is a very unique documentary in the making. It is the story of
quest to find the heart and soul of America by walking in no particular
direction, going only where he ends up. It's about the people he
meets, the places he sees, and the emotions he experiences as he wanders America
aimlessly with only a video camera, some pocket cash, and the basic
objective of this web site is to spread the word about
in hopes of attracting sponsorship, collaborators, and/or a book
deal. As I've continued to tramp my way around the country, I've come
to realize that Aimless would make an incredibly entertaining and
informative TV series. You need to
see the things that happen during my travels, but I alone cannot show
you because I can't do 10 different jobs at once. So if you'd like to
see more video of this stuff, help me spread the word by telling your friends about Aimless. Or if you think Aimless would make a good TV series, write to the networks and ask them to make it happen. If that requires more effort than you're willing to give, then simply become a fan of Aimless on Facebook because it will make a difference. If enough people do these things, you will be able to watch Aimless on TV someday soon.
August 17, 2011 I'm hitting the road today to hitchhike to Maine, where I will begin a 48-state walk. This walk will be about 10,000 miles and it will take about two years. I'll be able to update the Aimless blog regularly, and I'll also update via Twitter and Facebook. Update (October 15, 2011): I ended the 48-state walk about 350 miles into it, after spending 16 nights in a Rhode Island jail just for walking down the road and citing my Fourth Amendment rights when harassed by the Westerly police.
April 30, 2011 In case you've been wondering: Yes, I did finish my coast-to-coast walk. I dipped my feet into the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island, NYC on September 12, 2010, 211 days and 3,463 miles after stepping into the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier in California. There was no fanfare or excitement when I finished my walk.
Due to the fact that I busted my ass in a way that you probably can't comprehend, it's been very difficult for me to even walk for the last six or seven months. My condition is improving slowly, but it'll probably take at least another several months for me to be able to walk normal again. If you want to know why I walked from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, check out this blog post. It's poorly written and probably doesn't adequately convey the point I was trying to make, but I don't care anymore. You'll probably think I'm a dick for what I have to say in the post, but I don't care anymore. I'm just being honest because that's how I operate. If everyone else operated the way I operate, the world would be a much better place.
Even though it's hard for me to walk right now, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna hit the road again soon. I don't know if I'll blog or make any kind of updates because I know nobody cares what I have to say. The funny thing is that if I was a total scammer who pretended to be some kind of hero (like essentially every other long-distance walker), people would actually pay attention and treat me like I'm a hero. What's even funnier is that my story is a hundred times more interesting than all the fake heroes' stories. My cause (which I keep to myself instead of flaunting for attention) is much more noble and respectable than any of the con artists' causes. But hey, if people are stupid enough to buy into that crap, so be it.
August 9, 2010 For those of you who thought I quit my walk (due to the absence of new blog posts), I want you to know I did not quit. In fact, I have walked about 2,830 miles since February 14, from the Santa Monica Pier to my mom and dad's house in central Ohio. I just haven't been able to blog because Blogger changed the rules on me, making it impossible for me to publish blog posts. Now that I've had some computer time, the blog is up and running again, but with a new URL: http://www.aimlessryan.blogspot.com. Also, there was a story about me and my walk in yesterday's Columbus Dispatch.
February 6, 2010 I've currently been on the road since December 15, 2009. It took a little over two weeks for me to hitchhike from Ohio to Pasadena, where I hung out for the Rose Bowl and BCS national championship game. Since then I've been to Sacramento, San Francisco, back to LA, and now Las Vegas. One week ago in Hollywood I ran into a very dear friend who I hadn't seen for 9 years; someone I thought I would never see again. This unexpected, improbable encounter told me very clearly that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to do with my life. And thankfully right now I'm enjoying almost every minute of it, even with a mere $6 in my pocket.
BIG NEWS: My Aimless objective is about to take a new direction. On February 14, I will begin a long walk from the Santa Monica Pier to Coney Island, New York City. (Yes, that is from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.) This epic trek will take about 6 months to complete, give or take a month. I can't wait to get started.
