One man’s quest for happiness
4 years, 41,444 Kilometers (25,752 miles), 59 Countries, 6 Continents and 4 moments of enlightenment
In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned with society, full of angst, a lost and wandering soul with nothing left to lose, Stoll asked himself a question:
If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?
His answer resulted in an odyssey around the world by bicycle, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life, vowing to find happiness or die trying. Stoll felt that life was a gift and that he had only one chance to live. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
After many years of preparation, and only 5 days before the 9-11 attack in NYC, he began his first pedal stroke and eventually cycled every inch to meet his goal of circumnavigating the globe under his own power. (The equatorial circumference of the planet is 40,077 KM.) And, that’s not including his 10,609-Kilometer warm-up ride across the USA from border to border and coast to coast. Scott was the only American to complete a round-the-world bicycle tour during those interesting times.
The quest wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, held hostage, mugged, run over, suspected of terrorism, accused of espionage, trampled, diseased, heartbroken—he nearly died a dozen times. But more importantly, in the most unlikely places, he also discovered the wonders of the world, kindness among strangers, the meaning of life, peace, love and — Yes! — happiness — and much more than he imagined possible.
Re-live and re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment in Scott’s best-selling independent book Falling Uphill.
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Winner of the Spirit of Adventure Award
Scott Stoll was the Recipient of The Spirit of Adventure Award. Presented by The LA Council of Hostelling International for outstanding enthusiasm and curiosity while traveling.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity for sharing my adventure!
Download their newsletter (PDF) about the award and a nice article about my trip.
Favorite media interviews:
- The New York Times
- The San Francisco Chronicle
- Infobae. (Reprinted in dozens of Latin American countries.)
- The Buenos Aires Herald. (Reprint. This 120-year-old newspaper went out of business.)
- The Korean Economic Daily. (Book review.)
- Wisconsin Public Radio
- Around the World Radio. (Correspondent.)
- Outdoor Wisconsin
- WGN. (TV interview.)
- More Favorites
Falling Uphill: The short film
One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.
Travel around the world with this montage of photos and videos from Scott’s 4-year, 26,000-mile bicycle tour. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival.
And below is a longer, slower version with more pictures. This is better for schools.
Relive the adventure around the world on a bicycle with Scott’s award-winning, bestselling book: Falling Uphill
Please note: There are a lot of resources here about the logistics of bikepacking and lots of photographs and videos, but all the generic journal entries have been deleted and turned into a book. I spent a lot of time to craft a book so that you, the reader, can feel like you are actually riding the bike and reliving the journey. That process took me years. It included culture shock, a lot of introspection, some travel around my own country to get to know it again, lots and lots of writing and feedback and edits, a year to produce the book (finding a publisher, design, more edits, et cetera), plus another year to write and record the new anniversary edition.
Falling Uphill: One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.
New Anniversary Edition. Re-live and re-imagine bicycling around the world in quest of happiness. I’ve traveled the world by bicycle to discover the “secrets” of life, and I’ve spent many more years to digest my trip, exemplify the lessons learned and create a book that I believe is both entertaining and enlightening: I almost die, fall in love, find “God” and discover the meaning of life — what more from a story could you ask for?
The YA edition of Falling Uphill is here for the young adventurers and the young at heart. Hundreds of photos and frequently asked questions. Plus advice how to make your dream a reality right now!
Now the best-selling independent book has been re-imagined and illustrated by Poplar Creek Elementary School. Also in Spanish. Illustrated by the schools of Argentina. Cayendo Hacia Arriba: El Secreto de la vida.
Pedal Power: Inspirational Stories from the World of Cycling
By the Seat of My Pants