HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A New Jersey man and his dog were welcomed home Saturday after a seven-year, 28,000-mile walk around the world.
Tom Turcich, 33, of Haddon Township, completed his long trek with a gathering of friends at a restaurant in Haddonfield, NJ.com reported.
Turcich adopted a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Savannah while he walked through Austin, Texas, in 2015, according to the website. Together, the pair visited 35 nations and six continents.
Savannah became the first dog to walk around the world, WPVI-TV reported. Turcich is now the 10th person to circumnavigate the world on foot.
He documented his adventures on social media, calling his journey The World Walk.
“It’s been seven years of walking and 28,000 miles and 38 countries,” Turcich told WPVI.
Turcich’s journey was interrupted three times, NJ.com reported. He said he nearly froze while camping in South America and spent several months recuperating halfway through his trip when he came down with a bacterial infection. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic caused shutdowns that forced Turcich to modify his route, preventing him from walking in Australia, according to the website.
Turcich, who had been staying in Philadelphia since Wednesday, crossed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on Saturday at about 3 p.m. EDT and then walked the final 8 miles to a welcome-home party outside The Taproom & Grill restaurant.
“It feels like it’s been 20 years for me,” Turcich told WTXF-TV. “I’m going to get a beer and then I’ll give a little more cohesive talk.”
Turcich said his worldwide trek was inspired by the death of his friend, AnneMarie, who died in a jet skiing accident when she was 16, NJ.com reported. He also was motivated by the achievements of Karl Bushby, a former British paratrooper who for two decades has attempted to become the first person to walk an unbroken path around the world.
Turcich’s father said he was proud of his son.
“When he left, he was just this dumb kid and now he’s come back as a smart, elegant, young man,” Tom Turcich Sr. told WTXF.
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