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Open Wide the Doors

Open Wide the Doors

Andrew Forsthoefel was 23 years old when he decided to try walking across the Continental United States from his home in Philadelphia all the way to the Pacific Coast. No rides. No smart phone. He carried a backpack containing camping equipment, a camera, a food bag stocked with jerky, tuna fish and PB&J, and a sign hanging off the pack that said, "Walking to listen."
He also carried a voice recorder that he used to collect the stories of those he met along the way, asking them the question, "If you could go back, what would you tell yourself at 23?" The question yielded some remarkable answers, which Andrew curated into a radio show which appeared on This American Life in 2013.
Andrew admits that along with his spirit of adventure he traveled with an acute sense of vulnerability. At times he said he was "fear-walking." And this fear was heightened by those that he met along the way. Not one person said that they would tell their 23-year-old self to be more cautious or more