I will soon become the tenth person (and my dog will become the first dog) to walk around the world. Ask me anything!
As the title states, in about three months, I will become the tenth person to have walked around the world and my dog will become the first dog to have done so.
Seven years ago I left my home in New Jersey to embark on a twenty-five thousand mile, seven continent, walk around the world (which didn’t go entirely to plan due to covid). After four months of walking, I adopted a dog, Savannah, and together we've covered 22,500 miles across thirty-five countries.
When Savannah was a pup I pushed her in my cart. Now she’ll walk thirty miles a day and still be running circles at night. We’ve spent nearly every minute of every day together. From navigating chaotic cities and strange new environments, Sav and I are totally in sync. She’s my best bud and absolutely rock solid. (The Dodo did a video on her.)
I'm walking around the world because of a friend who died at seventeen. Her death led me to understand how fleeting my life is and impressed on me the need to make the most of the short time I have. When I discovered Karl Bushby the idea of walking around the world stuck in my head as a way to live a full life.
From seventeen to twenty-six I went to college, worked, paid off loans, saved, then set off before I had too much responsibility.
During the first two years of this adventure, I walked from New Jersey to Uruguay. I was held up at knifepoint in Panama, did ayahuasca in the Amazon, and climbed 15,000 feet over the Chilean Andes. They were incredibly clarifying years. The endless hours of walking allowed me to reach a profound acceptance of my life, my choices, and my idiosyncrasies.
During the three years after walking The Americas, I was almost taken out by a bacterial infection, needed seven months to recover, then walked Europe, North Africa, across Turkey, and into Azerbaijan. I peregrinated The Camino in Spain, had a twenty-four-hour police escort through Algeria, visited the village of my family name (Turčić) in Croatia, and became the first private citizen granted permission to cross the Bosphorus Bridge on foot (the Istanbul bridge which crosses from Europe to Asia). These years nurtured in me an appreciation for how history, geography, and circumstance affect everything from culture to the economy in different countries. People are the same everywhere. It's the greater and often uncontrollable forces that affect their and their country’s fate.
Since getting caught in a covid lockdown in Azerbaijan two years ago, the walking has become immensely more challenging. My planned route from Kazakhstan to Mongolia, then walking the coast of Australia, became impossible due to border closures. I made due by walking more of Turkey while waiting for the world to reopen, then walking Uzbekistan and the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. But by the time I finished walking Kyrgyzstan, much of the world remained closed, so Savannah and I flew to Seattle and began the last leg of our journey; a three thousand mile walk back home to New Jersey. Strangely enough, this walk across my home country has proved the most difficult section of the journey. With the end in sight, I feel like it's taking every ounce of effort I have just to finish this thing.
When this is all over I plan to write a memoir and a children's book, but The World Walk has been my life for so long that I'm certain my transition back to normal life won't be easy.
Currently, Sav and I are posted up in Kansas waiting out a winter storm so I thought this would be the perfect moment for an AMA.
This infographic on my site provides a great visualization of most of our walk. And this video from Sunrise Australia provides the best summation of our journey. Also, there's this great article AFAR wrote on me and Savannah. If you'd like to follow along I do my best to post photos, film short videos, and write the occasional blog post.