In 2008, adventurer Christoph Rehage went on a walk. Quite a walk. He set himself the goal of walking all the way from Beijing in China, across two continents, ending up in Bad Nenndorf, Germany.
It’s a journey that would take over 11 hours in a plane, and significantly longer on foot. In fact, a quick look at Google Earth suggests that I can’t be done on foot. Shit, they don’t even think it can be done by car.
Christoph’s adventure started when he woke up on his 26th Birthday. He was in Beijing going through a scholastic program of Chinese Studies. Quite spontaneously, he took it upon himself to walk to Bad Nennhorf, Germany from the Chinese capital.
“During my childhood, I spent my time mostly consuming adventure stories and setting things on fire” explains Christoph.
“I spontaneously decided to walk…and I realized [sic] that this was something that I liked very much. More than reading. More than swimming. More than taking pictures. It was better than fire.”
“i liked walking more than reading. more than swimming. it was better than fire!”
As much as he enjoyed the Forest Gump-like trek, after a year of walking, just as he’d passed the Gobi Desert, Rehage decided to stop his adventure after 4646km (about 2886 miles).
“I came up with a new plan: go back to university, get a degree, don’t think about walking for a while”
Christoph documented his journey in both a book titled The Longest Way, and in the time lapse film above. Virtually every day he was on the road, he took a picture of himself.
“All of the distance from Beijing to Ürümqi [where Christoph stopped] was completed solely on foot, straight good old walking.” he insists.
“There are instances where you can see me in the video sitting on a plane or riding a boat, but those are during breaks I had to take from walking, either to sort out bureaucracy issues or to take care of some personal things.“
It’s obvious that, along with a list of stories long enough to fill the pages of a hard-back book, his spirit of adventure was rewarded with the kind of beard most hipsters can only dream about.