Mikah Meyer had decided to pursue this journey when he was in his 20s. He fulfilled his dream by pursuing a cross-country trip, travelling solo across the United States in a cargo van. By Ishani Singh

Meyer, a 33-year-old resident of Washington DC, became the only man to have visited all 419 national parks in the United States of America in a single journey. The man in his childhood had gone on several road trips with his father, who succumbed to cancer 14 years ago. As a tribute to his late father, an ambitious Meyer left his job in 2016 and embarked upon a 1,095 day long cross-country trip in which he covered a distance of 75,000 miles!

Meyer described this three-year long, aspiring road trip as being ‘far from luxurious’. By completely ditching motels and restaurants in the course of his journey, his retro-styled, cargo van fitted with a solar-powered refrigerator became his only means of commutation and lodging. Since his initial savings were not sufficing to meet the unplanned expenses, he made use of amenities like free Wi-Fi from public libraries and chain restaurants to devise his route and fulfill organisational requirements. Mikah seldom spent some night’s sleeping at his friends’ place or even churches, and funded a part of his journey using the donations he received from former colleagues and his father’s friends. He occasionally resorted to singing on demand for people who contributed funds in order to help him afford the trip.

Meyer posted a series of photos from his journey on Instagram.

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(#ad) – It was a slippery hike through rain drenched trails to reach Tinago Falls in the tropical Guam forest, but very worth sliding my way across mud and traversing ropes to make it to this waterfall. Fortunately, my rainbow flag was kept clean in my backpack, and the load was a little lighter than normal thanks to my new @nikonusa #D3500 – a super lightweight DSLR. Capturing rainbow flag photos usually takes 100-200 frames to get one where the flag isn't flying in my face and my eyes are open when it decides to cooperate. Fortunately, my Guam travel companion @southerlysweet had an easy time helping me capture the pics thanks to the D3500’s built-in Guide Mode that – even though it was her first time using it, made it easy for a beginner photographer to easily capture a great pic. The trail to the waterfall isn't posted publicly, but if you make it to Inarajan in the less-inhabited southeastern portion of the island, ask a local how to get to Tinago Falls and it's a clear route once you start the path. #D3500 #Nikon #NIKKOR #NikonNoFilter

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Talking about the trip, Meyer said that he held on to the motto ‘Life is too short to delay your dreams’ to keep himself motivated throughout the journey. He also signed up for various adventure activities like camping, hiking and snorkelling at the various parks he visited, and documented the experiences from each site, calling the tour ‘a ministry in many ways’.

After concluding his trip in April, 2019, Meyer says he wants to go on “many more” adventures, which will serve as an inspiration for people to fulfill their dreams.

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