When you and I got the itch to walk, we usually go around the block a couple of times. But not Canadian Jean Béliveau. He went walking for 46,600 miles through 64 countries.
And perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that his wife waited for him at home while Jean spent 11 years walking around the world.
Gadling interviewed the wandering man:
How much ground does one need to cover to walk around the world in 11 years?
Jean: I averaged about 20 miles per day over 11 years, but I didn't walk every day. It took about six months to cross the U.S., about 8 months for Mexico and Central America. Then I had to skip Colombia because back in 2002 it was considered very dangerous. I spent almost two years walking through South America and then I ran out of money. I didn't want to call Luce and ask for her to pay for my flight to Africa. Eventually, a Brazilian guy offered to pay for my ticket to South Africa and the trip continued.
Where did you sleep during this walk?
Jean: People invited me into their homes, they fed me, they phoned people 30-40 miles ahead to help me. Some people gave me money, brought me to the supermarket and filled my buggy with food. I stayed with about 1,600 families in 64 countries, but in general I'd say I spent roughly one-third with families, one-third camping and the rest being invited to sleep in churches, temples, mosques, schools and even prisons. I stayed with criminals, killers, extremists – all kinds of people.