Not so long ago I wrote an article for my Great Modern Travelers section about Karl Bushby. A man who in the late 90’s set out to literally walk around the world. No canoes, human powered vehicles, nothing but two feet and two arms. It took him 6 years to walk from South America to Canada, an unbroken path. Including the Darien Gap (Columbia to Panama). He then became the first man along with Dimitri Kieffer to cross the Bering Straits.
For me, about 10 years ago when I began researching my own journey I came across Karl’s story. At first I thought his travel plans were great, because of what they were. But after following his journey for nearly 10 years and his book I found what I really admired was the man himself, or rather the story behind the man. You can find my review of Karl’s book Giant Steps here.
In a video on Interview with Karl Bushby
Karl says something I can relate to. Nobody gave a damn about him, nor thought he stood a chance in life. “We’re not going to fail anymore at this, there’s no going home.”
These days I don’t get a chance to catch up a lot on other blogs or travelers as much as a would like to. So it was with a sadness that I read Karl’s most recent post. After crossing the Bering Straits the Russians held things up for the Expedition. Real life spy games between the UK and Russia meant no visa extensions and no hope of being let in to walk across Russia. And so they were told to wait, and wait. It’s been years now. And Karl still waits. Nothing is changing but from Politics that are worsening. Quote from Karl “This, however, is a grand odyssey in the 21st Century, and these are the challenges one faces”
To cross Russia he needed sponsors, ice, snow, sub zero temps, it’s not going to happen otherwise. The Russian wait can be done, but the global financial downturn meant Karl’s sponsors retreated away. And now he’s on his own again. It’s means he’s in trouble.
I’m writing this entry not to round-up donations or anything like that. I write it because Karl’s journey means something to me too. It’s inspiring and adventurous. Look at the You Tube videos or better yet buy his book and read about the man before you pass judgment. There are some out there who use travel as a means, not a glory shot. Karl used travel as a last-ditch effort to survive.
If you are interested in his blog it’s right here. Any words of encouragement or ideas would be most welcome I am sure. Like wise on his forum where you can lay out your ideas in more depth and discuss things with Karl in person.
For me, I have suggested contacting a Russian business. Maybe NIKE Russia, or the like and getting a Russian ‘job’, thereby allowing a work visa. A Russian business maybe able to go one step further and offer sponsorship too.
The key is if you have contacts with any Russian business types out there, maybe you can help back a man making history and go along for the ride.
I’ve recently opened up some comments on this site, so if you have any feedback about Karl, and his story feel free to post them.
In the meantime. From one Traveler on a quest to another:
Karl mate, I wish you the best.