The short story
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 (32,344 miles, 4 years, 59 countries, 6 continents). His adventures are chronicled in his best-selling and award-winning book “Falling Uphill,” a tale described as having moments from pure survival to pure enlightenment. He was 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 elementary schools as an artist-in-residence, and he’s developing a series of workbooks to teach kids how to dream and turn those dreams into reality. He continues to support his adventures as a Senior Freelance Graphic Designer.
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 loaded with electronic gadgets, 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 and graphic design, including a semester abroad at the University of Sunderland, England. Scott has also worked and lived across the US; however, after living life like the indigenous inhabitants in over 59 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, copywriter and some other not-so-flattering job titles. 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 is proud to have written for the New York Times. And prior to his journey, he also founded this 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, adjunct graphic design professor, community professor at UC, artist-in-residence and more.
What will the future bring?
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. More importantly, he has learned how to appreciate all the surprising little adventures right here at home. 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.
Scott has been surprised at how his adventure keeps growing. As an example: he was honored to make a Spanish edition of his children’s book in Argentina as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Outreach Program. He was their Cultural Ambassador, which was a great opportunity to inspire a lot of people. Even years later, kids (now young adults) write to tell him how he inspired them to dream and now they are taking the steps to make those dreams reality. This is what Scott loves most. He feels he is living his life’s purpose and helping others to do the same. And, he hopes to live vicariously through the dreams and adventures of many more people.
A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke.Scott Stoll
When I started the #1 collection of bicycle quotes on the web, 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! Since then it has been shared thousands of times, including the Adventure Cycling Association’s #TGIF quote. More about this quote.
One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle
The long story: If you really want to know what makes Scott tick, Falling Uphill is his magnum opus, the best-selling, award-winning 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.
Scott’s favorite pictures of Scott
For more photos and information about Scott Stoll, please visit our press room.
Bicycle Logo Design
Graphic Design, Illustration and Production
Scott funded most of his adventures, this website and a lot of school projects with the profits from years of working in the advertising business. Scott worked as either a senior graphic designer or art director in some of the best advertising agencies in the country, including TBWA\Chiat\Day when they won the prestigious Ad Agency of the Year Award. Not only did he design dozens of bicycle logos, but he also designed thousands and thousands of ads, posters, billboards, websites and much more. Continue reading ▷ Scott is still available for graphic design, illustration or web design. Profits support this website and our work with schools. Contact us.