This Man and His Dog Spent Seven Years Walking the World
Best dog-walk ever. On May 21, 2022, Tom Turcich became the tenth person on record to walk around the entire world. His rescue dog Savannah, now seven-years-old, became the first documented canine to do so.
Turcich adopted Savannah a few months into the walk at an Austin, TX animal shelter. Together they traveled through 38 countries on six continents over the course of seven years. Most nights were spent camping.
Adopting her “was definitely [motivated by] this very ancient drive of just wanting something to listen and protect me at night,” says Turcich. “It came out of camping in these strange places and waking up four times a night. I wanted to turn off that part of my brain.”
At first, Turcich, who documented his journey on Instagram and his blog The World Walk, thought he’d made a terrible error in adopting her.
“I definitely thought I made a mistake,” he says. Savannah was just a puppy. She was terrified of cars and couldn’t do long days walking. Turcich often ended up pushing her in the cart he used to hold his supplies—things like camping gear, changes of clothes, a plastic food crate, water, a camera.
“From Texas down to Mexico, I was putting her in the back basket of the cart,” he says. “It was really frustrating me that she was slowing me down so much. I was talking to my mom—’this is such a disaster, so much more challenging’—and my mom said I needed to make Savannah my priority. Once I did that—I changed my mindset—it made all the difference.”
When they left Corpus Christi, TX, Savannah walked two hours before wanting to get in the cart. It was a watershed moment. “By the time we got to Mexico, she was walking the full 24 miles,” says Turcich. “After that I couldn’t get her in the cart if I wanted.”
On an average day, he and Savannah walked between 18 to 24 miles (around 29 to 38 kilometers). In total, he walked a whopping 28,000 miles while Savannah covered 25,000.
“The thing about Savannah was that she had so much more energy than I did,” he says. “At the end of the day, she was like, ‘let’s do it again!’ I remember, in the desert in South America, walking 27, 30 miles because there was nothing else to do. I’d be so tired, and she’d be running in circles—she had the zoomies!”
Ultimately, Savannah proved the best companion. “Savannah was with me through everything: the heat, the cold, the mountains, the desert. She showed me how to go about my day regardless of how I may be feeling. Each night, after we set camp, she sat beside me, and when she did, it allowed me to take in the beauty of everything and how far we’d come together.”
Together, on this epic walk, they both grew up.
“I was an idiot when I started,” says Turcich. “I was just a young, suburban dummy. It was a great way to grow up and understand the world.”
Turcich has just released Savannah’s first children’s book, Savannah’s World of Adventure: Crossing the Andes. Find it at tomturcich.com