What's up Reddit?!

Nearly four 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 1036 days and have covered 14,000 miles over twenty-six countries. Currently I’m in Tabarka, Tunisia, having just crossed Algeria and aimed towards Tunis then Italy.

During my first two years I walked from New Jersey, USA to Montevideo, Uruguay. I was held up at knife point in Panama, did ayahuasca in the Amazon, climbed 15,000 feet over the Andes, and stumbled upon the Argentinian Carnival. After South America I took a ship to Antarctica where I took a plunge in its icy waters and kayaked beside humpbacks.

My previous AMA was well over a year ago while I was in Dublin. Since then I was almost taken out by a bacterial infection, took seven months to recover, then walked Europe and North Africa. I lived the hygge life in Denmark, peregrinated The Camino in Spain, subsisted on fresh sardines in Morocco, and had a twenty-four hour police escort through Algeria.

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. 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 the world 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(ish) blog post.

If you’d like to receive postcards from the road or simply 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.

(For you shrewd ones wondering how I started walking four years ago when I say I’ve been walking for 1036 days, I only count the days I’m on the road and I was sick for nearly a year!)

My Proof

Comments: 197 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

sherlocked7748 karma

Hey Tom, I’ve been following you for almost 2 years now and I want you to know that you inspire me so much and you and Sav are definately 2 of my personal heroes at this point! Few questions:

1- Why exactly were you escorted by the police through Algeria?

2-What would you say to a woman who wants to walk the earth? What are your opinions safety-wise?

3-What’s your and Savannah’s favourite travel food?

Thanks for bringing the world to us!

Theworldwalk25 karma

Thanks for the support!

1- (This is to the best of my knowledge I can't tell you what the Algerian government is thinking) First, Algeria does not have a lot of tourists, especially in winter. When I got off the boat in Mostaganem and the border patrol saw I was American they immediately took me to the police station in order to make sure I had a safe place to sleep for the night. The police there told me they were responsible for my safety as long I was in their municipality and they took they very seriously. Then, my Algerian friend called a friend who is high-ranking in the military and asked him to do what he could to see I wouldn't have any trouble in Algeria. Lastly, a week or so into Algeria the two European girls were killed in Morocco. My escort told me they were ordered to double their protection of me. So a lot of factors.

2- I get asked this a lot and I never really know how to answer. Most people are good. That being said, men get murdered, kids get kidnapped, women get raped. And I don't know the dangers of being a woman as well as you do. But, I've been fairly smart and generally kept myself out of stupid situations and I could on one hand the amount of times I've really been worried about my safety over three years of walking. Walking around the world is 100% doable for a woman, Polly Letofsky walked around the world in three years.

3- Peanut for me! And any chicken for Savannah!

Houle1920 karma

Hello Tom. I’ve been following your journey for almost 3 years now and realized that you started your walk heading south from New York. As a Canadian, I am wondering if you now have the intention of finishing your adventure in Canada or in Asia like you had previously planned?

I realize that Canada is an extremely large country but the vast climate and biome differences from east to west would really blow your mind. I am speaking from photographer to photographer here, haha.

Theworldwalk21 karma

Hey!

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll hit Canada on this adventure, though it's definitely a place I want to explore in the future. The plan is to have a sort of six month victory lap across the US as my last leg of the journey. Nothing is tied down yet but I'll probably be walking from California to my home in New Jersey.

13211232 karma

Where do you walk between cities in the US?

It seems like on the side of a freeway would be dirty and dangerous and an overall unpleasant walk.

PS the loading bars on your website are infuriating.

Theworldwalk2 karma

Definitely not on freeways. In the US I found State Roads were the best option, not too large and they have a shoulder. Small roads are the best, but you have to find the right one where there's no traffic. There are a lot of cars in the US.

mysticalmaybe19 karma

What was Ayahuasca like? What did you learn from it? Had you taken other psychedelics before?

Theworldwalk27 karma

You know that period in-between being awake and falling asleep? It's like that but three hours long. You're still you, but relaxed and your every thought is hyper-visualized. I didn't have an epiphanies on it, walking eight hours a day for a year will have all your thoughts organized already, but I did gain a much greater understanding of why a drug like ayahuasca might work for people with trauma in their lives. When I woke the following morning, it's difficult to explain, but I felt like I was ten years old. All these limiting thoughts I didn't realize I had were lifted for a few hours. It was as though I could think on a much wider scope than normal. And yes, mushrooms a handful of times before, all great experiences.

jryanmonty17 karma

Tom - i've asked this on a previous AMA but am going to ask again.... Best meal you've had so far?

