Ryan Ray: The Man Walking Across America

Ryan Ray: The Man Walking Across America

The Life Lesson We Need

Have you ever thought about doing something? Something crazy ambitious? Well... WHY DIDN'T YOU? I'll tell you why, because we spend our lives with an understanding that there is a specific way to live life and to succeed. That isn't the case, and if there is something your soul is craving to do, you won't be happy until you do it.

Ryan Ray taught me this lesson while I learned about his journey of walking across America. Yes, you read that correctly. At 35 years old, Ryan packed up his LA life and decided to do what his wanderlust soul wanted to do so badly: explore his own country and to get a human perspective on the people of America. He had no clue how much he would inspire and impact the people he met.

Throughout his life, Ryan has struggled in keeping his passion for traveling in his everyday life. For quite some time, Ryan was working in LA at a corporate office, he thought that was what he wanted. As a child living in Oklahoma, Ryan shocked his mom when he told her that he wanted to be a millionaire when he grew up.

The first time Ryan took a journey was across France and Spain. During this journey he found that his three greatest passions were speaking, writing and traveling. He went back to LA and ended up back in the same job, doing the same things he wanted to get away from. One day on a jog to the gym Ryan saw the horizon and thought to himself, "I wanna keep going." but he went to the gym and didn't think twice about his inner thoughts. And then something amazing happened, he received a phone call from a friend telling him about a man walking across America, that really got Ryan's wheels turning!

So it began, Ryan decided to make a map and walk across America, starting in Los Angeles and ending in New York. He created a website and an application where families could apply to host Ryan for the evening (my family did this and it was awesome!) Doing this allowed Ryan to really deface the stereotypes of people around the country. While us southerners might have a draw, we are just as kind as anyone else! Ryan realized that all through America are amazing people with "pure hearts of gold".

The biggest obstacle to overcome in a journey of this nature is the feeling of defeat. Ryan conquered this with one mantra, "I believe that we should never take an action unless we feel inspired". At one time, Ryan became ill on his journey and didn't feel inspired to continue, so he took time to recuperate and once he felt inspired again he got up and continued walking.

On his journey back home to LA, Ryan will be speaking at different stops along his trip. He will be talking about clarity, courage and confidence and how big of a role these three traits have in our lives.

This amazing journey Ryan went on shows that we can all live the life we want to live. We don't have to quit our jobs, but we should be sure we are living life with a true passion for what we are doing. Thank you, Ryan for inspiring myself and so many others to live life full of passion and inspiration...and of course, thanks for trying to be a Gam for a day!



PS- follow his journey on www.walk2ny.com

Cover Image Credit: Michele Durham

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Some of the problems we face as children seem trivial and some seem dire. As adults, most of the problems we face seem like the end of the world because we already have so many things on our plate. Luckily, if you take a look at your past, you'll find that you already have some of the skills you need to face the adversities that come your way. As a child, I spent a decent chunk of my life living on a lake and, as I've grown up, I've realized that a lot of the lessons I learned on the lake have been reintroduced to me as an adult. The lake taught me about connection, awareness, and clarity and all of these are important tools for navigating adulthood, they've just been slightly repackaged.

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If you live on a body of water you will most certainly be no stranger to swimming. Something my mom always emphasized was to not skip out on showering after returning from the lake. A post-lake shower was so important because lakes are full of both visible and microscopic germs, which means you'll be washing dirt from places you didn't even know were parts of the body. I found that this translated into my adulthood because there will also come times when you have to stop skipping out on a "shower." Whether it be starting a cleanse, meditating, or taking that long overdue nap, you must do something to rid yourself of all the physical and mental stresses. If you find yourself expending more energy than usual as a part of your climb upwards or even just to get by, for the time being, you should try to carve out time for a "shower" here and there.

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