March 11, 2009 I've been writing a book about my
travels (32,000 words so far). However, I haven't written anything in
nine days because I was recently contacted by someone in Hollywood who
thought I might be a "really great character" for a TV series her
production company is developing. Right now I know essentially nothing
about this TV series and I probably shouldn't even have mentioned it. I
don't know if I'll ever hear from her again, but I do know they need me
more than they need anyone else, either as a character or as their
ticket into a largely invisible world that they'll never find without
Also, I added a couple new videos to the video page. I hope I'll be able to add more
soon, but that takes a lot of work and I'm focused on other things
2009 After spending 388 days on the road
between April 22, 2007 and December 19, 2008, I have nothing more to
prove. I've met some of the greatest people on the planet and I've met
some of the worst people on the planet. I've walked approximately 2,700
miles with 50-65 lbs of gear on my back. I've hitchhiked what I
estimate to be 30,000 miles. I've covered about another 700 miles
riding the rails. (By 'riding the rails,' I mean illegally riding
freight trains, which nearly landed me in some serious trouble a couple
What it really comes down to, though, is that I went out and did what
almost every American man always wanted to do but never had the balls
to try. I met a lot of interesting characters and witnessed a lot of
interesting events. I spent over a year in a world that most people
don't know exists, and I managed to capture some video footage of that
world. And although I probably have more than enough compelling video
footage to create a wonderful and unique documentary film, I'm going to
focus instead on writing a book, beginning right now, for many reasons.
Here's the most valuable thing I've learned from my time on the road:
If a TV network or just someone with money to invest ever manages to
find enough insight to send a camera crew out on the road with a
tramp--could be me or ANYONE who does what I've done--they will end up
with hours and hours of some of the most interesting, most intriguing,
and most valuable video footage you could ever imagine. In other words:
Yeah, I had a brilliant idea when I decided to hit the road as a bum
with a camera. I just didn't have the resources or connections to do
everything right. So if anyone important ever realizes what I already
know, I'll gladly hit the road again, but you're gonna have to give me
a really friendly paycheck when it's all over.
If I ever get a chance (or equipment), I'll try to make some more short videos and
share them with everyone. Don't count on it happening anytime soon,
though. So as an alternative to the videos, check out the Aimless
Highlights Through December 2008 In addition to the 2,700 miles I've
walked and the 30,000+ total miles
I've traveled, here's a short list of some of the most memorable
so far, followed
by a map of where Aimless has taken me:
I hopped a freight train with two
hobos. (We ended up getting kicked off the train by a local sheriff
after about 60 miles.)
Nine months later, I flawlessly executed
my first solo trainhop, catching a southbound "hotshot" train in
Evansville, Indiana and riding it all the way to Nashville, Tennessee.
I volunteered for ten days to help
rebuild New Orleans.
Someone threatened to kill me. After I
called 911, he led police on a chase and subsequently ditched his
truck, leaving behind four quarter bags of marijuana. He's in jail now.
I found myself randomly in San Francisco
only a few days before Barry
Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home run record. Even though I am not a
baseball fan, I went to the stadium and witnessed Bonds hit the
record-breaking homer. (I have it on tape, too.)
A movie/TV star gave me a
Buellton, California to Monterey.
I've slept in homeless camps and
I've spent a lot of time among homeless communities in various cities.
Even homeless people have shared money
and food with me.
I've occasionally had to beg for food at
restaurants or "fly a
sign" to get money for food. Other times I've
gone hungry for a couple days straight.
I have never paid a cent for lodging
(mostly because I sleep
outside nearly every night--on sidewalks, fields, forests, parks,
etc.). Revision: I did pay for
a motel room one night in early April 2008 after my tent was flooded,
leaving all my gear soaked. Also, I ended up spending about five nights
in very cheap motel rooms toward the end of 2008.
I've met many of the kindest and most
interesting people you
could ever hope to meet. (Who else stops to offer rides to total
In addition to all this real Aimless stuff, I completed a sort of
practice round for Aimless in late 2006,
call Quasi-Aimless. You can watch some of the highlights on the Aimless video
page or read a more detailed account of parts of my adventure
beginning with the blog entry California
to Ohio, Part I.
I update the Aimless Blog very
regularly from the road. Usually I update with my phone, which only
allows me 1,000 characters per blog entry, but occasionally I get
access to a
real computer. Whenever I'm able, I write longer, detailed