Anthony Lambing, 28, of Imperial said he was watching the 1994 film "for the 22nd or 23rd time" when he became intrigued by the titular character's three-year run back and forth across the United States, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.
"It had been in my mind for a long time," Lambing said. "I liked road trips, and I was a daydreamer."
However, Lambing said he decided against running.
"I got realistic; I said, I couldn't do that much work," he said. "But walking it would take about six months and was more realistic."
Lambing said his research into people who performed similar feats indicated it would take him about six months to walk from Imperial to San Diego, but he set out in August 2011 and arrived in San Diego only 5 1/2 months later.
Lambing said he took a cue from "Forrest Gump" and decided to walk just for the sake of walking.
"I didn't want to plug a cause. ... Like Forrest Gump said, he just felt like running; I just felt like walking," he said.
Lambing said a friend met him in San Diego and they caught a flight home.
"Five-and-a-half months to walk out there and 6 hours to fly back," he said.