Meet Akshay Nanavati — Marine Veteran Conquering Every Country…On Foot

Mr. Akshay Nanavati is a Marine Corps Veteran on a mission to run across every single country in the world. Born in India and growing up in ten different cities, his family finally settled in America at the age of 13. In this interview, he shares his personal motives for this mission and the impact that he wants to leave, not only with his feet but also with his heart.



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Highlights from the interview:

  • Akshay’s teenage years were marred with drugs as he struggled to find his own sense of self.
  • Joining the marines was the changing point in his life as he came face to face with what it meant to stand for something beyond yourself.
  • Serving a higher cause led him to take on the challenge of running across every country in the world.
  • Akshay has thalassemia- a blood condition, scoliosis, and flat feet. He is the most unqualified person to take on the mission but he says that is what being human is all about.
  • Dreams are fuelled through clarity and a big enough “Why.”
  • Fear and adversity needs to be reframed. These are emotions and experiences that are natural and need to be embraced rather than running from.
  • Don’t compare your dreams with others, everyone is on their own journey.

Three keys for pursuing your dream:

1) Get clarity on your goal. 2) Embrace the mundane. 3) Celebrate the small wins.

Your greatest influence?

Apart from my parents, Jack Canfield, the author of Chicken Soup For The Soul. Helped me through my own personal issues post Iraq and my journey into the personal development world.

What impact are you wanting to leave through your work? 

I want to help people find their gift in adversity. We seek to avoid adversity rather than find meaning through it. Use it as a source of inspiration for success rather than a crutch.

What is your definition of success? 

I think success is progress in mind body heart and spirit. I also add finances onto that. If one year from today, I make progress in these realms, then I am successful. If you are making progress and constantly moving forward in life, then that is successful.

Final words?

Embrace your own journey whatever it may be for you. Get clear on that and reward yourself as you keep working toward it. There is no right or wrong about any journey that you want, just celebrate your own path in life.

Connect With Akshay Nanavati:



8 Replies to “Meet Akshay Nanavati — Marine Veteran Conquering Every Country…On Foot”

  1. Love the story. Chicken Soup for the Soul is a good sampling of optimistic, hopeful thinking. I’ve always tilted toward cynicism, and wondered how to be a realistic-optimist in a world full of heart ache and confusion. When I served in the USMC I ended up having some down time in Israel. While there I got intrigued about Jesus. I had dismissed him because I found too many religious people to seem delusional. I was surprised at how he dealt honestly with pain and suffering, with justice and mercy, and most importantly with how to experience real hope. I developed a small diagram as a short hand sketch of good/bad experiences, and how Jesus provide meaning, purpose and hope. I also have my story, shared with another Marine, here:

    Semper Fi!

  2. Hi Thai,

    Great interview. These types of people with such determination and drive are definitely an endangered species.

    I’m embarrassed. I can just manage to continuously run for about 10 minutes, let alone across a country!

    I truly wish Mr. Akshay Nanavati the very best of luck


  3. Thanks for sharing your experience Russ.

    Be sure to check out Russell’s links!

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us Russell! Loved the diagram and the video on your site, really nicely done. Semper Fi my brother! I look forward to “running” into you one day in the future 🙂

  5. Hi Naomi

    I am not going to be able to put it any better than Thai did, you are one of those endangered species too! We all have our journey, mine happens to be running across every country in the world, but yours is just as valuable and important as mine and anyone else’s, so nothing to be embarrassed about at all.

    And I absolutely love what you are doing, what could be more important than helping others escape a life they don’t want to live to live the one they do? Awesome way to make a difference in the world Naomi.

    Thank you for what you do and for your best wishes as well 🙂


  6. Enjoyed every minute of it Akshay. Grateful that I get to share your Journey.

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