US: It was a homecoming seven years, 38 countries and 48,000 kilometres in the making.
After circumnavigating the globe on foot, Tom Turcich – who left the US in 2015 and has barely stopped travelling since – finally returned home today with his faithful retriever Savannah by his side.
She is now officially the first dog to have walked around the world, and he’s the 10th man to do so. Tom Turcich and his dog Savannah.
The pair crossed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia into Turcich’s home state of New Jersey shortly after 3pm on Saturday, marking the final leg of an epic journey that has taken them across six continents, from the rugged Andes mountains in South America to the ice-covered landmass of Antarctica.
Tom Turcich and Savannah cross the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the last leg of their seven-year adventure.Credit:Farrah Tomazin
“This moment is pretty surreal,” he tells me, as we walk along the three kilometre bridge, accompanied by about 20 fans who had watched Turcich’s Forrest Gump-like travels on Instagram and wanted to be part of the final stretch.
“After seven years I’m pretty excited to have a roof over my head and to not have to put a tent up or walk for hours each day. It’s been a long time.”
Turcich was one day away from his 26th birthday when he left his family home in Jersey’s Haddon Township to chase a dream born out of tragedy. With Savannah by his side – a rescue pup he picked up at a shelter in Texas after she’d been abandoned on a road – the pair have had the privilege of experiencing the world in all its rawness and richness.
Savannah is now the first dog to have walked around the world.
They’ve trekked through walnut forests in Kyrgyzstan and walked the coastal roads of Turkey where pristine beaches hide on almost every bend.
They’ve climbed the hills of southern Croatia in the searing heat, and navigated the colder weather across the lava rock ridges of Iceland.
And they’ve experienced the kindness of strangers, from the imam at the mosque in Uzbekistan who let Turcich use their electricity to charge his items, to the family in Algeria who gave him a bed to sleep in and helped him find his feet in such a foreign land.- THE AGE