Canadian Jean Beliveau is home after finishing an amazing 46,000 mile, 11 year walk around the world. He left Montreal on the day of his 45th birthday (August 18, 2000) after his small sign business went bankrupt. He decided to run around the world to try to escape the pain. He ran all the way to Atlanta, Georgia before slowing his stride for what would become the longest uninterrupted walk around the world covering a staggering 75,000 kilometres across 64 countries.
Over the 11 year walk he travelled across deserts and mountains. He fell in love for nine days in Mexico, wore a turban and a long beard in Sudan, ate snake in China, and was escorted by armed soldiers in the Philippines.
Upon his return on Sunday he was reunited with his mother, whom he had not seen throughout his 11 years on the road. She welcomed him in a tight embrace. Longtime girlfriend Luce Archambault, who offered Beliveau emotional and financial support throughout his journey, and his two children from a previous marriage were also on hand for the celebration.
More than 100 supporters walked the final kilometres with Beliveau through the streets of Montreal. Beliveau said a so-called “ministry of peace” could lead to the creation of a team that would lecture students on peace issues, as well as a Canadian peace corps.
The idea is backed by the Society to Promote Departments of 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,” Beliveau said.
Archambault, who flew to join Beliveau wherever he was once a year so they could spend Christmas together, said last month: “I’m his Penelope and he is my Ulysses.”