A walk around the world is a particularly “spidery” journey for this man. Tom Turich left his home in New Jersey five years ago and embarked on a 25,000-mile walk around the world that spans seven continents. After four months of travel, he adopted a pet dog named Savannah during his stay in Texas. Since then, the duo has travelled over 16,000 miles together in 33 countries.
“In the first two years of this adventure, I ran from New Jersey to Uruguay,” Turich recalls. “In Panama I was stopped in a knife point, made ayahuasca in the Amazon and climbed 15,000 meters over the Chilean Andes. In the three years since my hike on the American continent, I was almost killed by a bacterial infection, took seven months to recover, then hiked through Europe, North Africa, Turkey and Georgia. I walked on the Camino in Spain, had a twenty-four hour police escort through Algeria, visited the village of my family name (Turčić) in Croatia and became the first private citizen to be granted permission to cross the Bosporus Bridge on foot (the Istanbul Bridge runs from Europe to Asia)”.
While trapped in Baku, Azerbaijan, Turich conducted a Reddit AMA on April 26. He gave the fans an insight into his unique journey.
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The globetrotter spoke about the spontaneity of travel. “This is one of the wonderful things about traveling in this way – I am always open to serendipity. I’m out in the world and meet new people. In Scotland, a policeman found me asleep at a bus stop and came by in the morning to bring me coffee and pastries. In Turkey, a fruit vendor saw me on the news and loaded me with fruit. In the Argentine summer, I walked for four hours through a downpour, staggered into a church and was welcomed by a priest who took me to his parish and gave me a bed for the night. Many great moments”.
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Day 1357 – For a dog that runs twenty-five miles on most days, Savannah is surprisingly good at lounging. We were able to stretch our legs at sunrise and sunset, when not many people are outside, but Sav only walks from the sofa to bed most of the day and seems to be completely satisfied with it. Baku is locked up, but I am thankful that we are here. There are numerous tests, and the number of cases of Covid-19 is relatively low. All in all, we are coping well, we are just trying to stay smart and do our part to make this virus extinct. When it is time to go, we will be ready, because now we will be patient.
A contribution by Tom Turcich (@theworldwalk) on 30 March 2020 at 9:20 PDT
He also spoke about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the duo’s incredible journey. “The coronavirus has been off the rails all year, that’s for sure. But this was a rather fragile year at the beginning, I had to balance some big things to make sure it went as planned. Turich explained that Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, together with Uzbekistan was part of the plan, but due to closures and travel restrictions, these stops were put on hold.
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Family portrait – 21.3.20 – GÃ¶ylÉr Oil, Azerbaijan – 16,500 miles run together. Well, the delicate balance that keeps this walk in motion has fallen apart. Actually, it fell apart a few days ago and I did not notice it. Kazakhstan closed its borders until April 15. I read that it closed its two biggest cities, but just a few days ago it also closed the whole country. This means that Sav and I will have to wait until then in Azerbaijan or Georgia. The decision, which is a complicated matter. As for Azerbaijan, an incredibly friendly supporter (thanks @d.jeannet !!!) has contacted a friend here who was able to secure me an extended visa. So I could stay here until Kazakhstan opens its borders again. If I stay, I will be ready to take the ferry as soon as it arrives on the 15th. But if Kazakhstan decides to keep its borders closed beyond the 15th, my visa could become a more complicated matter. It could also mean that I would be quarantined in a hotel room with Savannah for a month or more. So in a way, Georgia seems to be the safer choice. I have friends there, and the 365 day visa