Karl Bushby is headed from Los Angeles to Washington -- on foot -- for an in-person appeal to the Russian embassy.
He says he was more than halfway through a planned 36,000 mile walk around most of the world when he found out last year that Russia would not grant him a visa. With no viable alternative route, Bushby decided to add a few thousand miles to his trek and set out across the United States in hopes of persuading the Russian embassy to reconsider.
Bushby is a former British paratrooper who says he grew up feeling inadequate. He says he was plagued for years by doubts that he really deserved his place in the army’s elite Parachute Regiment.
"Every time I stood in the mirror and donned my red beret, I was reminded of my shortcomings," Bushby told Men’s Journal. "As a soldier, you're responsible for your brothers. If they're thinking there's a chance you don't deserve to be there, that's a burden almost impossible to bear."
So, 15 years ago, he set out to prove to himself and to the world that he could accomplish something extraordinary, all on his own: the longest continuous walk in human history. Bushby began walking north from the southern tip of South America. His website, Bushby3000.com, says he had already crossed the Bering Strait when he got the bad news from Moscow. The site doesn’t say how he got back to California, but presumably it didn’t happen on foot, or the detour to D.C. would have added far than 3,000 miles to his journey.
Bushby is currently at the Grand Canyon, according to his site, having spent some time in Las Vegas in October, publicizing his quest. Yahoo! Travel reports he is now traveling with support from some wealthy entertainment industry figures. No word on when he plans to arrive in Washington – or whether he has an appointment at the Russian embassy.