My Journey will end in

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Hey Family, Friends and Followers

On July 9th of 2018, inspired by a comment from my daughter, I set off on a Journey to walk across America to prove to myself and my children that humanity still exists and people do care about their fellow man.  I raised my children with a mantra that says “Point The Thumb, not the finger” essentially meaning before you place blame in a given situation to first point the thumb at yourself and ask what ownership you have in it…what could you have done or said differently, did it have to be done or said at all, etc…As a result I have called it The Point The Thumb Journey.

I left York, Pa with $6 in my pocket and set out walking 20 miles a day and stopping in towns along the way to meet the people. I never know who I will meet or where I will sleep.  The story is not about me or the walking but about the stories these people have to share.  After 8 weeks I have had an overwhelming show of love and support.  I couldn’t make up the stories and the people I have encountered, many of whom are now friends for life.  And becaue of the encouargement of others I have found that the main focus of the Journey has shifted.  While I still want  to demonstrate that humanity still exists, I have been encouraged by many to make sharing the Point The Thumb philosophy with as many people as possible, and hopefully make this country a better place to live, if even only by reaching 1 person at a time.  I have also amended my final destination goal to the end of Rte 66 at the end of The Santa Monica Pier in California.

Thank you to all that have supported and loved me through the first 8 weeks and for opening my eyes to the fact that Pointing The Thumb has no downside and should be taught in every household, classroom, church and prison.  I will make this the focus of the remainder of my trip across the country and share with those I meet.

I couldn’t have done this without you.  To my children and my family, as well as my PTT Family, I love you- Jim

Where in the US is Jim?

1,340

Miles Walked

3,015,000

Steps Taken

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Aerial Video by Skynet Aerial Photography

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My name is Jim Smith and I’m about to embark on something that seems incredibly illogical and I wanted to share why and how I am planning on walking across our country. If you know me, you know that my children are THE most important thing in my life. I don’t often speak highly of myself but take pride in the many compliments I have gotten as a father and our relationship. I have always been one who enjoys people and respects life and its beauty but over the last several years that has changed. I have been involved with people both personally and professionally that have literally drained me and changed who I am as a person. I have become jaded, indifferent and even a bit angry. One day earlier this year I was walking my daughter home from the bus and she said “Dad, you’re right. People DO suck”. It floored me. For all the good I have done, what a tragedy if my legacy to my children is to have them think that people are bad in general. While watching a movie recently I had an epiphany and put this plan into action about 8 weeks ago. I intend to walk across the country about 20 miles at a time, relying solely upon the kindness and hospitality of my fellow man. I will leave York, Pa with about $6 in my pocket to purchase some water and stay hydrated. I have resigned my position at work and have limited savings so I am doing so knowing I will be returning with no job and possibly not even my house. I will simply approach strangers and explain what and why I am doing what I am and ask if they would have a couch I could sleep on for a night and allow me to shower in the morning before heading on my way. I intend to journalize the trip in it’s entirety. My estimation is that it should take me between 5-6 months to reach San Francisco. The main reason for doing so is that I am hopeful I will be able to look my kids in the eye when I am done and confess “Guys, Dad was wrong. People do not suck and there are many good people among us”. That is my hope. A secondary reason is to write a book about the journey and more importantly the people I meet. I think it will be a great read. When I first told a few people of my plan there was more than one who thought me a fool. They showed me websites about people who have crossed the country. But this is different. This journey is not about me as an individual and accomplishing a feat like climbing Mt Everest or walking the Appalachian Trail. This journey is about the people I meet…complete strangers who I hope are receptive to me, just an ordinary fellow man, and who are willing to help me in my endeavor. Thank you for your support, your prayers and well wishes. Please feel free to reach out to me in any fashion. This will be a long difficult journey and your texts, emails and tweets will help keep me motivated- Jim

Messages from the Community

We wish you the absolute best and I am so inspired by what you are doing.  You sparked a conversation with my kids that I had been wanting to have for a long time!  You’ve inspired me and I will think of you often and follow your story daily!!!

I wish I could give more than well wishes because what you gave me today was priceless!!

