Nick Kleckner is finally home. The California native is finally back home after spending half a year walking across the country. He started in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and finished in Huntington Beach, California. Along the way, he picked up the nickname "Hobo Nick," went through five pairs of shoes and collected an arsenal of stories to tell.
The 25-year-old Kleckner worked as an electrician and cab driver in northern California before dropping everything and buying a one-way ticket to Florida.
"It was a combination that was weighing down on me," Kleckner told the Daily Dot. "It built up, and I got to that point where I couldn't deal with everything anymore. I felt a lot of pressure, stress, and anxiety and decided to get out."
He began his journey on April 5 outside of Jacksonville with a backpack and an iPod touch. Before leaving, Kleckner purchased eight months of Internet service for his iPod. That way he could tweet and send blog posts to his mother, who manned Kleckner's website.
During his walk, Kleckner slept wherever he could find space, and his homeless existence led to the "Hobo Nick" nickname. It didn't hurt that Kleckner's impressive beard rivaled Tom Hanks' facial hair during Hanks' portrayal of Forrest Gump, who made a cross-country journey of his own.
Kleckner blogged constantly about his journey, offering insights into his whereabouts and also his emotional development. On August 29, Kleckner described the feeling of bathing in hot water for the first time in weeks:
One of Klecker's goals on his journey was to give more than he received. Whenever he got money, food or other gifts along the way, he tried to pass them along to homeless people, which is what he did for the last time just arriving at Huntington Beach, where his family and dozens of other people were waiting for him.