“People don’t ask me if I’m crazy – they tell me I’m crazy” says Erik Bendl, also known as “World Guy“, a man who has spent most of the last few years trekking across the US rolling a giant globe.
Walking around 2,200 miles across 23 states is quite a challenge for any 48-year-old, but Mr Bendl decided to make it even tougher by rolling a 36-kg-heavy inflatable globe, everywhere he goes. It may sound useless and stupid, but it’s actually for a good cause – raising awareness about diabetes and the complications it causes.
World Guy lost his 54-year-old mother to diabetes, in 1987,and always wanted to do something memorable in her honor. In the late 1990s, he took the giant canvas globe he and his son used to play with and embarked on a 160-miles-long journey across Kentucky, for the American Diabetes Association, and also began walking in parades around the state. In 2007, after he and his wife got divorced, Erik Bendl set out on his first major trek across America, a 430-mile walk from Louisville to Pittsburgh.
Now, he’s halfway through his fifth long walk, talking to people he encounters and posting their stories on his blog, via the Blackberry smartphone hanging around his neck. He is accompanied by his dog, Nice, who loyally follows him on his daily 10-mile walks. When he completes his daily trek, he returns to his van, drives it to the spot he ended his walk, sleeps and does it all again the next day.