This Guy Walked 9,000 Miles Over a Year Without Talking. Watch His Emotional Break from Silence Here.

On July 9, 2013, Greg Hindy set out on a unique and ambitious “art-project” of walking from Nashua, NH to Los Angeles, CA.  Here’s the kicker: during this time, he not only took a vow of silence, but also abstained from “all noisemaking of any kind, including talking, and  from reading, writing, listening to music, watching television, or any other kind of entertainment,” as Hindy outlines on his Kickstarter page, which raised $8,000 for the trek.  He continues, “the golden rule is that unless it is walking, photographing, or completely necessary to my survival, I am not allowed to do it.

One year later, he achieved his goal, having walked south to Florida, across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, through Texas, north through Arizona, Utah, and Idaho, across the Washington / Oregon border, and then down through California into Los Angeles, covering more than 9,000 miles in the process.

Having completed a trek of less than a quarter this distance, not to mention relying on the aid of fellow thru-hiker’s companionship, my iPhone, and semi-regular civilized excursions (a trip to the movie theater, an Orioles game, many, many bars) I’d like to say I know what Hindy’s went through, but I can’t.  I too was subject to periods isolation, but at most a few consecutive days.  I experienced extended stints of introspection, but often ended the day trading fart jokes with other hikers around the campfire.  When approaching a psychological threshold on the AT, there are ways in which a thru-hiker can refuel their reserve that the 22-year-old Yale grad refrained from.

Hindy’s 9,000 Mile Route (in red) plus his 3,000 mile return trek (in yellow). Image: Facebook Group “Greg Hindy — One Year Performance: Walking, Silence”


It’s easy to understand why a journey of this magnitude would render a strong, volatile emotional response.  And that’s exactly what happened. Watch for yourself as the 12-minute video below captures Greg Hindy’s last and first words from before and after his cross-country trek.

One-Year Performance: Walking, Silence from Greg Hindy on Vimeo.

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Comments 4

  • WildFeather : Feb 19th

    My heart is moved… and your message is clear “it’s about walking home”.

  • Pete : Apr 30th

    I found it really interesting to note that he started this journey staring into the camera in silence and ended it that way as well.

  • Christopher Rego : Jun 16th

    Wow, really impressive. How would he purchase supplies though? He doesn’t look malnourished so I’m assuming he didn’t live off the land. Just purchased stuff in ackward silence I guess?


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