The endless journey of Beliveau
At age 47, Jean Beliveau was going through a difficult phase in life – a depression – and has taken one of the most incredible and extraordinary decisions one can take: walking around the world on foot.
It was August 18, 2000, and Jean left home in Canada, accompanied by a three-wheeled stroller with groceries, clothing, a first aid kit, a tent and a sleeping bag. And he walked, walked … until October 2011, when he returned. Behind it were 75,543 kilometers and 53 pairs of tennis were spent.
A former neon lights salesman, Beliveau turned his World Wide Walk into action to promote peace and nonviolence on behalf of every child in the world.
Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany), Turkey, Iran, India, China, Japan, Taiwan, Borneo, Indonesia, North to south) and crossed six deserts.
Beliveau prepared for nine months for the trip, traveling with only € 2,670. His wife, Luce, traveled 11 times to meet Beliveau.
The most delicate moment, he told later, passed into Ethiopia, where he thought of leaving the trip. “There was a mixture of cultural and natural shock. It’s a special place where children danced beside us and tried to talk to me, even if they did not understand English. But a few days later I was so tired I did not want any more contact, “he told Mail Online.
According to the Canadian, his life was never in danger because he was protected by gangs – as in Ecuador, Guatemala or South Africa – as soon as they realized that he was walking for good cause. “In Guatemala, a gang member gave me money because he had been a child soldier and, he said, had a bad childhood.”
Before Beliveau, only one person could have walked the world on foot, the American David Kunst, who covered 23,000 kilometers over four years between 1970 and 1974.