I’m funded! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

On the road in Kansas. © 2012 Jennifer E. Cooper

A huge thank you to everyone who supported my Kickstarter project and made it a success. And a thank you to everyone who has supported me every step of the way. When I started walking cross-country (exactly three years ago today) I had no idea what I was doing, and I never allowed myself to think that I would really make it all the way across the United States. Now I’m more than halfway through my journey.

Of course if I have learned anything in these three years, I know that nothing is certain. My route can, and will, change. I’ve encountered setbacks and logistical challenges from a lost credit card to inaccurate GPS maps to brutal 100-degree temperatures. And as I was taking a Greyhound bus from Washington, D.C. to Wichita I considered quitting before I’d even set a foot back on the road. This journey is a constant reminder that things, good and bad, often happen for a reason. So, despite wanting to quit so many times, I’m still here; I’m still moving forward. I do not know what propels me forward, perhaps it is the need to tell the stories of America hidden in plain sight.

The more I travel across this country by foot, the more I realize I know nothing of its people, nothing of its culture, nothing of its land. I never could have imagined the amazing people I would meet in my travels. I’ve been back on the road for a week now, and already I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of those I’ve met along the road. Each time I struggle to find the strength to continue this journey a friend or stranger always appears to encourage and inspire me.

So on I walk…

–by Jennifer E. Cooper