Seeing the World, One Step at a Time

Tom Turcich, a Haddon native, is spending the next five years walking around the world.

Tom Turcich and Savannah in Usson-Du-Poitou, France.
Tom Turcich and Savannah in Usson-Du-Poitou, France.
Photo courtesy of Tom Turcich

As I write this, Tom Turcich is walking with his dog, Savannah, through Salamanca, a city in northwestern Spain famous for its university and Hannibal’s siege in 220 B.C. By the time you read this, Turcich will have walked across Spain to Barcelona, en route to Algeria. From there, he’ll aim for Italy, and then the Black Sea’s southern rim, striding toward Azerbaijan. Next year, he’ll still be walking. The year after that, too. Depending on how things go, he should finish his 35,000-mile walk around the world the year after that.

“Nothing to it,” Turcich told me when we met on the side of a highway in northern Germany earlier this year.

Turcich walked out of his parents’ home in Haddon Township on April 2, 2015, heading south to Antarctica. The trip has not been without its challenges. Illness—caused by a “vicious bacteria” likely picked up in South America—forced him to leave his walk in Scotland last August, a seven-month interruption. “I was getting cramps so bad that I was on the ground blacking out,” he says. He spent a month in and out of a hospital in London and dropped 40 pounds from his 170-pound frame before recovering sufficiently to return to the trail in March.

A sponsor, Philadelphia Sign Co., supports Turcich’s travels, along with photo commissions from Google.

Back home, Turcich’s parents monitor his progress through photos he posts on Instagram (@theworldwalk). Three years in, his parents are more proud, he says, than worried. “My mom at the beginning was very nervous, but now she’s used to it,” Turcich says. “People in my hometown are always asking her how I’m doing. She likes that.”

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