Worldwalk Author:Steven M. Newman The young American is listed in the 1988 Guinness Book of World Records for his remarkable feat:as the first person to walk around the world alone. And he was truly on his own:no sponsorship, limited funds -- his total luggage, a backpack he named Clinger. It took him 4 years to complete his journey of five continents, twenty countries, over fif... more »teen thousand miles.
But he did not set out to make a special record. He always had been interested in the world and,despite disaster headlines, had been convinced there were good people throughout it. He wanted to find out for himself. And he tells of his experience in an impressively vivid,detailed account of his intimate view of the world.
On April 1 , 1983, at age twenty-eight, Steve left his home in Bethel, Ohio and headed for the East Coast, from where he flew to London and began his travels abroad. He paid for no lodging, slept in fields, under bridges, in abandoned buildings -- or in the homes of people who invited him. And invited he was, because people all over the world were taken with this tall, lanky redhead with the tiny American flag on his pack -- and wanted to be apart of his adventure.
He had adventures aplenty. He inadvertently created his own bomb scare in Northern Ireland when he parked his sack of dirty laundry with its white plastic drawstring outside a lord mayor'soffice. He crossed the Pyrenees in a violent snowstorm, as the wind ripped him from the mountainside. He was pulled apart by a mob of hustlers in Tangier and almost killed by a runaway team of horses in Morocco. He was treed for a night by long-tusked boars in Algeria, and attacked by bull ants in the Australian Outback. He was arrested in Algeria, Yugoslavia, and Turkey -- and had to escape from the jail in Turkey. He was caught on a stretch of empty road in the middle of the night in Thailand by two bandits with machetes.
But with all the excitement, adventure and danger in the book, the dominant emotion of Worldwalk is one of warmth: the outpouring of love and assistance shown to this lone American by people -- from Irish pub owners to Buddhist monks -- who wanted to share in his dream. Because he walked far from the beaten path, in parts of the world no tourist sees, he was for many the only American they had ever met, and so he became an unwitting but wonderful ambassador for his county.
The only thing he ever asked of anyone was a drink of water. He was given money, food, and shelter -- and friendship. And on April 1, 1987, he returned to Bethel, it was as a man who had grown with the richness of his experience, and with ample proof of the goodness he had sought.« less