Beaufortonian Kelly Will has accomplished her goal of visiting 50 states in one year.
In all, she traveled 36,101 miles, spent less than $19,000 and stayed with 164 host families.
Now, Will hopes to share her experiences with a book, funded by a crowd-sourced Kickstarter campaign called Broadcast Love.
"I knew that I wanted to write a book," Will said. "After I traveled, I realized that our only purpose is to love ourselves. And once we love ourselves, then we can love everyone else."
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The book, currently untitled, will be about Will's experiences on the road and the stories of the people she met along the way. "Kitchen table stories," she called them. The book will be published with money raised from Kickstarter and should be available in print and e-book form in January 2015, Will said. She hopes to raise $16,000 and has raised $15,237 as of Thursday afternoon. The campaign ends Friday.
Four years ago, Will made a living interviewing celebrities in New York. When she grew tired of that, she moved to Beaufort and worked as a spin instructor at the YMCA and as a sales manager at Fripp Island Resort. Last May, at 34 years old, she came up with her idea to travel America. She sold most of her possessions and packed what was left into her Honda, driving across the country and staying with friends and friends of friends along the way.
Will was in Beaufort in April speaking about her journey and had three weeks and five states left to visit, including Hawaii and Alaska. Will made it, arriving in Hawaii, her 50th state, on the 364th day of her journey.
After the book is published, Will said, she plans to move to California, one of her favorite states. Of course, she said she needs to be near a major airport for easy access to future traveling.