Do you ever feel like walking out the front door and not stopping? Seeing the world for yourself, helping people along the way see that the world can be lived at a human-powered speed? On 6 October, Jason Lewis, the first man ever to circumnavigate the globe entirely by muscle power ended his journey of 13 years. He hopes to use Expedition 360 to raise money for humanitarian causes and to draw attention to environmental issues. After centuries of increasing technology, from wind power through nuclear ships and jet planes, will this achievement start a new era of environmentally and socially sound living?If you are the type that dreams of such adventures, the bad news is: you're too late, you can't be the first. The good news: you can follow Jason's trip blow by blow at the Expedition 360 Journal. You can benefit from tips such as the clunky $5 mirror on his bicycle handlebars, which was laughed at by other bikers, but which Jason attributes to saving him from many an ugly traffic accident in the insane traffic of India. Unfortunately, it was the highways of the USA where an automobile slammed into Jason during his unsupported coast-to-coast rollerblading journey (another first). With both legs broken, one under threat of amputation below the knee, Expedition 360 made a 9 month pause for treatment and healing. You can see the x-ray of Jason's badly damaged leg about halfway down the page of photos of the North America Leg of the journey.
Lewis' trip transpired in accordance with the availability of finances and with pauses between major legs, including one return home to his family while his father underwent treatment for cancer. Sponsorship grew in recent years, and the last legs of the journey have been oriented towards the goal of being the first to finish. The Canadian, and former traveling partner, Colin Angus, claimed the record after a two-year circle through the northern hemisphere, but independently established rules and the consensus of adventurers grant Jason Lewis his claim to the first real circumnavigation.
The trip relied on many types of transportation. Major water crossings were made in Moksha (sanskrit for liberation), a pedal-powered boat. Bicycle and rollerblades dominated land travel. Creativity, such as using a traditional Turkish boat to transport his bicycle across water, was at times necessary to maintain the commitment to human-powered travel.
Only time will tell if history records "Jason Lewis" as a hero of the movement towards a sustainable lifestyle. His accomplishment will certainly not be the end of the jet-setter age, but Jason's journey reflects a wisdom many are searching for, the knowledge that comes from being forced to be present in the now and from seeing reality with your own eyes.