Teen on 5,000-mile journey makes pit stop in Austin

4,000 mile journey

AUSTIN - When Skyler Roberts came to visit KVUE's newsroom Monday, he joked about being on his third pair of shoes. The first two wore out somewhere in the last three months while walking more than 6-million feet.

"It started out as a joke," the 19-year-old from Toronto said. 

An inside joke between him and a number of online friends he had made while playing video games.

"People just all over, mainly Americans," Roberts said. "I joked around saying I'm gonna come visit you guys."

But, he said, that joke kept popping up in his brain - and given enough time - he realized he wanted to make it a reality. There was just one problem.

"I don't drive at all," he said. "I don't even have a drivers license."

So Roberts came up with the next best thing

"Naturally to go visit everyone I have to walk," he said. 

And walk he did. He left his home near Toronto Canada on August 14th and has traveled about 1800 miles since. He said he typically walks about 15-20 miles a day and occasionally takes a ride when he needs to be somewhere on time or when someone nice offers.

"There really isn't an average day," Roberts said. "Some nights I'm camping out in a park. Some nights I'm in a church. Sometimes I'm inside with some stranger I just met."

He's already hit Cleveland, Nashville, Houston and Baton Rouge and plans to travel up to Washington before ending his trip next year in San Francisco.

To see his planned trip CLICK HERE.

"On a surface level, this kind of sounds crazy, right?" KVUE's Jason Puckett asked Roberts.

"I definitely agree," he said in response. "It's absolutely ridiculous...but it's great and I don't regret anything."

While traveling the U.S. in a contentious election season, Roberts said he's earned a unique perspective on the country. He's seen southerners, Northerners, Republicans, Democrats and more. He says they all shared at least one thing: "Kindness"

"The biggest thing I've learned is that people, in general, are just amazing," he said. "The amount of kindness shown to me every day has just been amazing."

Roberts said he's been given rides, food, donations for new gear, gloves and housing sometimes. A lifetime of kindness that he said he will spend the rest of his life giving back.

"I think everybody should take a "see the world trip" as one person described it...just take a break for a few months. -maybe not a year, a year is a bit long - But just take a break and have some experiences."

Roberts will leave Austin after Thanksgiving and head to meet his father in San Francisco. If you want to keep up with his journey you can follow him on Instagram and read his posts on Reddit.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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