On September 12, 2019, after 18 years of circumnavigating the globe, I'm ready for my biggest journey yet to:
Hug the World in 80 Days!
For those who have been following me while hugging people in 50 sates and 37 countries, I am sure that many of you already foresaw this trip happening and are thinking, “I KNEW it; go, big man, go!!"
But, for others who aren’t as familiar with my story, you may be wondering why I am taking on such an ambitious trek.
To that question I will say, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to embrace over half a million individuals from newborns to celebrities to people in their 100's and throughout the smiles and even the tears that I've witnessed in the places struck by tragedy - there has been a steady them: Keep going.
For almost 2 decades, I've consistently heard these two words - from the Kansas man who fought in the D-Day Invasion to the Holocaust survivor I hugged at the White House to a Minnesota man with months to live to a special needs child in Arizona and more.
And even when those exact words weren't uttered, a motivating urge has always been very present in every conversation. Like when a man a man I met in Tanzania heard my story and simply asked, "Why would you stop?"
Yeah, why would I stop... especially when the world needs a hug now, more than ever.
Now, for the details.
My journey will begin on 9/12 with my standing and offering embraces by my friend Kevin Bowser's name at the 9/11 Memorial - N 16 - and then doing the same at the Marsh Memorial in NYC.
From there, I will fly to Europe and hug my way around the world via Ireland, The UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, and other countries until I am back home in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
When in these nations, thanks to a partnership with Advantage Rental Car and EuropeCar, I will drive their cars to local businesses, governmental offices and charitable organizations that I’ve been reaching out to over the last few months- you should see my phone bill!
Then, with a running slide show of my travels, a few 'Big Dave' stickers and me holding a “Hello my name is Big Dave #HugtheWorld” sign - these places will then be transformed into a “Hug Hub” - a place where people can come and get hugs, high5s, smiles and walk away with a bit of happiness.
For places where I haven't made any connections, I will freelance and offer hugs to anyone I happen upon.
My itinerary is still shaping up and cities/dates are subject to change so please stay in touch - but you can see my plans thus far on the right.
With this tour, I hope to positively engage as many people of every hue from as many faiths as I can in order to inspire others to create other good stories around the planet.
Funds donated will go towards flights, food, expenses and hugging people in more places around the planet.
Also, if you know of a person/people in need of a hug near where I am going - LET ME KNOW AND I WILL ADD THEM TO MY ITINERARY. Contact me below.
For companies looking to be involved in this global goodwill campaign - reach out directly @267.252.1974
Help me deliver happiness.
Hugging The World Itinerary
September 12: NYC @ 9/11 Memorial -Marsh Memorial - Lululemon
September 14: Dublin @ Little Bird Yoga Cafe, Can-Teen Charity Lululemon
September 15: Belfast Queens University of Belfast- possibly, Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Titanic Museum
September 17: London - Prime Meridian - Saville Row Tailor, The Cad and the Dandy - The crosswalk at Abbey Road Studios - Piccadilly Circus - Big Ben - SoHo Fitness Lab- hugging patients @ The Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth POSSIBLY
September 20: Paris Notre Dame - Eiffel Tower - Lululemon
September 22: Berlin Checkpoint Charlie, Lululemon
September 25: Madrid Bombing Memorial
September 29: Vatican City
October 2: Tel Aviv/ Jerusalem - City of David - Western Wall and Al-Aqsa Mosque
October 6: Agra, India - The Taj Mahal
October 9: Sri Lanka bombing sites- POSSIBLY
October 15: Tokyo - Tokyo Tower, Lululemon
October 20: Sydney, Australia - Sydney Opera House- Bills Restaurant - Lululemon
October 23: Melbourne, Australia - Queen Victoria Market - St. Ali Cafe possibly - Lululemon
October 25: Christchurch, New Zealand, Linwood Islamic Centre, Masjid Al Noor - Lululemon
October 29: Cape Town, South Africa - Robben Island -
November 1: Rio de Janeiro- Christ the Redeemer
San Diego TBA
San Antonio to hug Mayor Ron Nirenberg - Sutherland Springs Church
Mobile, Alabama to hug Mayor Sandy Stimpson
Memphis Lorraine Hotel
Orlando, Florida -Pulse Nightclub
DC- Washington Monument
Philadelphia - Thanksgiving dinner!!