Frequently Asked Questions


Update 2012:  This is a FAQ specifically addressing my walk across America in 2011.  I’m leaving it up here for the record, and on the off chance it will help others when planning their own adventure.

I posted two other FAQs while on the road:

FAQ From The Road, on June 13, 2011

More Questions Answered, on September 6, 2011



Are you walking alone?

Yes, if you don’t count Anna.  Not that I haven’t tried to convince all of my friends and family to join me!

If you’d like to join me – for a few miles, a day, a week, or more! – just let me know and we’ll figure out where to meet up on the trail etc. I am always up for company. The more the merrier (not to mention safety in numbers).

Walking? Really?

Yes, really.

However, I am not against catching a ride now and then.  It’s not a strict Rule that I have to walk.  The point is to get to the west coast while having an adventure and relying on the kindness of others.  So if you’re heading westward to work or visit someone, and offer me a ride for a few miles, I’m surely not going to decline!

Why walking? Why not drive cross country?

You miss a lot of details when you speed by in a car.  Walking is much slower, yes, but it’s much more personal.  You really notice the details around you. Plus, you meet a lot more people that way.  Not to mention that a car costs money.  To buy, to fuel, to maintain.  I want to prove that you can have an adventure without having a lot of money. Or heck, without having much skill! It doesn’t take a lot of skill or talent to take a walk!  No license needed!

Also, I enjoy walking. So there’s that.

Do you know how long that will take?

I’m hoping on about six-seven months or so.  But I’m not really worried, there’s no deadline or time frame for this.  It’s an adventure! Adventures shouldn’t have deadlines.

Where will you sleep?

Well, this is where my adoring public would come in. Ha.

No, but seriously, I’ll be depending on the hospitality of others for most of this walk.  For the most part, I’m using friends-of-friends and couchsurfing.org to find places to sleep.  I also have a tent to stay in, when needed.

But hey, I’m always looking for more places to rest, so if you have a spare room/couch (or heck, even a spare patch of yard I can set up my tent on), and you’re not too far off the beaten path, email me and let me know!

What about food?

If you would like to feed me, I won’t stop you!  However, when I’m not being fed by generous people I meet, I’ll be stopping by grocery stores and whatnot to pick up a meal on the go.

I will be carrying a small amount of food, and Anna’s food will be split between her pack and my own, but for the most part it’s a forage as I go kind of deal.

How much is this going to cost?

I have no idea.  I’ve based my budget on what my walk along the Erie Canal ended up costing, and I have some money saved up, and if it runs out…well, I’ll worry about that when it happens.

But again, counting on the kindness of strangers.  If you have an extra dollar or two, check out the PayPal link and send that cash my way!

Edit: PayPal link no longer active.

What will you do when you reach the west coast?

That, dear reader, is a concern for the future.  I figure I’ll work it out when I get to that point.

Why the heck are you doing this? Don’t you know it’s dangerous out there? You’ll be eaten by a bear or killed by a mad axe-wielding stranger!

I’m tired of being scared of the world.  I want an adventure, and I want others to realize that they can have an adventure.  That all you have to do is go out that and try.  You don’t have to be super fit, or have the special equipment, or have a million dollars.  You just have to walk out that door and throw yourself into the World.

And I’m taking precautions.  There are safety check-ins,  checks on the people I’m staying with, and I’ve got a ferocious beast as my companion.   It may seem like I’m just throwing caution to the wind, but I really am quite a paranoid person and do in fact take plenty of safety measures.

But if this world is so awful that a girl can’t go for a walk?  Well, I’m not really sure if I want to live in such a world.  This walk, apart from being a grand adventure, is to restore my faith in humanity.  I’m throwing myself out there to depend (partly) on the kindness of strangers.

Hopefully you all don’t disappoint me.


13 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. I’ve heard all the reasons why adventures like this can’t be done. When I biked 2000 miles last summer, people along the way were always worried about my safety. But I had a safe place to sleep every night (most outdoors, freely camping on public land of all sorts), and got to see a lot of the country.

    It’ll be a hard walk, but you’d do fine as long as you’re committed to do it, one section at a time, one day at a time. I’m jealous!

  2. As your aunt I am one of the people scared of this world. Please be careful, you are an important part of our family dynamic. Remember walk facing traffic. If it doesn’t seem right get away. I know you did not miss your parent’s lesson on “not talking to strangers” so use your instincts. Most of all have fun. Auntie Sheila

    • Don’t worry She-She, I have a very healthy sense of paranoia and self preservation! And I plan to take all the safety precautions one can while walking alone – I even have a fierce beast as my companion for that extra bit of safety!

    • Congrats on getting your boat! First big step on an amazing mission. I’d love to sail around the world, but I have zero experience with boats. Basically my knowledge of boats and sailing comes from pirate movies, and I’m pretty sure those aren’t accurate or helpful portrayals of sailing.

  3. Um, I’m tenonthedot from LJ, and I live in Southern Maine. If you want my company for a mile or two, feel free to contact me 🙂

  4. Glad I found you here. You wrote: “But if this world is so awful that a girl can’t go for a walk? Well, I’m not really sure if I want to live in such a world. This walk, apart from being a grand adventure, is to restore my faith in humanity. I’m throwing myself out there to depend (partly) on the kindness of strangers.”
    I totally agree with this. I haven’t walked across america, but if I did, this would be my attitude.

  5. Oh man! Wish I’d know about your blog when you started it, and not when GW finally had an article about it! 😉 Amazing adventure. You rock, girl! Can’t wait to read about it, and maybe see “you” in GW2 some day!

  6. you’re such a hero. my hero. grats on your amazing, epic adventure and for being bold, brave and fulfilling your dreams and heart’s desire. My dream, I think, since I was little and reading ‘my side of the mountain’ and ‘the outsiders’ for the first time was to always be free; just live and be as I want to be. Some people live in fear and let it stop them from doing the things they most want to do, and some people feel the fear and do it anyway. You’re one of those people and you inspire me to be such a person. thank you! 🙂

  7. You’re a hero to me! If you ever pass through East Grand Forks, MN, my couch is yours! I’ll feed you too! Ever since I’ve read your story I’ve wanted to take an adventure of my own. I hope to someday.

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