Sometimes it’s years before we hear of the real vagabonds; I wonder how many we never hear of at all! Henry Lee McGinnis has been walking the world for the last 16 years, Google him and I find nothing other than a one-minute video on BBC.
So far he has walked over 80,000 miles across the US and 66 other countries. He is currently entering South America and will finish around 2010 in Texas, after passing through Central America and Mexico.
According to his website, the former Methodist minister and World War II army sniper, carries a 100-pound rucksack with everything but a kitchen sink, and a six-foot steel-tipped walking staff for protection. When he is not camping out, he looks for local hosts for a bed.
Inspired by reading National Geographic since he was 6, at the tender age of 9, he knew this is what he wanted to do. He believes that most people are searching for answers to the following questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? This walk is an inner and outer pilgrimage for Mcginnis.
At 80, the man is still full of life: he wants to write a book of his journey and learn to play tennis before he is 100!
On the video, he leaves one message [paraphrased]: “When you are retired, don’t sit in front of the TV set and gain 20-50 pounds drinking beer and eating sandwiches, go see the world!”
Prime example of the “it’s never too late” notion: If he could start his pedestrian world tour dream at 62, we really have no excuse to follow ours!