Young Woman Walks Across the U.S. Just Because

empty roadI would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more ... but Catherine Li would walk 1,500 miles, and she would walk 1,500 miles more, just to be the woman who walked 3,000 miles and fall down at your door. (What. No Proclaimers fans in the house?) Li, a 24-year-old San Fransisco native, is making her way on foot from Dale City, California to New York, New York, and as of Wednesday, she was about 78 miles southwest of NYC in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Using a Google maps guide she printed out and hand-bound, Li is pushing a shopping cart that holds her tent and other supplies as she traverses the entire country.

Her journey, and her insightful remarks, are nothing short of incredible. But if Li had it her way, we would never know about it.


She's not tweeting about her walk (OMG you guys! Made it to Oklahoma! Where's my steak? LOL) or Facebooking about it (Check out my photos from Lake Erie. What an eerie place. Haha!) and she doesn't have a corporate sponsor (insert joke about Gatorade here). She's just, walking ... and for no other reason than that she wanted to.

I just decided to click over to living in the actual moment instead of inventing all these fantastic fantasies for the future ... When you’re on a trip like this, you get so much closer to the truth about yourself. A quest is different for everyone, but the courage is the same.

It's taken her seven months so far, and she's on the last leg. Walking about 15 miles a day, by my calculations, she could be in NYC by Monday, September 26.

There are two things about Li and her walk that really resonate with me. One is the "clicking over to living" part. She kinda clicked to the extreme -- not many of us would push a cart across the nation -- but her message is a good one, one that's a lot easier said than done, but valuable nonetheless. (But that's no surprise, anything that's good for us can be described that way.) I just like that she said "click," like deciding to turn the dial, to move it a bit to hear that phonic feedback, is all we need to get started. So true. So hard. I'd like to "click" into a trip to Turkey. Also would like to "click" into exercising more, and "click" into keeping in better touch with out-of-state friends. But of course, there are tons of excuses getting in the way.

The other part I really like is that Li did this without fanfare. I think a lot of us are motivated to do things because of the recognition we'd get, the fame, the spotlight, the money (if we're lucky) etc. She made the trip for herself, by herself. In a time that begs the question: If a woman walks across the country and doesn't blog about it, did she really make the trip? Li can answer a tired, resounding: yes. And that, I "like." That, I "recommend." That, I "retweet."

Are there things you'd like to "click" into? What do you like about Li's tale?


Photo via Nicholas_T/Flickr

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