Theworldwalk32 karma

Hundreds of amazing meals at the end of long days, but the best dish is probably any ceviche in Perú. My Lord, I could live on that stuff. The flavors are so clean.

redstert13 karma

Been following for years! I've shown your journey to countless people!

Have you thought about what your plan is when you get home? I'm nervous for your assimilation back into this hell of America right now.

Also, how do you speak to locals in each country not knowing each language and dialect? Google translate?

Thank you. So proud of you. I know you hear it a lot but I have no words deep enough to express how amazing and inspiring your endeavors have been and will be.

Theworldwalk8 karma

I'm just doing my best with this right now. I only hope I can buy a house in the woods with a ton of land for Savannah to run around on. Who knows how things will be by the time I return?

A little Google Translate, but gestures get the job done for the little things and there's almost always someone who speaks a little bit of English.

Thanks so much for your support and kind words.

Hiur13 karma

Hi, Tom! I have been following your journey since the beginning, wrote down a number of places that I want to visit because of it (:

I was wondering, is there any place/country that you couldn't visit but want to?

Best of luck to you and Savannah!

Theworldwalk8 karma

Thanks for following! Glad I could provide a little inspiration!

This isn't exactly fitting to your question, but I'm really bummed I missed out on the Sahara in Algeria. There was no easy way to get there with Savannah. I'll have to return one day.

fuckofffucksake9 karma

Love the content you put out on Instagram! What was it like having the police follow/escort you while you were in Algeria?

Theworldwalk8 karma

I was disappointed when they told me I wouldn't be doing any camping in Algeria. But for the first few weeks it was really nice always having locals to talk to and help me get around. By the end though I was feeling suffocated. I'm used to ultimate freedom and solitude, but had eyes on me anytime I was outside a hotel room.

bleeting_shard9 karma

Thanks for letting us follow you on this journey.

I have the down and dirty question. How do you keep clean? Showers happen how often?

Theworldwalk8 karma

Shower frequency depends on the country, in-between baby wipes are the key!

FG39V9-19 karma

How much has it/is it costing you?

Theworldwalk8 karma

The first two years I spent 12-14k (don't know exactly). The past year I spent a few grand more than that.

itsmemae9 karma

Hi Tom- Do other countries think you are a “crazy American” walking around the world?

Theworldwalk7 karma

I'm sure I've had that reputation in some places, but most people have been extremely welcoming.

msrapid8 karma

Hi Tom! My 7 year old son and I check instagram every morning for an update from you and love seeing the progress from Brisbane, Australia.

When do you think you'll get to Australia and will you be walking around the perimeter, straight across or top to bottom?

When planning your walking route do you plan to stick to back roads? How long do you spend planning the route?

Theworldwalk7 karma

Thanks amazing! I'm so honored!

Australia will probably be in a year and a half or two more years. I think I'll be walking the perimeter, but I'll do more research to map out the exact route once I get closer.

Australia is a different beast because some of those roads are so devoid of civilization. It's going to take a type of planning I haven't done before. I may have an Australian friend of my bring water and food in a car so I can follow the remote roads, not sure just yet though. I'm hoping for six months, but it'll depend on the visa I can get.

akaatkins7 karma

I've been following your journey like others for a long time. I really respect you sharing the good days and the bad. Just wondering how easy has it been to cross borders with Savannah? Do you expect it to be difficult in the future?

Theworldwalk3 karma

It's generally been super easy to cross borders with her. Most countries just need a valid rabies vaccination. Some ask for a certificate of health from a vet within ten days of entering. I needed the most paperwork for Europe, that took a month. And to reenter Europe from Africa I needed to get Savannah a rabies titer test. I think the next difficult country to get her into will be Australia.

Red_Head4207 karma

Hey Tom! been following you since the last IAMA and I have been meaning to ask you some questions. 1) What do you eat? where do you store it? 2) Why did the police escort join you on the walk through Algeria? 3) After Algeria have you missed sleeping the night in a tent? 4) How is the book coming along? 5) Can you share a bizzare moment you had recently? I love reading about thise kinds of scenarios:)

Thanks if you answered! Have a great walk!

