Why Mike Posner Walked 2,851 Miles Across America

The coast-to-coast walk changed the singer's perspective

Singer Mike Posner  performs onstage during the Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018 at The Forum on December 08, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage)
Singer Mike Posner performs onstage during the Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018 at The Forum on December 08, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / December 5, 2019 10:54 am

Back in January, Grammy-nominated singer Mike Posner (of “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” fame) took to social media to announce that beginning March 1, he’d be walking across America, Forrest Gump-style, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He completed the journey, and he recently sat down with Outside to discuss what made him want to take on such a massive trek.

Posner told the publication that he decided to take the walk after feeling a sense of dread about promoting his album A Real Good Kid.

“I just realized my responsibilities to promote the album are based on complete bullshit — they’re based on maximizing my income and my record label’s income, and maximizing my fame, and hoping that turns into more income,” he said. “I couldn’t bring myself to do any of that stuff. I felt stuck. I was explaining it to one of my best friends, and he said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I said, ‘I want to walk across America.'”

The singer experienced a few hiccups along the way, including getting bitten by a baby rattlesnake in Colorado and, most excruciatingly, having to reroute and backtrack in Missouri due to weather, making Kansas feel like a finish line.

“I just started to fall apart,” Posner said. “My body, my mind, my spirit, they thought I was done because I had made it to Kansas. I was limping. I got to this point where if I wasn’t actively thinking, ‘Walk!’, my mind would drift, and I would realize I was just standing in the road.”

Eventually he decided to finish the journey by no longer listening to headphones as he walked and telling friends to stop joining him along the route.

“Unplugging made the journey a lot deeper, because I went to places in my mind that I didn’t know were there,” he said. “I tapped into my superpowers, as I call them. The trip is supposed to be hard, so you’re just riding these up-and-down waves. At some point, I figured out how to get through a low to the next high with only myself.”

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