[Aimless Header]
[Aimless Heading: What Is Aimless?]
Aimless is a very unique documentary in the making. It is the story of one man's 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 necessities for survival.

The primary objective of this web site is to spread the word about Aimless, 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.



[Aimless Heading: The State Of Aimless]
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 me.

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 right now.

January 13, 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 times.)

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 Blog.


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 Aimless experiences so far, followed by a map of where Aimless has taken me:
  • I hopped a freight train with two young 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 ride from Buellton, California to Monterey.
  • The world's greatest pizza tosser baked me the pizza that recently earned him "World's Best" honors at a competition in Naples, Italy.
  • 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 strangers?)
  • Most flattering, many people have told me my story inspires them, and others have speculated that I may be an angel. (That's not the only time it's happened.)

[Aimless Map]
This is where Aimless has taken me so far. However, I have lots of new lines to add.
(Click on map to see a larger image.)


Here are some pictures from Aimless Leg 1. I'll try to put up some more photos soon.

In addition to all this real Aimless stuff, I completed a sort of practice round for Aimless in late 2006, which I 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.
[Aimless Heading: New Stuff]
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 posts.

03/11/09 - New Video: WCMH Channel 4 Interview
01/14/08 - New Video: Join the Hobos
01/12/08 - New Video: Meet the Hobos
01/04/08 - New Video: Escape from The F Word (Florida)
12/31/07 - New Video: Irishman on a Dirt Bike
12/14/07 - New Video: Dumpster Diving
12/12/07 - New Video: A Cop Encounter in Naples, Fl
12/10/07 - New Video: Quasi-Aimless (Revised)
06/22/07 - Some pictures from Aimless Leg 1



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