Have you met many other 'long distance walkers' like yourself en-route, or have you so far been in a league of your own on that front?
I caught up with Rosy Swales when we came back from crossing the Straits. Originally she and I had missed each other crossing the Norton Sound Bay, like ships in the night, during a white-out. We literally walked right past one another. Other than Rosy, never met another walker out there.
All things considered, when do you envisage actually getting back to England?
That's a little tough at the moment; all our timings have been blown out of the window right now, and until the end of this year we will not have a good idea. If Russia refuses to give me any more leeway then it will take more than two years just to get to the southern border with China and Mongolia, with the 3 months in country, 3 months out routine. That's if we can afford to keep that going at a fixed pace. Beyond that, perhaps 3-4 years if things run smoothly.
Have you found it easy to get coverage in papers and magazines, or have you had to do the chasing in media circles in order to raise the profile of your expedition?
The Media will appear for the more spectacular events, as can be expected,
and we are always here to fill a couple of pages when news is thin on
the ground. They, of course, want the full story that day and certainly
don't like stories that move at walking pace.
Local press will cover the expedition as I enter their area, otherwise it's mainly a matter of chasing to raise the expeditions profile
If there's one thing you've learnt on your odyssey, what is it?
We are, as a collective, a good people. We are, beneath a thin veil of cultural differences, fundamentally the same. Tell you something you did not already know, right? But how easily we all forget, and how often you need to be reminded. Over the years, I have received help, food, shelter and compassion from the wealthiest to the poorest of the poor, be it individuals or governments.
Having journeyed on foot for almost a decade, and shaken many hands, one is driven with a sense of debt and gratitude. I feel duty bound to 'give back' to a world that opened its door and heart to a weary, dishevelled traveller. No matter where in the world I stood, from the Arctic Russian tundra, the sterile Atacama Desert of Chile and Peru, to the affluent cities of North America, someone would reach out with an open hand containing bread for a man they did not know. This is a story that needs to be told.
Finally, should people want to keep posted about your progress, or if they feel that they could perhaps help with sponsorship, what is the best way to get in touch with you?
All the necessary contact info can be found on the expedition website.
We will continue to update the website as often as we can.
We have also opened a new forum where I am inviting people to
discuss topics such as how we can best use the expedition (as
we close in on the UK) to give back to the world, or for a greater
cause if you like.
Or, if anyone can help the expedition expand and develop its ability to fund the remainder of the journey. We plan on enlarging the website and, where possible, updating more frequently including more video footage etc.
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