Theworldwalk7 karma

  1. Depends a lot on the country. If a country is cheap and there are a lot of restaurants where I'm walking I'll eat almost exclusively at restaurants. Otherwise it's dry goods packed into a plastic crate; peanut butter, bread, nuts, pasta, and the like.
  2. Check my answer to the question from sherlocked77
  3. Yes! That's almost half of my experience on the road. There's a wonderful feeling when I find a secluded spot to hideaway for the night. I miss that.
  4. Oof. It's coming, slowly. I put a little work into it whenever I have a chance to sit down and focus for a few days.
  5. In my last blog post I write about this, but I stayed the night at a mechanic's home the police brought me to. They had a macaque monkey tied up as a pet in the yard. It had me do a double take.

Houle196 karma

Have your plans about trekking the Middle East change due to the instability of the region, since you've started your walk in 2015?

Theworldwalk8 karma

My plan from the beginning was to take the path of least resistance when it came to obtaining visas. That means for that area of the world I'll be walking Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan then ferrying across the Caspian to Kazakhstan.

Jimlad736 karma

I know it was where you got ill, but do you think you will come back to the UK to do the bits you missed? You’re very welcome to stay at mine if you’re passing by!

Theworldwalk6 karma

My cousin lives in London though so I'll certainly be back to visit her. But I'm not sure if I'll go back and walk the part I missed...I'm not too much of a stickler for those types of things. I wish I'd finished it in the first place. It killed me to throw in the towel in Scotland. Its such a gorgeous country, but man did the rain and cold make it a difficult country to walk, not to mention that I was losing weight and having agonizing cramps and didn't know why.

Appreciate the invite! Hope I can take you up on it one day!

falkentoast5 karma

Hi Tom,

I've loved following your journey over the past couple years. Your photos have actually inspired me to pick up photography myself. I know this may be a tough question - the entire world is beautiful - but have you had favorite cities/locations to take pictures?

Theworldwalk7 karma

I really loved the northern most border crossing between Chile and Argentina, specifically Parque los Flamencos. The land was so barren and even though I was at fifteen thousand feet there were still mountains in the distance. On the Argentinian side there were alpaca and an incredible road with a massive crack splitting the earth to the side of it. I walked in awe the entire ten days that crossing took.

Hoodie_Patrol5 karma

Hey Tom,

Currently in the early stages of planning a walk from North Spain to South Spain. Are there anythings you wish you had when you started out? Any equipment that has become invaluable to you and anything that is a complete waste of time and space? Best of luck with the rest of your walk. Sav is a beautiful dog!

Theworldwalk4 karma

Awesome! That'll be an amazing walk. I found the Via de la Plata immensely peaceful. The tarp is probably the most versatile, oft-forgotten piece of equipment I bring with me. I don't know how practical one would be if you're backpacking, but you might be able to find a light one. It makes a great seat/bed/rain cover/shade cover/tent floor

Liati35 karma

Hi, from your home town! How has world travel shaped your political views? Do you think it's (world travel) part of the solution to our country's divisiveness? Also, have people shared their views with you about the US?? Thanks for the pictures and observations. Your puppy is very sweet and seems the perfect companion to have on your journey. Stay well!

Theworldwalk7 karma

Hello fellow Hawk!

It's given me a lot of perspective on how other countries can operate, that's for sure. I think I'm less willing to accept greed at the highest levels. Walking for hours and hours on end helped reaffirm to me that nothing is more important than being good to people. When there's greed and corruption it just seems so petty and shortsighted.

People mostly have good things to say about America! And mostly not good things about Trump.

And she is! The perfect companion!

ft11035 karma

Hey Tom!

I just want to say that I have been following since your last AMA and love everything you post.

Do you think you'll be sad when your journey ends? Do you have any plans for what happens after?

Theworldwalk6 karma

Thanks for following.

I think so. It's going to be a difficult adjustment, knowing this thing I've had ahead of me since seventeen is behind me. I'd like to write some books and maybe do some traveling to take photos.

JeanPicLucard5 karma

How do you afford to travel for so long?

