Man Tells Story of His 4,000-Mile Walk That Began in Chadds Ford in New Book

Image of Andrew Forsthoefel via Karen Brown, New England Public Radio.

Four thousand miles and five years after he left his mother’s home in Chadds Ford to embark on a journey across America, Andrew Forsthoefel is retelling his experience in a book, writes Karen Brown for New England Public Radio.

“When I committed to a long-distance through-hike, walking became both my lover and my enemy,” he said.

During his 11-month walk, Forsthoefel regularly stopped to record stories from the dozens of people he met, now included in his Walking to Listen book.

Forsthoefel’s first idea was to travel to a small village in Africa, but financial issues forced him to adjust his plans. With $4,000 in savings, his plan was to camp or accept a free couch when offered, while traveling to record people’s stories.

“To meet someone at the end of a day was just a miraculous thing to experience,” he said.

During his travels, Forsthoefel had a few rules, such as no Internet or GPS and no listening to headphones.

“I wanted to be approachable. I wanted people to feel they wouldn’t be interrupting me,” he said. “So I chose not to wear ear buds.”

Listen to the entire interview at New England Public Radio here.

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