Dear Jim,

not sure if you knew but my family does watch all the PTTJ videos and we ordered some shirts last night. Recently I started work In queens and I went out to lunch with my friend out in queens on our lunch break and this man came up to us and asked us to buy him lunch. The first thing that ignorantly came into my mind was to either ignore him or say no, but because of you and your journey I pointed the thumb at myself. I asked myself “why would my instinct be to say no? What can I do to help this man out?” And I said yes and got him what he had asked me to get him. Your journey inspired me to not just shut out this random stranger, but to try to help him. It wasn’t about saving money or ignoring this random stranger, It was about doing the right thing and pointing the thumb at myself. Feel free to mention this in your next video with my name if you would like to.

The best,
Steven and the rest of the trumbull family.

Good Morning Jim…

I listened with interest about your encounter with the woman sitting near your path and ignoring your passing by. It reminded me of an encounter I had years ago.

I lived in a beautiful old farmhouse on a country road. It had a wonderful wrap-around front porch that we used every day. Being that there wasn’t much traffic on this road many people walked it. They would always wave, smile or say hello. Many folks walked their dogs and I grew to learn all the dogs’ names. One night a fellow even came on to our porch and had a beer with us. It was that kind of neighborhood.

There was a fellow who walked the road frequently. We called him ‘the reader’ as he always was reading [or pretending to read] a book. Now walking and reading isn’t impossible but it must be difficult to keep your place in your book and watch your footwork at the same time. He never spoke. Not once. I would generally say hello but never a return greeting so I finally gave up. I believe the book was an intentional tool to keep from interacting with anyone.

There was also a young woman who walked the road and she too, would never speak. No book or pretending that she didn’t see me. She simply glanced away. So be it. I gave up and thought to myself how much of life they both were missing. I did wonder what prevented them from even smiling or a simple wave. What must have happened in their lives to make them so afraid or distrustful of human contact?

One morning, as I sat on my porch, I saw them approaching each other from opposite directions. I was very curious to see what would transpire. As they neared each other, ‘the reader’ kept his nose in his book and the woman glanced off into the field across the road. Not a word was spoken. No exchange of any kind. They had to see each other’s approach so as not to bump into each other. Yet they both made a conscious decision to stay within themselves.

We could imagine that shyness kept your woman and my ‘reader’ from a simple greeting. There seems something deeper and uglier to me though. A deliberate effort to snub. I wish I would have confronted the man and asked him why he refused to acknowledge me. What harm would it have done? How would it have changed his day to say hello to a stranger? Maybe if you are snubbed again, you might stop and turn and ask why? I wish I would have asked that question of ‘the reader’.

Have a great day Jim

This is absolutely beautiful! I just finished reading your article in the Lima Newspaper out loud to my husband because it touched me in the most powerful way. I began to cry about halfway through and had to stop to collect myself. I literally felt your energy through the paper! A complex whirlwind of mixed emotions. Pride, anger, joy, empathy, sympathy and everything in between.

Keep going! And Im sending all the positive vibes to you & your family.

#positivelysuccessful

Just wanted to let you know something. I got a new position at work. Yesterday in a team meeting we had an ice breaker. The question was  – who is your favorite hero (From Marvel or DC)? I said I don’t really follow Marvel or DC, so my friend Jim. I shared about your courage and walking across the US and the PTT message.

I believe in you and this journey!

Hey man,

First, I’d like to apologize for being in a hurry this morning. I had a client I had to meet (having your own business is both a blessing and a curse).

Second, after reading about your story and watching some video, I stand by my assertion that what you’re doing is, in fact, harder than anything I did in the Corps. I had the full unfailing support of my fellow Marines and other servicemen and women everywhere I went, where as you’re making this journey solely off the kindness of others, in what can arguably be an extremely tumultuous sociopolitical atmosphere.

Third, In general, the people around here are good. Some have a tough exterior but their hearts are golden and some will simply give you the shirt off their back no questions asked.

Also, how’s your gear holding up? Oddly enough I have an assortment of hiking gear thanks to my obsession with the Appalachian Trail (it’s on my bucket list). You’re more than welcome to it. All new stuff. There’s also a Bass Pro Shop and a Walmart in the area if you need to get any other supplies.

Anyway, it was great meeting you and I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Keep walking, and keep smiling.

Get in Touch

I would be thrilled to hear from you

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