Theworldwalk5 karma

I lived at home and saved for four years then just before leaving was fortunate enough to find a sponsor!

Tigrepaper5 karma

What country has the best pancakes OR the harshest indoor lighting/toilet paper?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Haha great question. The pancakes in Denmark were spot on. Harshest toilet paper would be Morocco/Algeria - no toilet paper provided in public restrooms!

Finty4444 karma

Hi Tom!

I was wondering what you do while walking as it must get a bit boring after a while... any favourite podcasts/songs you like to listen to?

Theworldwalk4 karma

It has its boring moments. None too serious that laying down in the grass won't help. My top podcasts are probably Comedy Bang Bang, anything Eagles related, and Doughboys. I like to keep it light. For music, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, and Cat Stevens make for great walking tunes.

Boston2brooklynBro3 karma

Do you have a spotify playlist that you download or anything? or just download MP3 files randomly? Would love to hear what is in your head as you are walking. What is the ratio of headphones in to no headphones? 50/50?

Theworldwalk3 karma

I'm all over the map on music. I listen to a lot of electronic playlists because in that genre there are only a few artists whos body of work I enjoy. With every other genre I download albums.

Fifty-fifty is probably accurate. The music and podcasts are great for motivation and distraction, but the earbuds can get irritating after too long.

n0tb8m84 karma

Hey Tom, been following your journey since we met in London during your illness. Glad the antibiotics sorted it in the end! Rex and Savannah got along well and spent many afternoons playing in the field in Canary Wharf.

Glad to see you’re still on track so to speak.

Knowing what you do now, what sort of equipment would you have changed from when you set off initially?

What upgrades have you done since you set off?

All the best, Dan & Rex.

Theworldwalk3 karma

Hey Dan!

Savannah is missing all her friends there. She looked forward to that everyday. (And it forced me to get outside)

My tent was too large initially, I would have swapped that out. But figuring out what I needed in the perfect tent took me two years of walking. A rechargeable headlamp would have been nice too. My headlamp was always accidentally turning on then dying without me knowing. Lastly, it would have been useful to keep my shoes consistent. Changing shoe models guarantees loads of blisters.

Not too many upgrades thought. The tent, the camera got better, the phone got better, but not much else. I'm using a lot of the same gear still!

kingrex8304 karma

Hey Tom,

Not including physical harm, what is your biggest fear with this 3+ year project?

You've met so many new people and presumably built tremendous connections, how are you maintaining and developing those new friendships?

Does it ever start to feel like a job?

Big shout out from Mother's Rugby! all the way back when the cart broke down outside Fredericksburg!

Theworldwalk6 karma

Yo Tim!

That's a deep one. I'm afraid that when all this is done I won't find such strong purpose again. This project has consumed me for over a decade. I sacrificed everything for it. Will I ever be that passionate about something again? Will I still have purpose?

I've met loads and loads of people and they're all bookmarked in my head. I feel in a great debt to all the kind people who have helped me and can only hope I can help some people too when I have the opportunity. I send some messages to keep in contact with people I've met, but I'm still meeting so many new people it's hard to keep up.

Never too much like a job. Or if it does, it's the greatest job in the world so I can't complain about it.

Thanks for saving me way back in the beginning!

dictionaryglasses4 karma

Hey Tom, I've only been following you since your time in South America when I first heard of the walk. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy seeing your posts pop up on facebook and I'm glad your finding your legs again after your time off in the UK! I've always been interested to hear of your ideas for travelling in Asia, (if you have any set) given the scale and the trouble tourists can occasionally find themselves in? Are you planning on a more direct route or the more 'casual' approach you seem to take in your travels?

I love the photos of Savannah and seeing the places you've been inspires me on my own travels. You're doing this for a fantastic cause and (appear to be) having a blast at the same time! I read you don't plan on coming back to Scotland for any more walking but if you ever do, there's always a place to stay with me. Looking forward to see where your travels take you next! All the best.

Theworldwalk7 karma

Thanks! That was a rough period, I'm glad to be back at it.

The plan for Asia is Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia. I might head to southeast Asian from China or even walk Japan, but we'll see how I'm feeling when I get there!

I'll be back to Scotland one day! Thanks for the support!

whereisthenutella4 karma

Hi Tom, which place has surprised you the most? With respect to what you had heard before when you researched the country in terms of lifestyle, environment, food etc..

