“Why?” It’s a simple question, and one that people ask Angela Maxwell frequently. Yet until recently, the American struggled to answer why, exactly, she upended a perfectly fine life in pursuit of a big dream. But for Maxwell, “why” is a question worth answering. After all, she embarked on a journey that very few people attempt: in 2013, she decided to walk around the world – alone.

A solo walk of this magnitude wasn’t something Maxwell had planned. In fact, she left only nine months after having overheard a conversation in her art class about a man who supposedly walked around the world.

Maxwell’s journey did not sprout from a place of loss, defeat or personal crisis. When she decided to embark on a long-distance walk, she was in her early 30s, ran a successful business and was in a relationship. “I thought I was happy,” she said, “but in retrospect, I realised that I was searching for more… for a deeper connection with nature and people – by living on less and connecting with the world around me.”

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