As I walked across the Eads Bridge that brought me from Illinois to Missouri, I couldn’t stop smiling and screaming to the top of my lungs. A 38 whole days ago, I left the comfort of my home and the embrace of my bed. People doubted me. I doubted myself. 38 days later. Here I am. 1000 miles from NY.
I’m so thankful to my friends who supported me along this journey. I’m so thankful to my mom, who bred an idiot who doesn’t quit. I’m so thankful to all the people I met along the way. To Barbara of Morristown, Mary and Lou of Hackettstown, Brian of Allentown, Justin of Hamsburg, Glenda of Newburg, Derrick of Blair Mills, Joel of Bakersville, Nikki and Ray of Washington, John and Gary of Wheeling, Roger of Morristown, Kendra of Frazeysburg, Tim, Sam, Rio, Vince, Kris – my Ohio State brothers, Howard of Springfield, Brother Dom of Englewood, Richai and her family of Cambridge City, Josiah of Knightstown, Jaime,Traci,Carissa of Rushville, Mike of Stilesville, Flix of Manhattan, Derrick and countless amazing people of Clark County, Dan, Donna, and Debra of Martinsville, Michael Lewis of Effingham, John of Detroit, Mike Davis of St.Elmo, and so many more whom I never learned the name of. Thank you all so much. You guys made my journey that much more meaningful, and I feel tears coming just thinking about all of you. You guys have allowed me to gain something that I wasn’t even looking for during this trip.
Over the course of 1000 miles, I’ve received many gifts. Some are physical, like food and water and my crazy tan. Others are spiritual and abstract. The night of my dad’s birthday, I understood more about the significance of family and how lucky I am to have even had him in my life for 10 years. Through meeting all these people and waving at each car that passes me, I learned to appreciate each person I cross paths with. I gained a great deal of love for this country, and even more importantly, the American people. I gained greater appreciation and love for my friends and family. I became more disciplined. I became comfortable dealing with hardship. I feel healthier and more energized. I learned a great deal about animals and farming. Through these, I’ve somewhat matured as a person, gradually getting closer to being the person I want to be.
I’m sitting on the steps between the Mississippi and the Arch as I write this. I feel a river of emotions flooding more violently than the Mississippi River once did. I’m not the best writer and I can’t put the way I feel right now in words. I wish I could put this moment and how I feel into words or a picture that I’ll never forget. This is crazy!
I want to thank all the people who venmoed or sent me money on GoFundMe. I didn’t actually end up using any of the money you guys sent me so if y’all don’t mind, I’m gonna donate it to a charity. I haven’t thought of which one yet but I’m gonna do some research so I don’t end up donating it to some bogus charity.
Also, this will be my last post. Or will it? Lemme know if I should continue to blog about my adventures or if y’all had enough of my crappy writing😁
This is Xin Xi (Sam) Zhang. Do whatever you want and don’t let anyone tell ya otherwise 💪🏾