Theworldwalk6 karma

Two answers, Perú surprised me in that I had no expectations, but the beauty was just unreal. The desert went on forever. The Andes were tremendous. The jungle was another world. Wild, wild country.

Algeria surprised me because before entering I was receiving lots of messages about how dangerous it is and I started to build it up in my head (even though the research I'd done showed it to be one of the safer countries in the world). Of course once I entered people were just living their lives. And they were the most welcoming people I've encountered. Incredible generosity.

PeaceMeats14 karma

How many sneakers have you gone through?

Theworldwalk4 karma

I should have kept count...around fifteen.

ThisIsHerschelsFarm4 karma

Are you only sticking to Northern Africa? If so, how come; do you feel it'd be too dangerous for you and Sav? I'm also curious to know why the round-the-clock police escort was needed for Algeria; is it just too dangerous for a tourist to be by themselves? Final question, what animals have you seen in Africa/any "oh shit" moments when seeing wild animals anywhere you've walked?

Theworldwalk8 karma

Only North Africa, but this is mainly because Africa is such a massive continent and it would take two years to walk in and of itself. I'd like to get to Egypt, but Libya is a bit of a mess right now so it seems like the best move is to just head to Italy from Tunisia.

Answered the escort question from Sherlocked77 above!

Macaque monkeys in Algeria were the craziest. I walked through a national park and they were everywhere and scared to death of Savannah.

kittenpantzen3 karma

Now that you're past the halfway point, do you find yourself spending much time thinking about the "after" and the transition back to normal life?

Theworldwalk3 karma

I am. I think more and more often of how I'm going to have a family and support them. I used to be entirely in the moment, now I think of the future much more often. I think the transition will be easier if I live near Philadelphia where I have a lot of family and friends so I'll probably live there for at least a year afterwards.

riv923 karma

Hi Tom! I remember when you got sick and I was so glad to see you get back on your feet! My question is do you have any trouble drinking local water along the way (does it bother your stomach, for instance)?

Theworldwalk2 karma

In most countries I'll have one day where my stomach is a mess, but generally my stomach has been pretty strong. Only in Mexico (and of course the bacterial infection) did I have a bug that lasted more than a day.

hotel_illness3 karma

When this walk is all over, and you continue your career and start to lead a less nomadic life, where would you choose to settle down if you could live anywhere?

Theworldwalk3 karma

A huge plot of land in the Pine Barrens in New Jersey where Savannah and I could go on long walks through the woods.

xenoxonix3 karma

hello. where did you get all the finances?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Not a ton of finances haha

I lived at home and saved for four years after college, then before leaving I got lucky and nabbed a sponsor. I don't get a ton of money, but I'm mainly just paying for food and the occasional hotel.

xenoxonix2 karma

thanks for answering. one more question. i plan on doing the same in the future. what advice can you give me?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Work on your social skills (not saying you don't already have good social skills, I don't know you). They're the most useful and varied tool you'll have in the toolbox.

Kunkowski3 karma

Did you have time where you didn't see the point to pursue ? If so, what kept you going ?

Theworldwalk3 karma

There are low points, but I've never considered stopping. This is something I've been thinking about since seventeen. Sometimes I'll think about what I would do if I had unlimited money and realize I'm already doing it.

thanatonaut3 karma

Can you talk about the feelings you experience? What kind of thoughts does the open, empty landscapes impart on you? I know that every time I would really get out into nature, it would hammer me with all sort of deeply cutting vibes.

Edit: feel free to talk about what the less empty landscapes impart on you, too.

Theworldwalk5 karma

I was a pretty easygoing guy before the walk, but through all the hours I've spent walking and thinking I've really shorn off the rough edges. My mood is relatively even anymore. I don't get too excited or too upset. Everything just sort of comes in and I do my best to absorb it. The open, empty landscapes are the best. They give me a great appreciation of how small I am in the scheme of things.

knockdownbarns3 karma

What would you tell yourself, if you could, the day your friend passed away? The time travelers dilemma.

Theworldwalk6 karma

Read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

down2businesssocks3 karma

Which place, if any, do you hope to never go back to?

Theworldwalk5 karma

No places. I would go back to every country. Lots of things I still haven't seen!

