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Hike Based on Kindness Fails

Your New Year's resolution for 2008 probably wasn't as extreme as Mark Boyle's. Boyle decided he and two other friends would spend the year walking the 9,000 miles between Britain and India without a dime in their pocket. Their goal was to rely only on the kindness of strangers as they traveled. Whenever they entered a town, they would offer a few minor services and accept food and lodging as payment. At the end of January 2008, they packed a few items, stepped into their hiking shoes, and hit the road.

The confident trio got as far as Calais, France, before they gave up. No one in the group spoke French, and the language barrier proved too difficult to overcome. The townspeople were suspicious of what they believed to be a bunch of freeloaders, so they turned a cold shoulder to Boyle and his friends. "[We] were pretty much out of food, hadn't slept in days, and were really cold. We had to reassess the whole situation," Boyle says. Saddened over their failed mission, they returned home.

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