She Walks the Earth: Angela Maxwell
Angela Maxwell is walking around the world, that’s the long and short of it. There’s little more than a loose itinerary, a tent, $2,000, occasional donations and some basic supplies. On 02 May 2014, she set off to travel to Oregon to England via Australia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Georgia, Turkey, Sardinia, Sicily and Scotland, and she’s still going.
What made you want to do this?
I heard about a man walking around the world. I immediately thought, “what an amazing and crazy thing to do. I wonder if a woman has done it?” I gave myself nine months to plan and began. What I didn’t know was that every mapped-out plan I had would ultimately be tossed and I’d learn to follow my instincts and make my own maps.
Where do you sleep?
I have two rules that I learned from a bushman in Australia: when I’m in the wild, to set up camp in a hidden and inconspicuous place, hiding all my tracks. Or if I must camp near a village, to be highly visible to everyone so I can reach help if needed.
Have strangers been supportive?
The offer of a warm meal during a rainstorm or a hot shower after a month without one goes further than one could imagine. Even in Mongolia, in the vastness of solitude, a nomadic woman offered me warm yak milk and her floor to sleep on.
What did you make of the Scottish section of your walk?
The Cairngorms National Park enveloped my heart and was like a scene from the Mists of Avalon. I also fell in love with Edinburgh.
Have you ever felt like quitting?
Never. I’ve had times that I’ve cursed the wind, kicked my cart, and cried helplessly in the middle of the desert. But not once have I thought of giving it up or quitting.
Angela Maxwell shares her photos and short stories on her blog.