ArchonUniverse2 karma

What are some of the challenges you face on your journey?

Theworldwalk2 karma

Oh man, so many. It's a constant balancing act managing all the challenges. Having enough water, enough food, timing the end of my day so I can find a place to sleep, my health, Savannah's health, communicating with locals, walking a safe route, managing the weather. It's an all out mental exercise everyday.

Artaemmm2 karma

what is the best way to cook insta noodles?

Theworldwalk2 karma

Hot water

Painless82 karma

I'm kinda interested in what shoes you wear for something like this?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Brooks Cascadia. Just sneaks. No need for boots.

dg4vdo2 karma

Favorite condiment? Thank you.

Theworldwalk2 karma

Hanks Sauce

2ducks4geese2 karma

What do you do when you get really bored? How do you make the time pass?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Lately I've been having an extra expresso or two. But usually I'm so busy through the day and so tired at night that there isn't really time to be bored.

MentallyUnchallenged2 karma

[removed]

Theworldwalk2 karma

Has been so far! I don't know the exact numbers, but with the Antarctica trip included it's probably somewhere around 50-60k

TriumphAndTragedy2 karma

Hi Tom, love following you and Savannah on your journey! Your blog entries are great reads. I'm wondering if you feel like you've fully recovered from your illness stomach-wise? Your resilience is inspiring to someone like myself who has had physical setbacks to achieving my own dreams. Where are you planning to go after Italy? Thanks

Theworldwalk2 karma

It took much longer than I expected, but by the middle of Spain I finally felt back to my normal self. When I flew to Europe after recovering for seven months I thought I was in pretty good shape, but even short days of walking were doing a number on me. I had no endurance.

From Italy I'll be turning into Slovenia and heading towards Turkey.

LesbianardoDiCaprio2 karma

I'm intrigued by the fresh sardines. How were they prepared and how did you like them?

Theworldwalk2 karma

They were lightly grilled until the scales burnt then salted. Nothing more. And they were freaking amazing.

R_Deschain922 karma

Hey Tom, you are such an inspiration to me. Because of you, my #1 goal when I’m done with college is to walk across the United States.

I was just curious, do you know what you are going to do when you’re finished? Do you ever think you’ll be able to integrate back into the doldrums of society?

Theworldwalk3 karma

Awesome! Amped for you!

Right now I'm just hoping I can build a family and support them. It's going to be a challenge readjusting, but I think living near family and friends will help.

nigerian_redditor2 karma

I've been following your Walk on Facebook for close to two years now and I must commend you for your resilience, tenacity and purposefulness. Will you be coming to Nigeria? If so what area(s) do you plan to pass through? I will really like to meet you and Sav. Thanks.

Theworldwalk2 karma

I won't unfortunately...Africa is an adventure in and of itself and I'm trying to keep this one to five years! I'll get there one day though and we can grab a coffee!

Baggybajingo2 karma

Have you ever walked into a situation and thought ‘nah’ as you had a bad feeling and left?

Theworldwalk5 karma

So many times. That was an instinct that took a long time to develop, now I trust it fully. If I get a bad vibe, I leave. There will be other experiences ahead.

onlyfiji4me2 karma

Have you ever considered making videos for your Instagram or even making a YouTube channel? I love your photographs and can only imagine how much more you could show us through videos!

Theworldwalk7 karma

I'm working on the Youtube channel! I've had a lot of trouble with losing footage or a camera dying on me. But I think I've finally got the process sorted. There will be videos in the near future!

badgers19872 karma

How long do you want to stay in Italy? What do you want to see here, cities or rural areas?

Theworldwalk3 karma

I'll feel it out as I go. I'll probably walk at a pretty good pace at the beginning then once I know how much time I have on my visa and how much I can cover in a day there, I'll slow down and use up my visa. I'm partial to rural areas. I'm hoping to find a nice place in a little village to relax in for a week or so.

Scnanasoids2 karma

Hey Tom, when do you and Sav leave for Palermo and will it be by boat or plane? Thanks

Theworldwalk2 karma

Probably in a week or so...Tunisia is a brief walk. We'll go by boat!

lowaltflier2 karma

Hello Tom. After your trek through Algeria with the 24 hour escort. I was wondering. What is the longest stretch of time where you did not see anyone?

