"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."
- Joseph CampbellStarting on August 31st, I will be walking from my hometown of West Hebron, NY to New Orleans over the course of about four months. You might be wondering what motivates me to undertake a sojourn like this. Oddly enough, it is not the physical challenge of covering 1,500 miles on foot. That will just kind of happen, one step at a time. What motivates me is the chance to experience the kindness and hospitality of both friends and strangers as I ask over 100 different people and families to be a part of this journey by sharing dinner with me and giving me shelter for one night as I make my way to New Orleans.
I have mapped out my route and identified places where I already know people who I hope to spend time with on this trip. But there are many other towns and cities along the way where I don’t know anyone (yet). These places offer the exciting chance to experience the serendipitous beauty of how previous strangers can be connected in an expression of human kindness and love.
An updated list of those places below are on the right. Most of these towns you have probably never heard of. I doubt if some of them have a functioning streetlight (I know West Hebron doesn’t). But if by chance you have a friend or family member who lives close by I would be immensely grateful if you could let me know or forward this note to them. Even if they don't live right on my route, chances are they might know someone who does who might be willing to provide some respite and friendship to a physically weary but joyful traveler.
This journey is a spiritual exercise for me. It is about following my bliss. It is not about making money or generating publicity. Its genesis was a simple idea I had five years ago to take a walk that would allow me to actively seek out the side of life I have found to be most joyous and spiritually fulfilling - the friendship and fellowship shared between people in the expression of hospitality and shared meals. To have a chance to experience all this as I travel through the country and appreciate its beauty day in and day out for over four months is immensely exciting.
Any help you can give in connecting me with those I might meet along the way is greatly appreciated. Barring that, your thoughts and prayers are also appreciated. You can always reach me at email@example.com - my iPhone and its robust 3G network will see to that.