Scott Stoll's before and after picture of his bicycle tour around the world.
Scott Stoll's before and after picture of his bicycle tour around the world. The change on the inside is even more dramatic. More about the before and after picture.

Scott Stoll


Scott Stoll Headshot Profile Picture

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.

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The longer story:

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.
Scott Stoll US Embassy Argentina
Scott Stoll as Cultural Ambassador in the US Embassy of Argentina with the Deputy Chief of Mission Jefferson Brown, Ambassador Vilma Socorro Martinez and Press Attaché Shannon Farrell.

In 2001, Scott Stoll 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.

Bicycle Bliss Calendar description from publisher reads: “With inspiring cycling quotes by luminaries such as H. G. Wells, Scott Stoll, and Mahatma Gandhi.”

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.

Falling Uphill Anniversary Edition: One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle. By Scott Stoll.

Falling Uphill

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.

Falling Uphill: The Young Adventurer Edition. The true story of one man’s quest around the world on a bicycle seeking the meaning of life. By Scott Stoll.
Falling Uphill Korean edition
Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life. A true story about finding happiness in the last place left to look. By Scott Stoll. Book cover.
Cayendo Hacia Arriba. El Secreto de la Vida. By Scott Stoll.

Best seller independent books gold medal. Adventure-travel literature. Next Generation Indie Book Award. Falling Uphill is a Finalist in MEMOIRS (Personal Struggle/Health Issues).

Scott’s favorite pictures of Scott

For more photos and information about Scott Stoll, please visit our press room.

Scott and biking sinking into the sand on a foggy day.
Scott dipping the front wheel of his bicycle in the Pacific Ocean after riding across the United States. It was the test ride for his upcoming world trek. It’s a tradition to dip the back wheel in the Atlantic and the front wheel in the Pacific or vice versa.
Scott and bicycle before mountain of salt with dramatic color range
Favorite Photo courtesy of ©Dan Zaitz. That’s a mountain of salt and a big puddle after a rainy day.
Scott standing next to a giant mouse and hunk of cheese. He used his graphic design skills to change the sign to read: Graphic designer. Made in Wisconsin." And on the other side it says, "If pictures are worth a 1000 words, how much are ideas worth?"
Having some fun and promoting my graphic design skills with a road sign welcoming drivers to Wisconsin.
If you could do anything, what would you do? Falling Uphill is the story of one man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle. Here is short video about my trip around the world on a bicycle. It was a YouTube featured video and in the Boston Bicycle Film Festival.

Blue Bicycle Design logo short
A logo design from back when Scott was calling his freelance business “Blue Bicycle Design”. My favorite color and my favorite thing combined. Of course, now, I think using my name is the way to go.

Senior graphic designer

Graphic and Information Design, Branding, Web 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.


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