Theworldwalk2 karma

Never too long actually. I walk roads. Sometimes they're very, tiny and remote, but never so remote that I won't see someone in a day. The Paramó in Colombia was extremely remote the few days it took to walk to Popayan were very quiet. I saw maybe a handful of people each day until reaching the next isolated town. Some of the best walking I've had.

zc1872 karma

Hay Tom, I'm out here in Afghanistan and been following your travels for about 2 years now I enjoy your picture of Sav and the scenery you visit very much. Was wondering if you going to be traveling through middle east buddy? Thanks very much, and be safe!

Theworldwalk1 karma

Thanks for the support! Hope where you are in Afghanistan isn't too hot! I'll only be walking Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan!

darto112 karma

Hi Tom!

You are an amazing person, and it's been a pure pleasure to follow your Journey from your hometown in New Jersey!

Could you describe your thoughts on your diet?

Living on the road, it can be hard to maintain a nutritious diet. How do you deal with that?

Is that a compromise you had chosen to make when you started your journey or have learned to accept, or do you manage to keep an healthy diet?

Thanks!

I wish you good luck with your journey!

Theworldwalk2 karma

Diet depends greatly on where I am. In Guatamala for example there were stretches were it was impossible to find a restaurant or a decent market. I was tired and got sick. In other countries were there are larger markets and more restaurants I can eat pretty well. I try to get salad when I'm in a restaurant because that's something I can carry with me. Otherwise peanut butter and nuts do a pretty good job of keeping me strong on the road.

I would certainly like to be eating healthier, but I feel better on the days I walk eight hours than on the days when I'm in a house and eat super well but don't exercise.

Thanks for the support!

rabidbunnyrabbit2 karma

Hi Tom - like many others here I've been following your journey since your first AMA and especially love your photos. I'm wondering if when you're done you'd move back to New Jersey or even the USA? If not, which country would you most like to live in?

Theworldwalk2 karma

I'll absolutely be living near family and friends in Philadelphia for at least a year. I would like to return to Colombia though and live there for a year too though. Gorgeous, vast country. Vibrant people. And I want to sharpen my Spanish.

hughhoney4202 karma

Hi Tom! I've been following your walk and it actually inspired me to take a year off work to go backpacking around South America! I have a few questions. First, do you cut your own hair on the walk? Also, are there any must-see destinations in Central or South America that I may not find in a guide book? I saw your blog post about the 7 destinations off the beaten path, but am wondering if there were any honorable mentions that didn't make the cut. Thanks for doing this AMA and good luck going forward! I really enjoy your writing!

Theworldwalk2 karma

Awesome! South America is a wild, gorgeous place, you'll love it!

I'll just get my hair cut at a barber shop when I'm in town. Not too worried about getting it cut often.

That's a difficult one to pull of the top of my head! I can't think of a specific town, but there are some wonderful coastal towns in north Perú where you can have amazing ceviche for nothing and have the beach to yourself.

And thanks for the support!

enigma_ninja2 karma

What do you miss most about being home or being stationery in one location for an extended period of time?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Working on any sort of larger project is extremely difficult on the road. Whether it's because I'm exhausted at the end of the day, I'm in the habit of walking and not sitting at a desk, or because the internet is weak. When you're in one place you can be setup everything nicely to get into a rhythm on something. I miss that.

neal1890112 karma

What has been the most challenging part of Africa?

Theworldwalk2 karma

The psychological aspect of having a police escort with me at all times. At first it was relaxing to know I was always protected, but after a month it felt like I was being suffocated. In Algeria if I was in a hotel and wanted to go to a restaurant across the street for a sandwich I'd have to wait for the escort. Everything I did became an ordeal.

Grimbarian18782 karma

How many photos have you taken so far? Always enjoy seeing your updates on instagram, such an amazing journey!

Theworldwalk2 karma

Oh man, tens of thousands I'd imagine. Thanks for the support!

tradal2 karma

I didn’t know who you were, but I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing that you have done... my question is a utility question about your dog... do you kit your dog out so she can carry some of the burden? I have a very large breed dog and have a kit for him so he can carry either 30 lbs or water or 10-20 lbs food. Do you have anything similar? What do you recommend? What kind of back pack do you use? Do u carry a tent? Do you carry any tools like a hatchet or a machete?

