Peace Pilgrim related that her physical journey began after having experienced a „spiritual awakening“, following a long period of meditation practice. She said that this awakening was a direct, mystical experience of the „creator’s“ love. She claimed that this spurred her to then start her decades-long walking journey for peace. Her pilgrimage spanned almost three decades beginning in 1953, in Pasadena, California. The Korean War was in progress. She continued walking for 28 years, spanning the American involvement in the Vietnam War and beyond.
Peace Pilgrim’s only possessions were the clothes on her back and the few items she carried in the pockets of her blue tunic which read „Peace Pilgrim“ on the front and „25,000 Miles on foot for peace“ on the back. She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter.