Local ‘Wanderlust’ Travels Across the United States on Foot

I had the pleasure of meeting the woman everyone has been talking about: Lindsay Monroe. Monroe, a Rutland native, is a professional photographer, a bartender and, most recently, walked 3,200 miles across America. On Nov 13. 2016, Monroe embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Those who followed her podcast, Lindsay Walks, tuned in weekly for nine months to listen to her adventures from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Lincoln City, Ore.

The dream started after reading A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. After reading the book, Monroe set her mind on completing the walk as well. Monroe has always had a very active lifestyle, so she was not as concerned about the physical challenge, but rather the mental challenge she faced. Some said she could not do it, which turned out to be the only motivation she would need.

“I refuse to fail,” she said. “The more people tell me ‘No,’ the more determined I am to do something. Tell me ‘no’ again.” For those interested in doing something that may seem impossible, Monroe encourages them to never say never. It really is about mind over matter for her. “It is okay to fail as long as you don’t give up.”

Monroe said there were days that she failed for different reasons, but she woke up the next day and conquered whatever made her fail the day before. Out of the 10 people who attempted to walk across America that year, only six prevailed, including Lindsay Monroe.

Monroe said there were many rewards from her trip, but she focused on the four biggest. The first: freedom. Monroe said she loved being able to wake up and break her normal routine. Every day was different — a new route, a new adventure and new obstacles to conquer. Every morning she woke up eager to start the day. Who was she going to meet today? Where was she going to sleep tonight? The answers to these questions were different every day.

Second: the beauty of the country. Monroe found beauty in everything, no matter the location. Monroe said she saw views in small towns that locals who lived there their entire lives had never seen before. Monroe was able to take a breath and enjoy the beauty that this world has to offer. She took advantage of all the landscapes, of every sunset, of listening to native birds on the road and of every good photo opportunity.

“Every step and every point of view that I had taken was one that I had never been in before,” she said

Third: the kindness of strangers. Monroe told stories of the acts of kindness strangers had done for her. No act was too small, whether it was giving her a frozen Gatorade on a 103 degree day or offering their home for the night. Monroe said she has nothing but gratitude towards those who helped make her journey possible. The kindness of strangers kept her going. To this day, she still keeps in touch with some people she met on the road.

“People think it is amazing what I did, but what I find amazing is the people who took me in and the people I had asked them to take in. Those are the people that deserve the news articles and the pats on the back because it’s like you took in a complete stranger who’s doing something that may seem a little odd.”

Lastly: her dog, Cynthiana. Cynthiana, or Thina, was a stray dog who came across Monroe in Arkansas. While Monroe was trekking through the state, she began whistling to the song, “Black Bird” by the Beatles. Thina heard her whistling and started to follow behind Monroe for some time until finally Thina jumped on Monroe to greet her. Monroe later adopted the young pup. Cynthiana, named after the Arkansas state grape, is more than just a dog. She is a companion who provided comfort, warmth and safety throughout her travels. Monroe explained the special bond she had with her companion, who was with her every step of the way since that first encounter.

Since returning from her trip, Monroe has realized that the minimalistic lifestyle suits her best.

“Finding out how little you need is probably the most revealing feeling that you can have.” Monroe said adjusting back to her life now, in Marlborough, has made it even more clear that she is not cut out for the 9-to-5 lifestyle or working towards a home that you are tied to. She is more interested in working toward having enough money for her next adventure.

“Working just to live in a box doesn’t suit me. I could live in a tent. It’s great…I’d rather live under 5 billion stars than in a 5-star hotel.”

As for the future, Monroe will be walking through New England with a friend in support of the organization Freedom to Grow this summer. Monroe is hoping to create a picture book consisting of many of the breath-taking photos she had captured from her walk. She is also interested in writing a children’s book about her walk from the perspective of her dog, Cynthiana.

Interested in hearing more about Lindsay’s story? On Friday, Feb. 23, from 6:30-9 p.m., you can join Lindsay Monroe’s last Podcast LIVE “Lindsay Walks: Final Podcast: Live!” The event will be located at the Printers Building Trust, 44 Portland St., 7th floor, Worcester. Listen to her travels and the memories she has made along the way. She will also be showcasing the photos from her walk, which are available for sale. Admission is $10 and to be one memorable night!

For more information about the event:


For more information about the Lindsay Walk’s podcast:



Berkeley Wlodarczak



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