GOAL: Inspiring communities to embrace a happy and healthy lifestyle, one step at a time. And to take a step towards whatever is on their hearts, maybe not walking across America, but maybe taking a yoga class, or traveling to an epic location.
1. What is Walking with America?
Simply put, Walking with America is my EPIC journey from Florida to California! I’ll be walking from one end of the country to the other all on foot. You’ll know me when you see me—I’ll be decked from head to toe in yellow, smiling, having fun, meeting new friends, and encouraging everyone to share the road with me for a few steps along the way.
On a much grander scale, Walking with America is a true labor of love. It’s much more than a walk—it’s a movement that, I hope, will spread ripples of happiness and love throughout the entire country.
Ultimately, Walking with America asks people to take control of their lives, their happiness, and their health. It asks people to get up off the couch, come outside, and walk for themselves. It’s about personal accountability, about creating community and coming together with one unified goal—to live life happier, healthier, and downright better!
2. 6 months is a long time. Other than walking, what do you have in store?
In each city I travel through, I will walk with a group of new friends to a park, a coffee shop, or anywhere the day takes us, and celebrate with a “Happy Hour.” It’s a time to simply enjoy being together, create a small community, play some games, laugh, relax, and share our own unique, beautiful stories.
I love asking questions, so I will be asking what each person is celebrating, what makes them unique, what makes them happy, and finding out about all the wonderful things that are happening in their lives.
Bottom line, I want to spend more time living and sharing, and these Happy Hours are a way to create personal connections and become engaged in each community that I pass through along the way. In each Happy Hour, I want to learn something, show more kindness, give compliments, laugh more, slow down, look people in the eye, feel young, and inspire people to do whatever makes them happy.
I’ll also be stopping at local Boys and Girls clubs to spend time getting kids engaged in their happiness and their health—we’ll walk together, play games, and just take time to have fun! Getting kids outside in the fresh air, moving around and away from computer screens is so important—not just for their physical health, but for their mental growth as well.
It’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart, which is why all proceeds from my book will be donated to The Boys and Girls club.
3. How did you come up with the idea and the courage to take a 6-month hiatus from your job to walk across the country?
Like all life-changing ideas, there were plenty of events building up to this decision—but my personal “a-ha!” moment came only a few months ago, in late 2017.
I had just finished working a long, tiring day at Burst Management—our company helps “good for you” emerging food and beverage brands get on retail shelves, which meant spending most of my day in front of the computer screen. I had been staring at forms and emails on the computer for hours and hours, and when I left my work desk, I was right in front of a screen again, idly flipping between news stations.
My eyes were tired and my brain felt fuzzy—but most of all, my soul was utterly and completely EXHAUSTED. Every cell in my body needed a break. I needed to get away from the glowing screens, the white noise, and most of all, from the sadness and heartbreak every night on the news reports.
Suddenly, it felt as though the road was calling me to set these troubles aside for a while and just spend time LIVING. I’ve seen the country many times from my van or an airplane, but never on foot—so I thought, well, I love walking, WHY NOT walk across America?
Once I started thinking “why not,” I couldn’t stop! Why not create an opportunity to spread positivity, love, and happiness throughout the country? Why not take a chance to completely transform my life? What is truly stopping me from doing something epic and extraordinary?! Travelling from Florida to California—now that’s epic!
4. Walking across the country for 6 months has to be huge to plan. Who do you have helping you bring this vision to life?
I am so blessed to have a truly fabulous, talented, and diverse crew of people behind me! I have someone lending a hand and contributing their expertise for every step of the way—from daily nutrition to organizing community events and even making sure I’ve packed enough blister prevention.
What I love the most about my crew is that everyone is so filled with life, personality, and passion—it’s exactly the right mix of people to keep me motivated, on track, and set up for success on this epic journey.
- Taylor (Captain)
- Rachel (Thinker)
- Mike (My Honey)
- Rebecca (Coach)
- Gail (Doer)
- Jennifer (Trainer)
- Laurie (Tracker)
- Lois (Dreamer)
- Ceci (Puzzle-Solver)
- Sheryl (Naturalist)
- Deb (Cheerleader)
- Stacie (Energizer)
- Kelley (Organizer)
- Mandeep (Web Designer)
- Kenya (Public Relations)
- Caitlin (Wordsmith)
- StandOut Advertising (Digital Marketing)
5. I also hear that you have a book coming out. What is your book about? Does it relate to your walk?
Yes, I do, and I’m thrilled to say that it’s already available on my website! It’s called “YOUR WAY—7 Celebrations to Happily Ever After TODAY.” It’s all about what I call the 7 Celebrations—the simple, heartfelt, and effective practices that I have personally developed to cultivate your best self and your greatest potential.
I do each of these Celebrations daily, and will absolutely continue to do so while I am on the road. Together, these simple daily practices are the foundation for Walking with America—they are the reason that I am inspired to live a bold and epic life, why I have so much passion, and I certainly would not be the same woman without them.
Ultimately, the book is a step-by- step account of how each Celebration can bring happiness and fulfillment into your life. Each step is described in detail, filled with personal stories, examples, suggestions, and of course, lots of fun along the way. My greatest hope is that the book will spark the same inspiration and happiness for anyone who puts these 7 Celebrations into practice!
6. If there was one thing that you could get out of this experience, what would it be?
Everyone loves to ask that question—why? Why make this epic journey from Florida to California? What’s in it for me? Well, to be honest, I actually have a list of 100 reasons to walk—but I’ll leave that as a surprise for the book!
For now, I can tell you that the best and most wonderful thing that I can get out of this experience is reason #100: peace. Peace in my life, in the lives of those I meet along the way, and even for those who I will never meet.
How wonderful would it be for families, co-workers, friends, and strangers to be kind and respectful to one another, regardless of differences? I want to lay this foundation of positivity and happiness with every step, each burst of laughter, every friendly wave, and of course, during each Happy Hour along the way.
At its core, Walking with America is meant to bring a sense of community, happiness, joy, and self-fulfillment through emotional and physical health. To have even a handful of these moments throughout the walk—to know that someone has been inspired, to start a ripple of love and joy in each community—that would be a truly wonderful and epic experience!
7. How can those at home watching get involved?
I’m so glad you asked—there are tons of ways to get involved, and I invite everyone to participate in any way that they can!
You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook, which means you get to see all the awesome pictures and stories that I’ll be sharing along the way! I’ll also be putting up weekly blog posts, which you can subscribe to on my website.
Another really cool thing that we’re doing is putting up a tracker on the website, so you can check that each day and find out where I’ll be. Hey, who knows, I might end up walking through your city, and you can come join me for a Happy Hour!
Finally, I’ll be having a kick-off event to celebrate the beginning of this epic journey.
February 17, 2:00 PM. (1:30 Meetup Time)
Start: Lakeview Commons
End: Fire and Ice Area
*Flash Mob Dancers Needed
Mayor Wendy David is excited about Walking with America and the movement of getting more people out walking in the world like they do in TAHOE! As the Mayor loves walking, she has committed to the event Kick off called Walk With Me on Feb 17th , 2018. Come join us for the fun.