Walking around the world like no other
I first heard of Karl Bushby well over a decade ago. When I was taking my own first tentative steps of travel planning Karl Bushby was setting out on a, then, 12 year odyssey to walk around the world without any other means of transport. And by walk, he means walk. He was the first recorded man to cross the Bering Straits. Okay he swam, but you get the point.
About Karl's plan and goals
Karl is an ex-paratrooper from the UK. He set off in 1998 in South America with little more than $800 (could have been $500) and walked all the way to Russia. 10 Years later, that is where he is now. 2 years ago the Russians arrested him. Part of this was due to the fact he entered Russia by literally swimming over the perishing ice filled water of the Bering Straits and popped up in an abandoned Military base. As you could imagine the Russians were none to pleased. Since then he has been battling(diplomatically) with the Russians for a visa that would allow him to walk across this leg of his journey.
Giant Steps the book
I've read his mid point book. It's a book laid out in diary format and a good read for those traveling as it's easy to pick up and start again. It's also a fascinating look at the man himself, the how's, why's and can be's of his life. Not to mention a great read on traveling the Americas by land. But more than all that, the book stays with you. Karl's quest is to accomplish something with a life he once thought had amassed to little. This alone makes the book worth reading as it puts a great perspective on our own lives and what we do with them.
Karl is proving to be an inspiration to many people out there. Not just travelers, but people from all walks in life. He's currently stuck in Alaska due to Russia not letting him in. If you have any ideas that might help him with this problem head to the forum on his website and you can post your ideas there. Here's his now closed website - Odyssey XXI/ Bushby 3000
Update: Karl's in trouble. Not only will the Russians in this 21st century world not give him a visa. But the financial downturn has sent lingering sponsors running. He's in need of sponsors and a Russian solution, and the odds are against him.
Update: I've had the opportunity to talk with Karl about his journey. It's an insightful interview that I recommend - Interview with Karl Bushby
Update: It looks like Karl has finally been given permission to enter Russia in 2011. Sponsors also look to be returning. Expecting to hear the all clear signal soon for this epic journey to continue.
Update 2012: More positive news. Karl's been walking across Russia during 2011. Now awaiting the end of winter and a new passport he's also coming close to a film deal. Karl's been recording video of his epic walk across Russia and the media are finally starting to take notice! With this funding the boundaries will be removed and Karl can move on to the more physical challenges like the Road of Bones.
Update 2012 part 2: Devastating news for Karl Bushby as the Russians yet again reject his application for a visa extension. I was just in contact with Karl and saddened to hear that Russia's latest rejection is a long term one. This as Karl had secured some sponsorship. Where Karl Bushby's epic walk around the world goes from here no one knows. Every effort has been taken to prove to the Russians that this is a legitimate project has failed. One can only hope someone will see some reasoning to this or else it will be a case of a very long wait or change of direction.
Update 2014: In an effort to convince the Russian government Karl has embarked on a walk 3000 miles across the USA to the Russian embassy in Washington D.C.. He hopes this will be complete before the end of the year. With Russia's current standing Karl hopes that the government might grant him a visa for the sake of goodwill.
Update 2019: Karl has made it across Russia. However the journey seems to be broken up into retreats for visas and walks. This is most likely due to sponsorship and visa issues. His website has vanished and Facebook is a mix of personal posts and random posters. Karl Bushby Facebook.
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