how things can change with those few steps. There are so many good people in this world, it sucks seeing some of them without running water or working bathrooms.

DaBi5cu1t29 karma

How many pairs of foot wear do you expect to go through?

Theworldwalk43 karma

Ooo baby. 60 pairs of shoes maybe?

whhy28 karma

How do you decide what route to take through a country? Are there particular cities you're trying to hit? What country are you most looking forward to?

Theworldwalk54 karma

It generally involves looking at Google Earth first then asking locals what's best. I wanted to hit Lima because of a friend there, but generally I don't care much for cities. I prefer the small towns to the cities. Right now I'm most looking forward to Croatia.

imthehomie24 karma

Been following you for about a year now. Your pictures from South America and Antarctica were beautiful. Just one question:

Did you have to get a certain visa for walking in Europe? I know you can only spend 90 days in the EU within a 180-day span, so I'm curious if you found a work-around to that. Thanks!

Theworldwalk34 karma

To the best of my knowledge there's a visa for mainland Europe, then separate ones for Ireland, the UK, and some other countries. I should be able to pass through France, Switzerland, and Italy fairly quickly. Then I'll have to walk from Spain to Croatia on what I have left of the 90 days. The countries are small, but I'll be cutting in close. Once I get to Croatia I'll receive a different visa.

Cunt_Puffin23 karma

How are you going to go from England to France, ferry or channel tunnel?

What's your favorite and least favourite local delicacy you have tried so far?

Have a great trip :)

Theworldwalk42 karma

Ferry. The ferry accepts dogs so it should work well enough.

Most favorite: Papusas. Bar none. 25 cents and delicious.

Least: A particular Cuy I bought from an indigenous woman in Ecuador. Staring at that guinea pig's face messed with me for bit.

gustomev23 karma

When you visit U.K. will you visit York? If so you have a room for the night

Theworldwalk17 karma

I should be walking very near it at least! That'd be great, thanks! Stay in touch!

Jdavidnew020 karma

What has been your favorite experience so far throughout the whole trip?

Theworldwalk101 karma

When my legs gave out on me at 15,000 ft in the Chilean Andes. I spent four days at 15,000 feet then had a terrible night of maybe two hours of sleep. The next morning I pushed my cart for about 10 minutes, then just collapsed into the sand. I laid there and laughed. I was only six hours from a town so I knew I'd make it. But I loved how great of an adventure I was having, how challenged I was by the walk.

Itz_Armadillo20 karma

What places that you haven't visited yet are you most excited to see? And which places have so far been able to take your breath away?

Theworldwalk73 karma

Croatia is top of the list right now. I have lots of family there and have heard it's a spectacular place.

When I first saw Lake Atitilan in Guatemala I literally screamed and whooped. Guards from a national park entrance came out and laughed at me.

saintjeremy20 karma

Tom, this is fantastic and I wish you all the best. I walked the coast of California in 1995 (in a pair of Timberland sandals) and found, for lack of a better word, 'magic' happening after about my second week of walking. I'm extremely curious if you have had any meaningful experiences that just bear no explanation other than that "magical"?

I know, probably a subjective term, but an example: as I was approaching Big Sur I came across a book lying on the side of the road, wrapped in a plastic bag: a biography of Mildred Norman Ryder (Peace Pilgrim). If you've never heard of her, she walked the later years of her life in the name of peace. I still have that book today and the encounter was one of several on my walk which opened my eyes to the mere fact that there is indeed much more to this world than meets the eye.

Best to you, and keep on treading!

Theworldwalk80 karma

By far the most magical thing that's happened on my walk was in Perú. I was mentally destroyed after being in the desert so long. I come to this middle of the nowhere restaurant and find on the wall an article of my hero, Karl Bushby. Then I get brought to the back by the owner and shown and note from Bushby nearly twenty years old. Our paths had crossed twenty years apart at this little nowhere restaurant. That certainly gave me the motivation I needed.

neal18901115 karma

Hey Tom, friend from HT. Excitied to see what Europe brings! Outside of places you have been and visiting friends or family which place are you most looking forward to seeing for the first time?

