For more than a year American Winston Fiore has been wandering around Southeast Asia, crossing through nine countries and covering more than 5000 miles (8046 km) on foot. The former U.S. marine undertook this journey to raise funds for a charity that he started called Smile Trek, and yesterday he completed his walk having raised nearly $66,000 for the organization.
Smile Trek was launched to raise money to help repair cleft palates on children in developing countries. A cleft palate is a birth defect in which a child is born with a permanent gap in his or her lip that requires reconstructive surgery to repair. It isn’t an especially difficult thing to fix but in poor and under developed nations most children who are born with a cleft palate never receive the medical attention they need to close the fissure. Through his efforts, Fiore hopes to help change that for at least some of those children.
His journey started last October in Singapore and led him into Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Brunei. Since he was walking the entire way, he needed good maps and directions to help navigate through that part of the world and he apparently relied heavily on Google Maps for his directions. I came across his story on the Google Blog, which included the video below. That video comes across a bit like a commercial for G-Maps, but it is also very well done and shares some moments from the trek too.
Covering 5000 miles in just 408 days is fairly impressive. I can’t imagine all of the amazing and wonderful encounters he had along the way. I love Winston’s story, his sense of adventure and his dedication to a good cause.
Kraig is an outdoor and adventure travel writer based in Nashville, TN. Over the course of his career, he has contributed to numerous online and print outlets, including Popular Mechanics, Gear Junkie, Outside Online, National Geographic, Digital Trends, Business Insider, TripSavvy, about.com, and of course The Adventure Blog.