Adventure of a lifetime: walking the Earth

Most people like to embark on a great adventure at least once in their lifetime, usually when they are young, so that they will have something to tell their children and grandchildren in the future. Or just to impress themselves or maybe other people. Or simply because it is in human nature to look for ways of getting out of the tediousness of everyday life.

Sometimes it is a spiritual thing that pushes us to take a long difficult trip, and it has some religious significance for us, directly or indirectly. For example, it is widespread for Europeans, not only Catholics, to walk the trail to Santiago de Compostela, with its paths scattered all over Europe.

The pilgrimage may be connected to a promise to God or to ourselves. Meanwhile, hiking for some is just a way to exercise and enjoy nature and the beautiful landscapes.

A couple from Freiburg in Germany decided to make a trip around the world without flying.

Perhaps they did it out of environmental concern, or because they wanted to witness (as they state in the film they made in German, recording their travels) how big the world really is. They wouldn’t be able to experience this from a plane.

Gwen and Patrick left their home in the Black Forest in order to discover new countries and people, and in the course of three years, they managed to see many places of the globe mainly by walking, but also by hitch-hiking, getting on buses, boats and trains, and driving some vehicle they would purchase locally. The globe-trotting, adventure-loving couple didn’t avoid crossing countries considered dangerous, like Pakistan (which they really enjoyed, by the way), and spent nights in their tent in freezing temperatures.

They didn’t get as far as Australia and New Zealand, but they crossed the Pacific from Japan to America on a cargo ship, and although their budget was extremely tight, they allowed themselves to come back to Europe on a cruise ship.

In Siberia, Gwen found out she was pregnant and the couple welcomed their baby while in Mexico. So, two people started this trip and three came back!

The film Weit. is the visual child of their adventure.

There is also a book and a website where you can learn more. In the film, there are many moments of elation, excitement, frustration and despair. But most of all, it is a tender glimpse at the world and its inhabitants. It is also full of humour, which is great!

Lito Seizani contributes giving personal insights into being an every-day tourist. She is the author of "The Ideal Bench", which is available on Amazon.

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