Australia, Random Rambles
Comments 2

Walking Off a Midlife Crisis

No, not me — although arguably my own crisis started about 11 years ago, around the time I first started taking an unhealthy interest in mountains, walking, and prolonged periods of solitude. I’ll let you know when I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Nope, this is a Canadian called Jean Beliveau, a 56-year-old Canadian who’s on the home stretch after leaving Montreal in August, 2000. Now radiating a joy and peacefulness he gained from total freedom, Mr Beliveau set out with $4,000 in his pocket after the failure of his small business; his supportive girlfriend at home, and the kindness of strangers, kept him with enough change in his pockets and food in his belly, and he was assaulted only once by two young drunks in South Africa.

I’m not sure what route he took, though he deserves full marks for either courage or naivety for trekking across Ethiopia, of all places. There’s no official route, of course, for a round-the-world journey on foot, and let’s hope this type of adventure never becomes a corporate “Great Race”-type event. An early inspiration for my own far-more-modest excursions was Steven Newman’s Worldwalk, which I talk about in my Armchair Hobo page you can find via the tab at the top.

Today, according to the article, he is penniless, but insists he is richer for his experiences.“I left with nothing, but I return now with a wealth of knowledge and understanding.”

Read the story here, and get packing. I might see you under a bridge sometime…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote



  1. This one’s an interesting entry and a great story. I wonder how this bloke fits back into the world when he finishes? Will he feel satisfied or will he feel out of place? It’s almost as if he’ll have to set off again! It sort of reminds me of the yachtsman Bernard Moitessier who sailed around the world in the Golden Globe Race, but instead of finishing just kept going!

    Anyway, I hope he doesn’t end up like that bloke Gene Rosellini from Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into the Wild’. That’s a fascinating character who’s begging for a book to be written about him!

    I don’t think the corporate world would even have the energy for a ‘great race’ of the world! The only thing I can think of as an equivalent is the ‘Olympic Hide and Seek’ by Monty Python. I think the record in that race was 11 years for the bloke to be found 🙂

    The question is, are you the prospective Jean Beliveau in waiting?!

    • Greg, I’m too much of a coward to walk through many, many countries. I think I read about that yachtsman you mention in ‘The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst’, which was a favourite as a teenager. My family are multihull sailors. But I think one often returns to the everyday world after a long journey with mixed feelings indeed…

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