Theworldwalk23 karma

Hey HT!

Spain seems like an incredible place; the tapas, the architecture, the lifestyle. Everyone I've spoken to who's been there has absolutely loved it.

Imrozo12 karma

Hi Tom! I have been following your journey for a while now and find it very inspirational and motivating and I'm always looking forward to read tour post and see you pictures. I wanted to ask you whatnhas been the most difficult situation you have both encounter so far and also since I'm from Colombia Can you name two things you liked about my country? Thanks

Theworldwalk24 karma

The most difficult situation must have been Costa Rica. The heat and humidity were so insane we couldn't walk beyond 10a.m. I really worried about Savannah there. I knew how much I was struggling and so couldn't imagine how much she was struggling in her coat.

Colombia - The passion for dancing and the Tejo

mojolopez10 karma

Thank you for taking us along on your journey. I love your beautiful pictures. Do you know what part of the world you descend from genetically?

Theworldwalk7 karma

Thanks very much!

My father's side is mostly Croatian and Irish. My mother's side is mostly Scottish and English.

tttturophile9 karma

Hey Tom, I'm a big fan of yours and think what you're doing is pretty awesome. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Can you tell us a little bit of your experience in the desert? How did it affect you mentally and physically, and how did you cope? Also, what are you most looking forward to during your trek in Europe/North Africa?

Cheers!

Theworldwalk27 karma

The desert was awesome in the true sense of the word. I'm good mentally on my own, but in south Peru when I was only hitting a town maybe once every four days, I started to lose it a bit. I was talking to myself just to hear a voice. Physically that was probably the best shape I've been in. There was never a reason to stop besides food and water so Savannah and I were walking 27ish miles a day.

In Europe I'm really looking forward to there being towns much more often so I don't have to carry so much water.

Cheers!

KiloMegaGigaTera9 karma

Hey Tom! I'm one of your follower on facebook and can't wait to see you visit my country.

I want to do thing like you but I get a classic problem, money. My question is how much do I need to save my money? If your money is running out, what do you do?

Thanks for your answer and I hope to see you in south east asia.

Theworldwalk18 karma

Money is the big one. I'm fortunate to have Philly Sign backing me. Before I left I saved 25k US dollars and figured that would get me through two years. It depends where you walk though. South America and South East Asia would be far more manageable on less money than the US or Europe.

Best of luck!

its_nuts_dude7 karma

Hi Tom, big admirer of yours. What are your favorite things to listen on your iPod/phone? Speaking of gear, would you mind sharing your latest gear set up?

Thanks and good luck! :)

Theworldwalk9 karma

I love, love, love Comedy Bang Bang. I wish I had unlimited episodes. It'd be the only thing I listen to.

Here's a video of my gear setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-I8BU31JWk&t=4s

handbanana7186 karma

Hi Tom! This is an amazing quest you have! Any crazy run ins with wildlife?

Theworldwalk12 karma

Nothing too insane. I've seen some crocs in the Louisiana and lots of spiders in Costa Rica. But one night in Costa Rica Savannah fought something off around 2a.m. I woke and could only see their silhouettes and hear Savannah growling. The other creature was about the same size and took off not soon after I looked.

justanotherdudebro4 karma

Tom - I've been following you on Instagram since your first AMA talking about your walk. I continue to find your journey inspiring and humbling. As you are out there putting one foot in front of the other, do you ever think about what you want to do with your life after your walk is complete? And if so, what? Or, do you stay present in the moment? I often spend too much of my brain each day worrying about the future, long-term consequences and the like, instead of appreciating what is right there in front of me.

Theworldwalk4 karma

I grow less and less certain of what I want to do after the walk with each passing day. There are so many potential paths and who knows who I'll be after three more years of walking?

I'm fairly good at staying the present. I often think that Kurt Vonnegut quote: "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."