Speed Reads

it started with a single step

New Jersey man headed back home after walking 25,000 miles around the world

On his walking trek around the world, Tom Turcich traveled 25,000 miles, wore out 45 pairs of sneakers, and had more escapades than he could have ever imagined.

In 2015, Turcich came up with a plan to spend about five years exploring the world on foot. He started his adventure on April 2, leaving his home in Haddon Township, New Jersey, the day before his 26th birthday. He uses social media and YouTube to keep people updated on his journey; through posts and videos, Turcich has shared how he almost froze while camping in South America, received a police escort in Algeria, hopped on a research vessel to Antarctica, and spent more time in Turkey after COVID-19 thwarted his plans to visit Australia.

"From all the solitude, from all the walking, I know myself very well," Turcich told NJ.com. "This has given me a much larger understanding of the world."

Early on his adventure, while walking through Texas, Turcich adopted a dog, Savannah, who has joined him for 22,500 miles. In August, they flew from Kyrgyzstan to Seattle, and began the final leg of their journey, with Turcich expecting them to arrive in New Jersey by mid-May.

He was able to see his family a few times during his adventure, including in 2019, when his mom Catherine, dad Tom, and sister Lexi met him in Croatia. After a few years of walking around the world, Catherine said she could see how life on the road had changed her son, all for the better.

"He was so in his element," she told NJ.com. "To see him interacting with people, and how comfortable he was — all of a sudden, I saw him through different eyes. He's embraced this. He had grown into a man on this journey."