26-year-old Tom Turcich is taking a five year, round the world trip on foot.
Tom left his New Jersey home 166 days ago, to embark on a seven continent walk. During an ask me anything session on Reddit, he explained: “At seventeen a close friend passed away and I realised life could be over as quickly and arbitrarily as the flick of a switch.”
After coming to terms his loss, Tom set his sights on The World Walk, working hard to finish college, pay off loans and save.
Four months into his trip, Tom adopted an Australian Shepherd puppy, which he named ‘Savannah’.
The lightweight baby buggy Tom uses to carry his tent and other supplies, doubles up as a safe place for Savannah to rest. “She’s really energetic in the morning so I’ve been able to get her to walk two straight hours but after that she gets tired. Luckily the basket fits her perfectly so she can lay in there and sleep most of the day.” He told Redditors.
Redditors were concerned Tom wasn’t aware of the complications travelling with an animal entails. Some urged him to give Savannah up before he left the states. Tom assured users he was aware of the “paperwork, fresh vaccines and occasional quarantine” that would be involved.
The pair appear to be taking an intuitive route on their trip. “It’s really impossible to map the exact route, some roads end up being bad walking, others end up being good.”
“I’ll fly from South America to Europe, then Asia to Australia, then Australia to the US. Between then though it’ll be walking.”
Tom says he’s looking forward to visiting Croatia as he has lots of family there.
Tom has got through five pairs of shoes so far, with each pair lasting 600 miles. Luckily his friend, a Brooks rep, has been regularly sending him new trainers - a huge help as money on the road is tight.
“On a long, hot, exposed stretch of Texas road, two people stopped within a minute of each other to give me and Savannah some incredible, life changing, icy water.” Said Tom on Instagram.
The pair have been shown many acts of kindness, from donations of food and money, to advice on routes to take/things to see - and even a bed to sleep in.
Usually though, they’re recuperating for the night in a tent, giving Tom the chance to write his blog on his (solar-panel-charged) ipad.
For Tom, living out his dream has not been without it’s struggles, “At the beginning it was brutal. My legs were sore to the touch and my hamstrings were always cramping.”
“It’s just near impossible to always be eating enough. I burn around 5000 calories a day and sometimes I’m in rural areas where there’s no McDonalds to get 2000 cheap calories. Day to day I mostly eat trail mix, crackers, pop-tarts, bagels with peanut butter and nutella.”
When asked by Redditors what his parents thought of his plans, Tom said, “My dad lived under a tarp in Hawaii for five years so he’s all for it. My mom was worried at first but always supportive and as I’ve walked further she’s adjusted better to the idea. I do miss them, but I’m living my dream and I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I can’t wait to see them again, but that won’t slow me down.”
Tom has made some huge sacrifices to achieve his dream, he told Reddit users, “I was willing to give up everything to walk. I stayed at home after college to save money, I left a girl was deeply in love with, and now that I’m on the road I face heat and exhaustion daily. But I want the walk more than anything in the world, if I’m not walking around the world I’m not who I am. So when it comes to giving up certain things and facing obstacles I don’t really have a choice. It’s all for the walk.”
And Tom’s advice to those curious to achieve their dreams? “I’d say, set whatever your goal is, like a flag in the distance, then always be walking towards it. If you want to get to that flag, you’ll get there.”
Good luck Tom! We shall follow your progress with great interest!
images: Instagram @theworldwalk