If you were to walk for eight hours per day along the equator (24,902 miles) at an average pace of 3 miles per hour, it would take about 1,038 days - almost three years - to walk around the world. In 1974, Dave Kunst became the first person verified to walk around the globe, but not without difficulty and tragedy.
On June 20, 1970, brothers Dave and John Kunst left Waseca, Minnesota, with a mule named Willie Makeit. After walking to New York City, they flew to Portugal (sadly, leaving Willie at home), and they trekked across Europe to the Middle East and through Asia.
While passing through Afghanistan, John and Dave were attacked by bandits - John was killed, and Dave survived by playing dead. While tragic, it didn’t stop Dave from continuing, and after recovering he finished the entire trek with his other brother Peter. By the time he came back to Minnesota in 1974, he had walked 14,452 miles.
Many others followed in Kunst’s footsteps. After completing a four-year globe-circling journey in 1987, Steven Newman has made a career out of trekking: writing books, giving speeches, and getting shoe endorsements. Rosie Swale-Pope upped the ante by running around the world, raising money for charity and creating awareness for prostate cancer.
Other notable “world walkers” include Canadian retired hockey player Jean Béliveau, who completed his journey in 11 years; and George Meegan, who famously walked 19,000 miles from the bottom of South America to the Arctic Ocean - not exactly “around the world,” but still quite a feat!