I am Tom Turcich, 1036 days, 26 countries and 14000 miles into my dream of walking around the world. Here for my fourth AMA!
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!)