Ben Winston : Go Untamed Safaris
Starting in the Spring of 2014, I will begin navigating over 4000 miles, coast to coast across the United States of America.
The challenge is not to walk the whole way – it is that I will (hopefully) complete the trek on just £2000 (approximately $3035 USD) and hit at least the six natural places of interest which I have located on the map. That’s a daily budget of just £5.50 a day, over the course of the six months that I am giving myself.
I aim to document some of the ecosystems which I visit, the nature I see and human pressures on it. Most of what I want to experience is in America’s National Parks and hopefully I will be able to see more than the wilderness areas above.
£2000 sounds like quite an easy budget to get across the USA with, however travelling via specific places stretches the budget and I won’t be able to afford public transport. Essentially, once I have paid national park entrance fees and inevitable camping costs, I will have less than £1k to feed myself, wash and travel with.
A back up vehicle for my 1000 mile section across the Arizona dessert (should I travel that route) was a stretch too far and is another reason why I’m not walking the entire way. The insurers weren’t too keen for me to do it on foot either.
I will be raising money for WORLD LAND TRUST – environmental research, sustainable eco-projects and something which is close to my heart, nature conservation. I chose WLT because I believe they use extremely effective conservation strategies and safeguard vital land that is needed for our wildlife to survive and flourish. We never cease to learn from nature and this is why it’s so important to encourage it.
I have three simple aims:
I’m hoping to call upon the friendliness of the American people. I have a few friends across the pond and despite their poor ability to tolerate a British stiff upper lip, they do astound me with their appreciation for such things as mixing bacon with maple syrup…..it’s just not a thing in Britain and I’m still not quite convinced. I’m well travelled, but I haven’t yet been to the USA.
I would love to meet and stay with locals when I arrive in a new town. Whether it be food, music, the wildlife or your rivalry with neighbouring Americans, I want to get to know the varying cultures and diversity the USA has to offer. I want to write about your local traditions and what you’re proud of. In essence, if you would like to welcome me, share your hospitality and be part of my adventure, both in person and in my literary ramblings, please do contact me. I’m rather a friendly chap and I’m about to do something pretty far off the normality scale.
I’m trying to prepare myself, but I fear I may have underestimated what I’m about to do and I really have no idea what I’m getting myself into.
NB: Since the end of my journey, I have now stopped taking donations. Here is the World Land Trust website: http://www.worldlandtrust.org