WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Isaiah Glen Shields left his corporate job in finance with the motivation and enthusiasm that there is much more to life than what he was experiencing.
“It’s a discontentment I felt with my previous life.” Shields said. “I went to school, I graduated from BYU, I was working in corporate finance and I kept switching jobs, I kept trying to find that right balance of giving me what I felt like I needed.”
Shields said that’s when he had the idea to go on a really long walk. After three months, he still couldn’t shake the idea, so he decided to take action and turn that idea into a reality.
The 28-year-old started his journey in Provo, Utah, and traveled by foot to the westernmost point of the United States in Washington. Now, he is making his way east and will end his journey at the easternmost point of the United States in Maine.
So far he has walked through Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, California, and now Texas.
He made his way into Texas after walking for 206 days, making The Lone Star State his eleventh state travelled.
Shields spent Thursday Feb. 17, day 228 of his trek, in Wichita Falls, where his path along Seymour Highway took him right past the KFDX station.
When stopped outside the KFDX station, he had traveled 4,133.4 miles by foot so far.
During his travels to Wichita Falls on Feb. 16, he was offered to spend the night in a gazebo at Highland Cemetery in Iowa Park due to severe weather in the area. Shields said he encounters many people along his journey that show him kindness in offering him a place to stay.
“People are better often, than we often think the world is portrayed,” Shields said. “It’s really cool to be in the middle of nowhere and consistently have strangers extend kindnesses to you just because they can and there is no reason that they had to.”
Shields said the journey not only has given him the opportunity to meet new people every day, but also has led him to grow closer with his parents and five siblings.
“They’re very supportive, my mom especially,” Shields said. “I think it lead to me talking to some of my five siblings more than I had before since I walked through some of their home towns.”
Shields said he is over the halfway mark, and the path he is traveling will take him down to the Florida Keys and then back up the East Coast, with around 3,000 miles left to go.
Shields hopes to inspire others to live authentically through his journey and by showcasing his “You do you” message on his make shift carrier he travels with.
“My message isn’t everyone needs to walk long distances,” Shields said. “If you have an idea of what you think would make your life fulfilling and meaningful and impactful, try it.”