In May 2, 2014, Angela Maxwell started her walk around the world – alone – with the aim of seeking a deeper connection to the world. On December 16, 2020, six and one-half years and 20,000 miles later, she brought that connection back home.
As she prepared, Maxwell found a whole world of women explorers to embolden her. She fell in love with the writing and slow travel style of Robyn Davidson, who traversed Australia with camels. She learned about long-distance walker Ffyona Campbell; and read up on Rosie Swale-Pope, who hitchhiked from Europe to Nepal, sailed around the world, crossed Chile on horseback and, at age 59, began jogging around the world.
Once she made the decision to go, Maxwell sold all her belongings and organised the necessary gear. She packed a cart with 50kg of camping equipment, dehydrated food, a military-grade water filter and four seasons of clothing. Maxwell left her hometown of Bend, Oregon, on 2 May 2014 and headed into an adventure so grand it was probably best she didn’t know exactly what was waiting for her along the track.
When I first connected with Maxwell over Skype in June 2018, she was already nearly four years into her journey, having walked more than 12,500 miles in 12 countries on three continents. Curious, I asked her what kind of person it takes to walk around the world. Her face gleaming, she quipped, “a stubborn one”. She then added, “It’s probably a combination of ambition, a little stubbornness and a pinch of passion – not for hiking as a sport, but for self-discovery and adventure.”
Watch Angela Maxwell’s inspirational 2018 Tedx talk at Tedx University of Edinburgh. She was still walking at the time of this talk.
Angela’s web site » She Walks The Earth