GARDNER, Massachusetts (WBZ) — From his table at the Gardner Ale House, Matt Dyer planned his next steps.

The 29-year-old is on a monumental trip around the country by foot. The Windham, Maine native started closer to home and plans to walk to Miami, Florida before journeying to Washington state. Consider it a path to outline the country rather than walking through it.

Dyer served in the United States military for several years and worked overseas. His wife tragically died by suicide roughly six years ago. Thursday will mark four years since his father passed away. Dyer, in need of a reset, set out on a similar journey to Virginia just a couple of years ago. This new journey would be unlike any other.

“I wanted to start over from the beginning,” said Dyer. “There is so much to appreciate about it. By being spontaneous and not doing much preplanning, it gives me the flexibility to have fun.”

Dyer pulls a cart behind him full of objects like a tent, sleeping bag, and cot. He spends most nights in his tent with the rare stay in a roadside motel. He made it clear there is no greater calling for his journey. He likes the physical challenge and enjoys meeting people along the way. He has met thousands of people so far. Several stopped by Gardner Ale House to say hello and give well wishes.

“By the time I get done I will have gone bird watching, built dollhouses, I have seen the big chair,” said Dyer. “Just all of this stuff I would not have imagined doing until I meet the person who does it.”

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