Mich. man walks 6,000-mile trail across Europe

Associated Press

Traverse City – A Michigan man relied on a simple mode of transportation while traveling through 14 European countries: his feet.

Chris Lemanski recently finished hiking about 6,000 miles (9,656 kilometers) along the E3 path, which spans from Turkey to Portugal. The 26-year-old Traverse City man made the trek solo, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported .

Lemanski called his hike a “trial by error,” saying he often planned as he walked. He said an average day involved walking about 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) and finding a place to eat and sleep. He often pitched his tent, and he said many locals let him stay in their backyards and barns.

“They were excited to meet a foreigner,” he said. “People responded very well most of the time.”

Lemanski said he was going through depression when he decided to make the trek starting in April 2016, after his cousin suggested he take a walk to clear his mind. The walk turned into an 18-month trek.

Chris Lemanski said the blisters, trench foot and torn-up clothes were worth the journey, which he documented on his Facebook page.

“I like the challenge and mediation of walking,” he said, noting that he had lived in South America and was accustomed to traveling alone. “It wasn’t that much fun to be honest, but once you get used to it, you keep going. It’s either you get yourself there or no one will.”

His parents said they were initially hesitant of their son’s plans but are proud of his accomplishment.

“I’m sure there were times he wondered what he got himself into. It was a test of his resourcefulness and an opportunity to learn about different cultures,” said his father, Gary Lemanski.

Learn more about his travels on his blog.