Jonathon Stalls Supports Sustainable Travel, Step-by-Step

Jonathon Stalls is walking across the country (how's that for sustainable travel?) to raise money for Kiva, the micro-lending website. Stalls has walked over 2,100 miles, and with the helped of the Kiva Walk Lending Team he has raised over $282,000 in loans. Kiva is founded on three important beliefs: people are generous, the poor are highly motivated and connecting people will foster relationships that are based on more than money.

Stalls was inspired to begin this journey thanks to another sustainable travel advocate, Peter Jenkins, who wrote A Walk Across America, based on his walk from New York to New Orleans.  Jenkins writes, "I started out searching for myself and my country and found both." Stalls, similarly, wanted time to think and learn about his country. Jenkins also brought his dog, and Stall did too.

People are generally more interested in his dog, Kanoa, than him, says Stalls. Sadly, Kanoa had to stay in Denver for awhile, as his paws grew sore from walking on the pavement. The only other item Stalls brought, his backpack, also transformed with the arrival of BOB, a sports utility stroller. Polly Letofski (another sustainable travel idol) donated it. The stroller has made the walking easier for Stalls, as well as the food and water-carrying. Stalls was very thankful for the stroller, just as he's thankful to all of the people who've supported him by walking beside him, or offering a shower, a bed, or a donation.

Stalls recently wrote an article for the magazine Stray titled "The Big Walk." He writes, "Walking across America, I've found lots of heart." Stalls has a renewed faith in small town America. In the first 170 days on the road, over 100 different families welcomed Stalls into their homes. Most of them were interested in Kiva and discussing micro-lending enthusiastically with him. He writes that Americans "understand money and lending" as well as "struggle and hardship."

Stalls hasn't complained about being tired or lonely, nor has he run into much trouble (except for those ticks). He began in Lewes, Delaware in March and he's walked merrily through six pairs of shoes. He has only about 1,000 miles to go, and should arrive at the Kiva headquarters in San Francisco around November 10th (which also happens to be Responsible Tourism day, a happy coincidence for the sustainable travel movement).

Connect with Jonathon Stalls on the Kiva Walk Facebook page, or follow his journey on KivaWalk.com.

Photo credit: Richard Webb