Scott Stoll asked himself a question: “If I could do anything, what would I do?” His answer resulted in a quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle (31,495 miles, 4 years, 59 countries, 6 continents). His adventures are chronicled in “Falling Uphill,” a tale described as having moments from pure survival to pure enlightenment. Upon returning home and seeing the fruits of his journey inspire so many people, Scott hopes to create a life full of entertaining and inspiring tales of his adventures of self-discovery and the magic and mysteries of life. He was recently honored to be the Cultural Ambassador to Argentina by the US Department of State and received the Hosteling International’s “Spirit of Adventure Award”, among other distinctions. Scott is currently working with local schools as an artist-in-residence. He continues to support his adventures as a Senior Freelance Graphic Designer and his new position as a graphic design Adjunct Professor.
What will the future bring?
Hopefully, a new surprising adventure. If my body cooperates, I would like to go on another bike tour. But in a way, I’d prefer the surprise of something I never imagined. And, I definitely look forward to a point in time that my creative career as an author and artist generates a sustainable income.
I have also been surprised at how my adventure keeps growing. As an example: I was honored to make a Spanish edition of my children’s book in Argentina as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Outreach Program. I was their Cultural Ambassador, so I had a great opportunity to inspire a lot of people. Even years later, kids (now young adults) write to tell me of how I inspired them to dream and now they are taking the steps to make those dreams reality. This is what I love most. I feel I have fulfilled the purpose of my life and have helped others to do the same. I hope that I get to live vicariously through the dreams and adventures of many more people.
The longer story: In 2001, Scott left behind beloved San Francisco and began the first pedal strokes of his trip around the world, which almost ended 5 days later when the terrorists struck New York City. After a month-long deliberation, Scott decided to continue his trip during what would become a unique moment in history, being one of the few Americans to travel abroad and the only one to travel the world on a bike. Citizens of other countries would often regard Scott as “the bicycling ambassador”. And unlike most modern day adventures, Scott traveled the world with nothing more than a paper map, and of course the prerequisite open-mind and an open-heart.
Before his epic journey, Scott came from a modest background. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Waukesha before returning to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee for his degree in the fine arts. Scott has also worked and lived across the US and England; however, after living life like the indigenous inhabitants in over 60 countries, Scott has been called “a citizen of the world” and has worked hundreds of truly odd and dirty jobs to provide for his journeys.
To fund his adventures, Scott spent a decade working in advertising and graphic design from Washington, DC to San Francisco, being labeled at times as an art director, graphic designer, production artist, photographer and/or copywriter. Scott has freelanced in over 100 ad agencies, including TBWA/Chiat/Day when they won the prestigious “Agency of the Year” award. Scott has also won a handful of industry awards for his design and writing, and is proud to have written for the New York Times. And prior to his journey, he also founded the award-winning website, The Argonauts Inc. It was like a social media blog about adventure, before blogs and social media were invented. More recently Scott has been an author, motivational speaker, Honorary Committee Member of Hostelling International, a radio correspondent, Northside Education Committee Member and more.
Of course, Scott is always dreaming of the next adventure and next book, but currently he is enjoying his adventure at home, because he has learned that even traveling around the world on a bicycle is too fast. In fact, one of his main goals is simply to build a community of people passionate about bringing great ideas to life in a way that is mutually beneficial to everyone involved and the world at large.
A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke. ~ Scott Stoll
When I started this collection of bicycle quotes, I never imagined that I would be one of the people quoted. My quote is featured for the month of February in the 2015 Bicycle Bliss Calendar. The publisher’s website description of the calendar reads: “With inspiring cycling quotes by luminaries such as H. G. Wells, Scott Stoll, and Mahatma Gandhi.” I can’t even believe my name is in that sentence!
One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle
This is Scott’s magnum opus, the best-selling book about his 4-year journey searching for the meaning of life (as featured in the New York Times), including many harrowing adventures, like being thrown in prison, mugged at gunpoint, nearly dying of dehydration, and equally as many heartwarming moments. More info.
For more photos and information about Scott Stoll,