Q&A: Nate Damm – Walking Across America.

Travel / Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Who is Nate Damm?

This is a short bio taken from his website;-

‘Short version of my story: Grew up in Maine, went to school, started a nice life, gave everything up to walk across America, and never went back to the real world. I’ve been on the road since February of 2011. Currently wandering around with my partner-in-crime, Maggie.’

Here he answers some of my questions, in the hope to inspire others to set off on their very own adventures.

nate damm2What or who inspired you to walk across America?

There were a few things that inspired me to do this. To start, it was just a crazy idea that wouldn’t let go of me until I did it. I think most travelers can relate to that concept. Why you hit the road doesn’t always make perfect sense. That said, I was inspired quite a lot by a book called Planetwalker by John Francis. It sort of opened my mind up to the concept of walking across the U.S., and the rest is history 🙂

Did you plan any of the trip apart from your start and end locations?

Sort of. I basically just knew I wanted to pass roughly through the middle of the country and that there were certain states I wanted to hit. I picked a few places I liked and essentially just connected the dots however I could with roads between them. I tried to not plan too much, as to keep my expectations under control. I knew that I had to keep things small mentally, which allowed me to stay mindful and not get overwhelmed with the massiveness of the task ahead.

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What was the best and worst state’s to walk through?

I’ll start off by saying there were not any states that I did not enjoy. Each was different in their own interesting ways. That said, I really enjoyed Utah and Nevada. The desert just really agrees with me. Highway 50 across Nevada was particularly amazing, very secluded and beautiful. I really did enjoy the midwest too. The people there were incredibly kind and the rolling hills and farm land was gorgeous.

Your best and worst moments on you adventure?

This is tough! The best moments were when I was in the western U.S. and just getting to spend a lot of time by myself in all the stunning natural landscapes. I really got into a groove out there. Every day was basically the best day of my life. The worst moments were mostly at the beginning, as I was getting used to being on the road full time and adjusting to a nomadic lifestyle. I had done pretty much no traveling before the walk, so I had a lot of things to get used to, especially on the mental side of things. Physically things were difficult at first too. It took me a while to get into a good enough level of shape that I wasn’t completely exhausted every day.

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Finally any tips for somebody wanting to do the same?

Lots of them! I wrote a guide on my site about how to walk across America with lots of info – www.natedamm.com/how-to-walk-across-america.
Tons of tips there, from how to plan routes to picking gear to dealing with the various dangers of a long walk. 

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You can read the full story by buying his new book, Life on Foot: A Walk Across America on Amazon – www.amazon.com/Life-On-Foot-Across-America/dp/1495971236

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