|Beijing zoo. Photographed and placed in public domain by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons.|
"My name is Michael Lee Johnson. I’m 28 years of age and I am from Widnes, Cheshire, in the north-west of England.
On Friday July 26th 2013 at 2:15pm, I will be quitting my day-job and boarding a flight from London to Beijing with the intention of never returning back to the United Kingdom by anything else other than by foot.
Upon arrival in Beijing and after a good nights sleep, I will then begin my journey home (on my own)." *
Sounds like a great book, right? It hasn't been written yet, but it will be - just as soon as Michael completes his journey. And you can follow along on his incredible freedom walk. He'll be recording his epic trek for a documentary, as well as plotting his location on Google maps and (hopefully) streaming some video as conditions and technology permit.
The trip will be wholly on foot, and he'll be facing just about every sort of climate condition and terrain imaginable.
"The route that I presumed would be the best and most safest, will take me from Beijing into Northern & Western China, right through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and possibly Turkmenistan, across Iran, Armenia and then back home through Europe to London, England. 15,000 km, thirteen hours by plane and between 3 to 5 years on foot." *
As someone who seldom steps out of the "comfort zone", I can't even imagine undertaking a journey of this magnitude. But Michael views it as more than just an epic hike. To him, it is a freedom walk - freedom from job constraints, deadlines, the endless demands of tightly structured days.
Of course, trouble - and danger - may very well lie along his path.
"Who knows what may happen along my journey? And you know what… I really don’t care! Why? Because life’s too short. We only have our memories at the end of the day, so I’m making some good ones. It’s all or nothing in my eyes, life or death. I think life is what you make it, so I’m making it what I want… I’m bringing my dreams to life, and letting the whole world dream with me." *
So if you want to dream along - and help him along - you can find more information at Michael Lee Johnson or by following him on Twitter as @mljonfoot
*all passages in quotes are by express permission of Michael Lee Johnson, and reprinted from his website.