UNC Nineronline: Traveling from coast to coast after graduation

By Malcolm Carter | UNC Charlotte | Nineronline.com | March 13, 2012

In the 19th century the pioneers did it on wagon wheels. In the 20th century Forrest Gump did it on his own two feet. Now in the 21st century Tanner Childs will travel coast to coast on his longboard.

Childs, a Criminal Justice major at UNC Charlotte, begins his journey after his graduation at the end of the semester. Childs and his brother Caleb will start May 14, 2012, in Wilmington, N.C. and end in San Francisco, Calif.

“I just had an idea when I was like 19,” said Childs. “I wanted to do something crazy like walk across America.”

As he started to talk about the idea, people blew him off and undermined the validity of his desire to actually make the excursion. Childs said people didn’t believe him and told him “that’s cool it’s one of your dreams or bucket list things that you’ll never achieve.”

The more he thought about it the more he serious he became.

“You can make life what you want it to be. You can do fun stuff like that no matter how small of a person you are, you don’t have to have like Rob Dyrdek’s money to do something crazy,” he said.

Childs also set out to promote a cause. He settled on three charities to support with his trip: the Vickie S. Honeycutt Foundation, which supports teachers battling cancer, the North Toxaway Food Bank and the Semper Fi Fund, which “provides immediate financial support to injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.”

Childs figured that he would have to do the trip right after he graduated because it would be difficult in the future to take time out of his career to travel across the U.S.

He researched the trip and found that a professional backpacker averaged 30 miles per day on his coast-to-coast venture. Childs, having little experience traveling long distances on foot, decided “a longboard would probably speed it up some.”

For more information on the trip and how to support it, visit www.longboardingusa.com.


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