Jake Does America

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Jake Sansing became homeless in 2013 and decided to walk across America. He ended up hiking and cycling all over North America for three years, helping to raise money for various charities. He traveled from Tennessee to Delaware, Delaware to California, California to Florida, Florida to California, California to Alaska, Alaska to Florida, and finally Florida back to California again.

This past summer, he was diagnosed with cancer and decided to write a book documenting his travels. He is currently walking around the United States, autographing his books and setting up book signings along the way. He is hoping to sell enough books to visit New Zealand. That’s the goal!

When you became homeless in 2013, what inspired you to start hiking and cycling across America?

I have always wanted to walk across America. I’m not entirely sure why. I walked a lot before then for therapeutic reasons, though. After I lost everything, I saw it as the perfect opportunity.

What inspired you to raise money for charities along your travels? 

Like I said, I didn’t know why I wanted to walk across America. Doing it for charities helped to give me a reason. Not that I necessarily needed one for myself, but when people asked me why, it made more sense when I could give them an answer. Plus, I was helping other people, which felt great. It became my motivation a few times, so I’m glad I chose to do it.

How did your travels and experiences help ease the pain of PTSD?

I had to adapt to constant changes. I didn’t have time to dwell on the past. I had to focus on the moment and continue until I was exhausted. If I had to take any long breaks, the symptoms would return. It’s not a permanent solution, but I’m still chasing it.

After being diagnosed with cancer, you decided to write your story. How did writing your story help with your treatments, and how did it inspire you to never give up?

Writing my book while going through cancer treatment was tough. I was homeless, depressed, going through a divorce, and in so much pain that I’d wake up crying because I was still alive. I just wanted my story to be shared after I was gone. That kept me going. I worked on my book for twenty hours each day for three months.

What inspired you to walk across America another time, this time promoting your story?

I’m pretty much back where I started, except this time I’m pushing along my books. It’s not about promoting it, but it’s definitely helping. I kind of screwed myself over, as an author, by publishing the book myself. No publisher would touch it after that. I’m fine with that now, though. They will be banging their heads on a desk one day.​

What are your goals in sharing your story? How do you hope to inspire people with your book?

My only goal for now is to sell enough copies to visit New Zealand. Until then, I’ll just keep walking and setting up book signings. I don’t hope to inspire people, really, but apparently I have. I’m just doing my own thing, being hardheaded and persistent.

What would your advice be to someone looking to change their life and live their dreams?

There is no trail to lead you to where you want to go.

What are some of your most memorable stories from your travels so far?

Read my book 😉

Follow him on Facebook: /JakeDoesAmerica

Buy his book: Jake Does America

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