Christoph Rehage (The Longest Way) talks to WeWard!

article written by

Wardy was lucky enough to speak to Christoph Rehage, the man who walked across China! Christoph shared his reflections on his incredible walking adventure and his experience of documenting his journey. This inspiring conversation reveals how walking can be a source of personal transformation. So get ready to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Christoph Rehage, the intrepid walker!

Wardy: Hello Christoph! I’m delighted to exchange today with the man who walked across China. For WeWard, you're a reference in our field! How did you come up with the idea of walking through China and the method for documenting your journey?

Christoph Rehage: Hello Wardy! It’s a pleasure for me too!
To be honest, it's a question that requires a long answer! I tried a first walk for the first time in 2003 when I was living in Paris. I wanted to get home to Hanover.
But I documented nothing, I didn't plan out! I didn't have a GPS. Nothing like that! I just had a plastic camera from the supermarket. And I'll walked for 23 days! When I got home I understood that first of all, that was awesome. I enjoyed the walking thing, especially in retrospect.  And second of all, I wish I would have documented the project. I don't knew where I was on the map! I really didn't keep any detailed notes. I didn't have so many pictures or videos. And when I ended up in China, I went back mentally to that time and I thought : “I might try again. But this time, I'm gonna document it.”
So that's kind of how it came to be.

Wardy: And this way of taking pictures of yourself ? How did it come up ?

Christoph Rehage: That came out because I watched two videos online. The first one is from Noah Kalina. He took pictures of himself for seven years. It was just in an apartment and I loved the idea.

The second was inspired by the man in the “Where The Hell is Matt” video! He dances in different locations on the planet. For me, it’s the best video on YouTube ever!

Wardy: Interesting! How it feels after walking over 4,000 kilometers? Because initially you wanted to complete 15,000 kilometers and reach your home country…

Christoph Rehage: I did that later! I'm now in Germany. I'm almost home. I have about 400 kilometers left. It felt like I failed, I walked for a year and I was still in China because this country is so big, and I had never gotten to Asia or to Iran, or Turkey. I felt like : “Wow, okay, so that was bigger than I thought…”
Then, time passed and my video became viral. I wrote books, I did these travel and then I went back into because it's still calling me, that's why I still have my beard! (laughs)
She symbolizes my pathway.

Wardy: Your stories are inspiring especially for us, WeWard! Our application aims to promote walking. What do you think about us?

Christoph Rehage:  WeWard is brilliant! I could have been rich by now if I walked with you during my longway! If I had begun it right now, I would travel with your app, it goes without saying!  

Wardy: More usually, would you like to promote the practice of walking?

Christoph Rehage: I had no goal. I went on the walk because I wanted to have experiences and I feel like walking is the most natural way of moving for humans. It's our nature not to be on a bicycle, or car, or an airplane but to just walk at our own pace and it enables you to see a lot of what is going on around you. It makes you physically tired so that's nice four our sleep cycles. I just wanted to experience things. That's it! But there's no mission there. But if I inspire people, I’m very honored!

Wardy : Can you share advice about preparation necessary for undertaking such a large walking adventure, or tips for people just wanting to walk more?

Christoph Rehage: The main thing that I would advise everybody is to go and find their physical therapist. Not a doctor, you don't need an orthopedic. It will be good if you find a physical therapist and you tell them : “This is my plan." And he looks at how you move in the room.
They look at your shoes and maybe they tell you : “You need inlays for your shoes. Maybe you need different shoes. Maybe you should do different strength exercises.”

And I think then the physical side of walking is much better if you do that. I didn't know that before I started but I think everybody should do that. I'm serious about this kind of long-term walking. It’s not the same thing if you're just going to go for a weekend hike, of course!

Wardy: Do you believe that technology like WeWard can help people become more engaged in walking and adopt a more active lifestyle?

Christoph Rehage: I think so. That's a good thing to keep people motivated. And if it's a social aspect where you kind of compare with other people, that's even better!

Wardy: Could you give us a glimpse of your future project or any other walking adventure?

Christoph Rehage: No, I'm tired ! (Laughs) I want to get home. I’ll maybe cut my beard. I want to cut my hair. Nowadays, I just want to walk to the swimming pool, and swim a little bit.

Wardy: China is far away now, isn’t it ? (Laughs)

Christoph Rehage: Yes! And I promised my therapist no more huge projects. Now, it's too big. I'll leave this to the WeWard community!

Wardy:  How many shoes did you have during your longway?

Christoph Rehage: I don't know. I stopped counting! (Laughs)

Wardy:  To end, do you have any words to share with our users?

Christoph Rehage: First of all, they need to know that they're playing the healthiest game there is. Maybe there's no need to push it to the extreme like I did! (Laughs)

Instead, ask yourself how you could walk more, but rather by walking to the supermarket! I encourage them to look for and find their secret, because each goal is unique. To make daily walking more fun and more exciting, I don't know the secret that allows me to walk, all means are good. Some need motivation, others do it naturally.

The meeting between Wardy and Christoph Rehage reminds us that walking is much more than just a means of getting around. It is the embodiment of adventure, discovery and self-transcendence. Christoph's journey across China is a reminder that every step can bring us closer to the unknown and enable us to discover the world around us. Whether you're walking for your health, for the environment, or simply for the pleasure of exploration, remember that every walk is an adventure in itself. So get your trainers on, activate WeWard, and set off on your own walking adventure!

Previous article
Next article

You may also like

Let's talk
April, 26th 2024

Martine Duclos discusses the risks of sedentary lifestyles!

We had the pleasure of speaking with Martine Duclos, a new health professional, following Philippe Beaulieu and François Carré! An endocrinologist, physiologist, sports physician, and President of the National Observatory of Physical Activity and Sedentariness... Her Curriculum Vitae attests to the quality of her expertise and experience in adopting a healthier lifestyle. For WeWard, Professor Martine Duclos detailed the issues surrounding sedentary behavior and physical inactivity, two concepts that are sometimes confused.

écrit par
Arnaud Dal-Mas
Content Creator
April, 11th 2024

WeWard partners with AIDS Walk New York to fight HIV and AIDS!

Our team is proud to announce that WeWard will be joining forces with AIDS Walk New York!

écrit par
March 1st, 2024

Who is Yurik Mamedov, WeWard’s new friend ?

In this exclusive interview, we dive into the life and ambitions of Yurik Mamedov, a professional boxer with a very inspiring journey!

écrit par