For one year, 23-year-old Yale grad Greg Hindy didn’t utter a single word. Not when he became lost in a snowstorm in Zion National Park, or even when he collapsed of food poisoning in Salt Lake City and was brought to the hospital.
Hindy had taken on a vow of silence: for 365 days, he would trek across the United States without using any technology, relying on the kindness of strangers…
I will completely abstain from all noisemaking of any kind, including talking, and will abstain from reading, writing, listening to music, watching television, or any other kind of entertainment. The golden rule is that unless it is walking, photographing, or completely necessary to my survival, I am not allowed to do it.
And for 9,000 miles, he hauled his 4×5 field camera and a few necessities everywhere with him. Hindy communicated with those he met along the way with a pen and paper, and some gave him food, shelter and water — but most nights, he slept in his tent on the side of the road, never asking for assistance.
His performance piece, entitled “One Year Performance: Walking, Silence,” shows him speaking his final words before his journey on July 9th, 2013, and his first words, on July 9th, 2014 upon its completion.
Of his decision to take on such a strict project, Greg told Outside Magazine:
Walking is medicine . . . the soul moves no faster than 3 mph, and so if you want to be hyper-connected spiritually, go for a long walk.
But Greg Hindy’s journey isn’t yet over — after spending a week decompressing, he’s back on the road again (though this time, he’s speaking and has a cell phone) and is expected back home by Thanksgiving.