FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: This trip is something that I have been considering for a long time, and the reasons to do it have just surpassed the reasons not to...by a lot. To name a few:
1. I am a runner. As a collegiate runner, I find myself frequently running around a hundred miles a week...yet every morning I wake up in the same place. I want to try running something other than loops for a while. I like to travel, why not put this free transportation to some good?
2. To experience what I have learned. I have spent four years at a liberal arts college studying architecture, the arts, and western civilization. I’ve spent countless hours learning, researching, and writing about amazing works of art and architecture. As it turns out, most of those masterpieces are in Europe...I’ve made my route so that I can see them firsthand.
3. Culture and communication. I want to get out and meet new people: to see what it is like to have to interact with a different person and a different place every single day. I want to see Europe on a human scale, not just take a flight to major destinations. I’ve taken a few classes in French, German, and Italian: I feel like having to explain myself (like I’m doing here) every day, to someone who speaks a language that I am hardly familiar with would just be crazy...so I figure I’ll give it a try.
4. Adventure. I guess this one speaks for itself.
Q: Why this route?
A: My route was determined by many factors--by cities and countries that I want to visit, architecture that I want to see, friends along the route, etc. In general, the route is somewhat inspired by the Grand Tour which was common in the 18th century.
Q: How many miles will you run each day?
A: I intend to average about 20 miles a day. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to run exactly 20 miles every day. My daily mileage will be largely dependant upon where I have a place to stay, some days I might run 10 miles others I might cover 30. This will also be determined by feel: If I feel like the mileage is taking too much of a toll on my body, I’ll cut it down. If I feel like I need to do more, then I’ll do more.
Q: What are you bringing with you?
A: Generally, people who do very long distance (many week) runs do it with a support crew, or in some cases, push their things in a baby stroller. I intend to carry everything on my back, which means that I need to travel very light. Added weight makes running very difficult, so I’m streamlining everything and cutting off anything that I don’t need. I will have: running shoes, a backpack, 2 pairs of running shorts, 2 lightweight t-shirts, light windbreaker jacket and pants, 3 pairs of socks, cellphone and charger, passport, space blanket, credit card, toothbrush and disposable razor with sawed off handles, toothpaste and deodorant.
Q: Where will you sleep?
A: I am hoping to depend on hospitality for as many nights as possible. Hopefully this website will get me in contact with some people who wouldn’t mind letting me sleep on their floor for a night. I will also be taking advantage of an amazing resource: couchsurfing.com. If I can’t find anything...well, at least sleeping outdoors isn’t so bad in the summer.
Q: What will you eat?
A: Stone soup? I’m sure I’ll get the calories in somehow. I do love to cook (although that doesn’t mean I’m very good at it) if anyone will let me near kitchen...
Q: Aren’t you afraid of [terrible thing that could happen] or [other terrible thing that could happen]? What if you [other, more terrible thing that could happen]?!
A: I am fully aware that this trip carries certain risks with it, and I will obviously always make my best effort to avoid them. So many things could go wrong, but that is true for just about anything. I would rather live my life in a way that’s worth protecting than live a protected life that I’m not proud of...for me, that means following through with my ambitions and trying to make this dream reality.
Q: How will you get home?
A: I’m sure I’ll figure that out when the time comes. There are so many variables that could effect my return date, so I’m going to hold off until I get a little closer.
Q: Are you going to grow a sweet beard?
A: We'll see. I look pretty dirty when I don't shave...and people generally don't like to let dirty looking people sleep on their floor. I'll have to play it by feel.