Jean Beliveau completes an 11-year walk around the world
Jean Beliveau, a Canadian national fled his mid life crises in 2000, completed an 11-year walk around the world on 16th October, 2011. Arriving at Montreal, Canada, the 56-year-old told a crowd that his new goal is to promote peace around the world.
Beliveau left Montreal on 18th August, 2000 after his small sign business went bankrupt. He was 45 when he started the journey leaving behind his two sons (from his previous marriage), his mother and Luce Archambault his long time girlfriend.
Upon his arrival, Jean Beliveau said that his real mission was to lobby in Canada and other governments around the world to create “ministries of peace.”
“We are all different, and that is what is beautiful about life on Earth – our different colours, different beliefs, different political systems,” said the Canadian.
Beliveau walked 75000 kilometres across 64 countries for what is the longest uninterrupted walk around the world. The 56-year-old later recounted that it took him 53 pairs of shoes as he walked across six continents, slept in hotels, churches, jails and home of thousands of strangers.
His meeting with Nelson Mandela in Durban South Africa was one of his most memorable moments in his long journey on foot.
The North American’s resolve was tested several times. He said that he was detained in Ethiopia, he was mugged in South Africa and he got severely ill in Algeria. Walking for 47000 miles with nothing but a three-wheeled stroller for his belongings, Jean said that he almost gave up in Ethiopia, but his partners persuaded him to go on.
Recounting some of his great experiences, the Canadian said that he fell in love with Mexico, wore a turban and a long beard in Sudan, ate a snake in China and was escorted by armed soldiers in Philippines.
After 11-years Jean Beliveau was reunited with his loved ones, his mother welcomed him in a tight embrace. His two sons and girlfriend Luce Archambault, who continuously provided him with emotional and financial support throughout the journey, was also present in the celebration. Archambault visited him every once in a year wherever he was so they could spend Christmas together.
Beliveau believes that if the world stands united they will be able to achieve peace. “We may never have peace but if we take one step forward and then another, I think we can create a better world together,” he said.
Jean Beliveau will be writing a book about his epic adventure in order to promote peace around the world.