In the age of the Internet, it’s easier to be a part of someone else’s great accomplishments. Walking around the Earth sounds crazy, but these five people are doing it and sharing their journey online.
Konstantin Konstantinovich Rengarten is often called the first person to achieve this feat. He set out from Minsk in 1894 and traveled east to find himself back home in 1898. Of course, he had no social media or blogs to chronicle his journey. But several 21st century explorers travel the world and post about it online.
1. Out of Eden Walk (Web): Trace the Migration Paths of Early Humans
Pulitzer-winning journalist Paul Salopek embarked on an ambitious project in 2013 called Out of Eden Walk. The plan is to retrace the steps of early humans and recreate the migration pattern of mankind. It’s a 24,000 mile journey that will take Salopek ten years.
Salopek recounts her journey on the National Geographic website in a compelling interactive storytelling format. It’s a collection of articles, videos and photos from Salopek’s journey, where he tries to meet voices that wouldn’t otherwise have a platform. It’s a travel blog like no other.
You can explore the journey by chapter, location, language and category in the map format. It also quickly shows where Salopek is right now. Finally, we recommend turning on the Editor’s Choice filter to find engaging and thought-provoking elements about the world we live in.
The website has more in-depth articles, while you can also follow Salopek’s journey live on his social media with updates on Twitter and Instagram.
2. The World Walk (Web): A Man and a Dog Walk Around the World
In 2015, Tom Turcich began his epic journey to travel the Earth 25,000 miles through different countries and cultures. And about three months later, he adopted Savannah, who has now become as popular as he is, as she takes part in the longest dog walk in the world.
Turcich was held at knife and gunpoint throughout his adventurous travels. He became the first private citizen to cross the Bosphorus Bridge linking Europe with Asia and was escorted around the clock by police in Algeria. He chronicles all of this by writing entries on his blog and posts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can see it changing and growing over the years through these messages as the learnings of the world make it deeper.
Turcich participates in local cultures and traditions like all travelers, but Savannah often steals the show in her videos and social updates. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic interrupted the march for two years, turning it into a five-year march. Turcich is now on the final leg of his journey home, which is the perfect time to start tracking him and see him reflect on years of learning.
3. Somen Debnath (Web): Cycling around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS
Starting in 2004, Indian Somen Debnath embarked on an extraordinary journey to visit 191 countries by bicycle, to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS everywhere. He plans to complete his odyssey in December 2022 by returning to India, making this the perfect time to embark on his final journey.
Debnath rose to fame when he was captured by the Taliban, who beat him and held him captive for days. He eventually convinced them to let him do chores for them, even cooking a curry, after which they released him. These extraordinary stories make Debnath’s journey remarkable and worth recounting.
Debnath recounts her travels and thoughts on her website, YouTube channel and social profiles on Facebook and Twitter. The YouTube channel has the best content, and we suggest you start there. You can also google him to find several articles and interviews about him lately.
4. She Walks the Earth (Web): Walking over 20,000 miles as a single woman
Solo travel through some of the most remote regions of Earth is dangerous enough, but that danger is amplified when you’re a woman. Angela Maxwell has traveled 20,000 miles on four continents. She survived the outback in Western Australia, dengue fever in Vietnam and a physical attack in Mongolia, among other hardships. It’s his story.
Maxwell started in 2013 from her hometown of Bend, Oregon, to visit 14 countries alone, sleeping in a tent each night. After experiencing abuse on her trails, she began advocating for the safety of women throughout her journey. As Outside magazine put it in its profile, “Maxwell created an act of high-flying delicacy – to be an example of a woman who encountered violence in the world and also to be an example of going from before anyway.”
In December 2020, Maxwell completed the trip she was on, returning to her hometown. His entire expedition was captured in two fascinating articles by the BBC and ABC News. She also spoke eloquently on the Adventures of Wild Women podcast and delivered a popular TEDx Talk.
And while the trip is over, you can revisit it through a fantastic photo report on its website. Likewise, dive into Angela’s Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for older posts amid her journey.
5. Karl Bushby (Web): Walking an unbroken path around the world for 22 years
Karl Bushby is among the most famous names currently trying to circumnavigate the earth on foot. Bushby has chosen one of the more difficult routes as he attempts to walk at an unbroken pace. The “Goliath Expedition” has two rules: it cannot use any means of transport to move forward, and it cannot return home until it has arrived on foot.
The planned route begins at the southern tip of South America in Chile and crosses the Americas to cross Russia, from where it will go west to its home in England. He started the journey in 1998 and is still trying to complete it, as he encountered resistance and complications. Bushby is a former paratrooper in the British forces, so some hostile countries considered him a spy or someone without noble intentions. This culminated in a mini-mission called Bushby 3000, where he walked from Los Angeles to Washington DC to ask the Russian ambassador to lift his ban.
Nevertheless, Bushby persevered, sometimes interrupting his trip for weather and political reasons. For example, crossing the Bering Strait on foot to get from America to Asia is an urgent and momentous feat. While Bushby’s original blog is no longer active, you can find the old version on the Wayback Machine, which has an amazing entrance to the Bering Strait.
Currently, shipping is on hold. Visit the former Bushby Odyssey XXI site on the Wayback Machine to see his journey so far, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram. There’s another must-read article from him on why he’s been traveling the world for 22 years. The video linked above is a great view of what he’s been through over the past 20 years, but there’s nothing else to check out on his YouTube channel.
Explore more rides around the world
The above list is not an exhaustive list of people who have traveled the world on foot or on horseback. Instead, we look at those who have made it into the 21st century and record most of their journey on blogs and social media.
Wikipedia has a more comprehensive list of pedestrian circumnavigators, with brief descriptions of their accomplishments. You can search different profiles through this to find books these travelers have written about their expeditions.
From the comfort of your home, you can travel the world for free via your TV, phone, or computer, as these amazing virtual tour apps show.
About the Author