Theworldwalk1 karma

I've thought about getting Savannah a pack but never found it necessary. She doesn't each much and the cart allows me to carry 4kg of food and her water easily. There's always a place to restock on food after a week so I haven't had to bring to much. When I can't find food she's lived off tuna and beef pate, but that hasn't been often.

I carry a backpack, but only a daypack. A jogging baby carriage is way more efficient if you're planning on crossing borders - you can't rely on trails internationally, roads, roads, roads are the way to go.

Tent, yes. A tarptent, love it.

Just a leatherman. No need for a hatchet or a machete.

SneaselTheBeast2 karma

Hey Tom, are you planning on bringing Savannah to Antarctica? How would you sort that out?

Theworldwalk2 karma

I've thought about, she'd probably be the first dog to all seven continents, but I don't think it's the right move. Antarctica should remain (mostly) untouched.

aterner2 karma

Do you poo right in the middle of nowhere? How many times were you caught by strangers in the middle of 'the process'?

Is the process becomes easier with time? Are there any tips you found out about on your journey?

On the one hand, I want to go on a journey on foot, on the other hand, I'm way too shy to just not care about privacy during natural bodily functions.

Theworldwalk1 karma

Yup. Gotta take care of business. I don't think I've ever been caught in the act actually, but I did have a bug in Mexico and found myself squatting on the side of the road at one point. Not great fun that week haha.

Certainly it becomes more normal. I know what I'm looking for in things and places now. I'm much more efficient in everything compared to the beginning. It's something that'll come out of necessity, not something to overthink. You'll figure it out when you get there.

You'll be fine. Like anything, you'll adapt.

Derped_my_pants2 karma

What was your experience of the r/caminodesantiago? I'm a big fan myself. I've walked parts of it four times now! Extremely social experience.

Theworldwalk2 karma

Wow, four times?! Good on you!

I walked the French way for a couple weeks. It took some adjusting, I'm used to being the only one walking! But once I adjusted I loved the community and especially all the great places to eat along the way. After the French Way I turned south down the Via de la Plata, and that was an entirely different experiences. Almost no one and much less tourist infrastructure. Still enjoyed it, just hotter and with less conversations.

Derped_my_pants2 karma

Did you walk Via de la Plata southbound?

Theworldwalk2 karma

Yup

Derped_my_pants2 karma

That's uncommon. What month? The heat is agony at the height of summer on that route. Can you recommend Via de la Plata for a seasoned Frances and Del Norte walker?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Very haha. I was there in September, so just beyond the worst month, but still very hot. It would be more of a test than the Frances and not as scenic as the Del Norte, but if you've already done those two you have to do the La Plata, no?

thegreatgazoo2 karma

Have you had any problems with getting your dog through customs?

Do you have any probables finding a place to stay with a dog? I would think that North Africa would be tricky.

Theworldwalk1 karma

No problems. Just a matter of a little research online and getting the paperwork beforehand. It's never been too arduous.

Algeria would have been the most difficult, but I had a police escort with me and they'd always vouch for Savannah to the hotel owners. There have been times when it's been difficult finding a place, but most hotels I've stayed at are mom and pop places well off the beaten track and they're happy to have a customer. So if I stand my ground they almost always let Savannah in the room. If not, I leave and find another place.

55Chieftan1 karma

Hey Tom! I've been following you on Facebook for awhile now. I know you went through that big health scare and I'm so happy everything worked out, but I was wondering if you've dealt with any foot issues? Do you stretch often? I'm amazed your feet are still attached and you haven't ended up with horrible plantar fasciitis! Funny question I know, but actually really interested in how you take care of your feet.

Theworldwalk1 karma

Thank you! Other than lots of blisters and lost toenails I haven't had any problems with my feet at all. They've gotten stronger from all the walk, not weaker! And the only thing I do is make sure I get the same shoe. Other than that, I don't do anything for my feet!

sammyaxelrod1 karma

How many pairs of shoes have you gone through?

Theworldwalk1 karma

Around fifteen, I believe

fouedaloui1 karma

Hey Tom!

- How do you find your first city in Tunisia (Tabarka)?

- What about people in Tabarka?

Theworldwalk0 karma

Loving it!

I feel very at ease here. The people are warm and welcoming. I could stay here a month.