Journalist and foreign correspondent Paul Salopek isn’t phased by walking up to 30 miles per day — for seven years. He’s planning on walking from Africa all the way to Chile, with camels carrying water, and notebooks stuffed in his backpack. So far, he’s made it across the Afar desert of Ethiopia, through Saudi Arabia, and into Jordan.

“There’s something about moving across the surface of the earth at 3 miles per hour that feels really good,” Salopek told NPR. Salopek has already filled 40 notebooks with his observations. His story, accompanied by photos, will be published in National Geographic as he treks across a total of 21,000 miles — across China, over to Alaska, down the Western coast of North America, and all the way down to the tip of South America.

His journey, called the Out of Eden Walk, aims to replicate the human migration that happened tens of thousands of years ago. Salopek will produce one in-depth story per year, focusing on topics like climate change, technology, and mass migration; and he will update a blog on National Geographic about every week or so. The Out of Eden Walk website states, “Although you’re joining it online, this discussion was actually kindled some 60,000 years ago, when our ancestors first wandered out of the prehistoric African Eden, and migrated across the Middle East and Asia, before crossing into North America and rambling to points south.”

During the past year, the 51-year-old has covered 1,300 miles by foot, and has rarely suffered any physical problems, aside from two blisters. Salopek finds the act of walking an interesting way to learn about the people in each place he passes through — especially Africa: “The Africa segment was remarkable for its kind of historical reverberations, and getting to go through historical pastoral cultures like the Afar, and walking through a landscape still shaped by the human food,” Salopek told the New York Daily News. “It really has struck me that walking out of Africa, a place that still walks, how fantastically bound to our cars the rest of the world is.”

Though Salopek’s journey is an intense one, his choice to walk instead of ride a bike or drive is an inspiration not only in an intellectual sense, but also physical. According to the American Heart Association, people who walk at least thirty minutes a day may reduce their risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure, combat obesity, and maintain overall well-being, including that of mental health. Whether it’s walking to work every day or trekking across the globe — you’ll be healthier and may be more likely to experience and observe details in everyday life you might not notice otherwise. "This has been very fun and very interesting and I have no indication as I sit that I'm getting bored with it,” Salopek told the New York Daily News. “On the contrary, walking into a new country on foot with your clothes on your back and a shoulder bag stuffed with notebooks was really fascinating."