Almost Home: 12,000-Mile Trek Brings Yale Grad to the Backstretch

Greg Hindy’s yearlong vow of silence and cross-country trek came to a close in July, when he reached Los Angeles. But that was just the beginning for this 23-year-old Yale graduate.

Although he’s now talking and taking advantage of technology, Hindy has kept his beard long and his shoes laced up for the return trip to his hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire.

He’s almost there.

Hindy hit New Haven on Tuesday, striding down Route 34 from Derby. He wore a backpack and pushed a bag full of camera gear, the same one he towed when he started the trip in 2013. He’s since walked more than 12,000 miles and hopes to be home for the holidays.

“I think I was surprised at the simplicity of it,” Hindy said. “It’s really a matter of walking each day. Every day that I’m walking, I’m walking through someone else’s every day place.”

Hindy, who graduated from Yale in 2013 with a degree in photography, said it’s all part of a performance art project.

“I felt like I wanted to somehow combine photography with some sort of performance art,” he explained. “I was drawn to the idea of making photographs in a way in which the process is really integral to the whole thing.”

Hindy took a vow of silence on July 9, 2013 – his birthday – and stuck with it as he journeyed across the country on the first leg of his trip.

"It was mostly about making a point, the point being that I'm dedicated to what I'm doing, and it affects me throughout the day," Hindy said of his decision to stay silent. "It was also an experiment. What would it be like to walk in silence for that long, and how would it affect my photography? How would it affect my thinking in general?”

He took photographs as he went, capturing images of the people and places he encountered and sending the footage back to his father.

Now Hindy is in the final leg of his journey. He plans to stay in New Haven through Thursday morning to catch up with some old friends – and catch his breath. A pulled muscle has put a limp in his step, and he’s hoping a short break will give him the extra energy to finish strong.

You can track Hindy's progress online here.

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