What’s Next?

Hi everyone this is Sam ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry I haven’t posted in a while since I completed my walking journey. Had a bit of a hiatus from blogging for a little while but I’m itching to write again. It’s very nice to be able to share my experience and say what I want to say and know that people might read it. That’s the power of blogging, hence why people post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. And just a heads up this will be a long one.

After I reached St.Louis at the end of July, I spent 5 days in St.Louis crashing at my fraternity brother Will’s place. I explored the historical city and tried to take in as much sights as I could. Of course I had to go see the Gateway Arch but unfortunately the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park was under construction ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Aside from the Arch, I also visited Forest Park. Forest Park is like the Central Park of NYC but better! It is built on the site of the 1904 World Fair. Within the park there is the Missouri State Museum, SLAM (St.Louis Art Museum), and St.Louis zoo. St.Louis Zoo took me an entire day to get through and there were so many animals. No wonder it is ranked the second best zoo in the nation. SLAM had an amazing collection of a variety of arts. My personal favorite was their Papua New Guinea mask collection. The State Museum was quite underwhelming after the zoo and SLAM. Overall Forest Park was absolutely wonderful. I spent 3 of my 5 days there.

St.Louis also had amazing food. Southern (fried chicken), Pappy’s (barbecue), Bogart’s (barbecue BEST RIBS EVER*), and The Shaved Duck. The nightlife downtown was decent. Definitely different from what I was used to back in NYC but considering that I was in a tank top and sweats it was chill. Late shoutout to my brothers Will, Chris, and even John.

After St.Louis I took Megabus to Chicago where I met up with my bros Paul and Vincent. The deep dish pizza at Giordano’s was still as gooey and moist and delicious as I remember it many years ago. Considering that I ate deep dish every day I think I’ve had enough for a life time though. Aside from the decent food, most of my 5 days in Chicago was spent at Lollapalooza. Lollapalooza was an incredible 4 days festival. I had a blast and there were some amazing artists. My favorite sets were Slushii and Getter’s on the second day when Vince and I spent 8 hours in stuffed like a sardine in the front of the crowd. For those of you who might be into EDM check out Slushii and Getter for sure. Lollapalooza was amazing because it had such a large variety of artists and genres of music. The stages were so far apart and the grounds were huge. I guess what took me by surprise was the fact that it was an all ages festival. At the EDM stage Perry’s there were way too many privileged white highschool kids who are there for the hype not the music.

I flew out of o’Hare on 8/8 and went to San Francisco to see my pledge educator Garrett. He is doing big things. Huge shoutout to my PE for taking me on my first real hike. Morning of 8/9 I took the ferry to Larkspur where he picked me up. We then hiked Stinson Beach, Muir Woods, Land’s End, Golden Gate National Recreational Area, and of course walked the Golden Gate Bridge itself. It was a day full of walking and good food. After sleeping in Green Tortoise Hostel for the first two nights my friends finally flew in and we got a hotel room together and had a good time exploring the rest of San Francisco such as Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and Ghirardelli Square. Honestly the highlight of my time in San Francisco was the beautiful hikes and 2 specific food spots. El Farolito in the Mission District was absolutely BOMB. Best burrito and quesidilla I’ve ever had. I also completed the Pho Garden 6lb pho challenge and went to puke immediately after. The noodles came out in the shape of my esophogus. But enough of that.

Next stop, Baltimore, Moonrise festival.

I flew back to NYC on Saturday morning and got a ride to Baltimore. There I spent another weekend raging in the muddy rainy weather taking PLUR to the next level. Moonrise festival is another EDM festival but unfortunately first day was mostly rained out and the second day wasn’t the best. My favorite set there was Dillstradamus at the end of the second day. Absolute rager it was INSANE! I had a good time seeing my friends from Florida and all over.

I FINALLY SLEPT IN MY OWN BED ON 8/14 AFTER NEARLY 2 MONTHS AWAY!

Now that I have been back for almost 2 months, I am rapidly getting sucked into the fast paced city life again but I will keep living my life like a rock in the rapids. 4th year of pharmacy school has been tough. Drugs and Diseases is no joke. I have also been working out consistently for the past month and hopefully by the end of the school year make some serious gainz. I guess that is all the updates right now. Sorry I kind of rushed through the later parts because instead of paying attention in my 8am class I am writing this post.

Now, “What’s Next?”

For my next trip I am going to Orlando again for EDC Orlando on 11/10-11/11. In the mean time I really need to focus on school and fitness. I want to take my fitness and lifestyle to the next level. For the remainder of the year, I plan to stay focused and continue working towards my goals and trying out with new things. I will keep you guys updated.


Happy Walking,

Sam Zhang

The Gateway Arch

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 writing๐Ÿ˜

 This is Xin Xi (Sam) Zhang. Do whatever you want and don’t let anyone tell ya otherwise ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ


Happy Walking,

Sam Zhang