Could you live on just $5 a day while only carrying what fits into a duffel bag?
That is what Angela Maxwell has been doing for the last five years.
Back in 2014, she left her home in Oregon, sold all of her possessions, filled a duffel bag with essential supplies and started walking. She’s walked across Australia, Asia and Europe — raising money for non-profits that help women and girls.
The Virginia Beach native is now back home with her mother, Sue. They are training for the next part of her walk, which will take her across the United States.
“I’m going to walk from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pacific Ocean,” Angela said. “I don’t know what I’m going to face, I don’t know who I’m going to meet, I don’t know where I’m going to sleep, so everyday is kind of an unknown and an adventure.”
Sue will be joining her for the first few months of her journey.
“Being 72-years-young, I am able to get out and try new things and always give everything a good try,” Sue said.
Angela will walk and Sue will bike. The two trained at SoldierFit in Virginia Beach.
Their trainers made sure both are physically prepared for the journey, helping them build up strength to be on the road for momths.
“She sets up heavy weight sleds for them to pull,” said Vec Moravec, co-owner of SoldierFit. “We tell people all the time that age is just a number. You’ll hear Sue say it all the time, too.”
They push or pull all of their supplies, including food, clothes and tents. They will cover 15-20 miles per day and live on just $5 per day.
“I think putting myself vulnerably into the world where I’m sleeping in a tent, I’m camping on the side of a road or in the middle of the steps of Mongolia, there’s something that allows me to feel what it means to be alone, what it means to be self sufficient and to face my fears,” Angela said.
This walk is raising money for Her Future Coalition, a group that helps victims of sex trafficking, which focuses on sheltering, educating and employing young girls and women who have been through sex trafficking.
Angela said, “All I have is this thin piece of fabric from the elements and from people. The idea that these young girls and even grown women don’t have homes — I know what it feels like to be homeless.”
Both Angela and Sue have learned a lot.
“If you ever get this feeling that you want to try something, but you’re afraid to or there’s fear or whatever, but it’s something that you really, you know, keep thinking about a lot, try it. You just never know,” Sue said.
Angela said, “I think the most courageous thing we can do is to follow our hearts and I think it’s true that saying that we tend to regret what we don’t do more than what we do.”
However, the most important thing she’s learned is how similar people are.
“No matter what country or how different a culture is, we’re all the same,” Angela said.
Angela and Sue will leave from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. She’s inviting people to walk with her.