Falling Uphill book cover and Scott standing on the edge of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Falling Uphill

One Man’s Quest for Happiness Around the World on a Bicycle

Finalist Award

Next Generation Indie Book Award. Falling Uphill is a Finalist in MEMOIRS (Personal Struggle/Health Issues).
“A book that helped define a genre.” ~ Anonymous.

The new 10th-anniversary edition of Falling Uphill has won a finalist award at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in Memoirs (Personal Struggle). Next Generation Indie Book Awards is the largest not-for-profit awards program for independent publishers. What a big honor!

(FYI: I’ve researched this a lot and when most books say they are best-sellers, it means they gamed the system. One way to do this is to flood the market, get your friends to buy the book, and then take a snapshot of the one day your book is on the best-seller list. Not so for Falling Uphill. It stood up for over a year. And, there is a similar story when it comes to winning awards. There are many awards that are basically given away to the highest bidder. Truly genuine, non-profit awards are rare.)

The Anniversary Edition is here!

I’ve traveled the world by bicycle to discover the “secrets” of life, and I’ve spent many more years digesting what I learned, exemplifying the lessons learned, and creating a book that I guarantee is entertaining, and which I hope you find inspiring and enlightening. Thanks in advance to my readers for being part of the journey.

Falling Uphill Anniversary Edition: One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle. By Scott Stoll.
  • Why write an anniversary edition? Because a lot of friends and fans have been wondering how my life has turned out since the big trip, and I wanted to include a new afterword about my biggest discovery yet, one that could only occur after many years of integrating everything that I had learned from my trip. This is what makes Falling Uphill different than most travelogues — it doesn’t end happily ever after in some foreign land, but continues after the return home and the difficult struggle to integrate everything I had learned. Are you wondering if the trip was worthwhile, did it change me or make the world a better place? Then this is the chapter for you.
  • Re-designed and easier to read. Including map, chapter key, bibliography and more.
  • New Chapter: “Were you scared?” Excerpts from the original journals that were lost for over 10 years, including the fateful day of 9/11.
  • New introduction and afterword.
  • 12 new postscripts.
  • Professionally edited 2 MORE times! Including a revised chapter on the culture shock of returning home.
  • Stuffed full with 167 photographs.
  • New e-book with color photos. See the Kindle Preview.
  • New audiobook. Two months in the making with professional recording equipment. Read about How to record a travel audiobook.
  • Multiple new online bonus chapters.
  • And don’t miss the Spanish and Korean editions.

More ways to order

Product Details
Author: Scott Stoll
Publisher: TheArgonauts
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook. 304 pages.
Age group: 15+
Publication: Anniversary edition © 02-14-2017
ISBN: 978-0-9827842-7-3. Print.
ISBN: 978-0-9827842-1-1. E-book.
ISBN: 978-1-9871221-5-2. Audiobook.
Language: English

Review stars 4 5

Best seller independent books gold medal. Adventure-travel literature.

Over one year in Amazon’s Top 100 Travel Memoirs. Now a rare best-selling, award-winning independent book. Scott’s story has been seen by millions of people across the globe as featured in dozens of high-profile, international news sources, including The New York Times.

The New York Times Logo

Acclaim for Falling Uphill

For me, the author, Falling Uphill is essentially a metaphor for the inner journey, but I’ve learned that everyone interprets the book — relives the journey — a little differently. Here’s what some other people are saying:

Scott Stoll lives a life the rest of us only dream of. With a keen eye and an open heart, he expresses the joys and aggravations of traveling the world on two wheels. ~

Scott Stoll’s cycling journey around the world raises countless questions about life in our time and answers quite a few of them. He is at once charming, innocent, fearless, and wise in his search for the world and himself. What does he find? Joy, tranquility, no end of personal challenges, and a whole lot more. ~

Best Cycle Touring Account On The Market! Stoll masterfully relates his experiences as he cycles around the world. The reader is pulled immediately into the action, the tasteful dialogue, beautiful imagery and a healthy sense of humor. And if that’s all Stoll did, it would be a fantastic book. But he takes it much deeper as he springboards from his experience into contemplations on the meaning of love, life, God, integrity, and his own existence. This book has all the adventure of Barbara Savage’s “Miles From Nowhere”, all the fun of Joe Kurmaskie’s “Metal Cowboy”, the touching lonely romance of Dave Stamboulis’ “Odysseus’ Last Stand” PLUS a universality of thought that all three of those cycle touring classics lack. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!!… I couldn’t believe that this book had escaped my searches until now. ~ April 20, 2011

Review stars 4 5 4.4 stars and over 100 reviews.

More reviews on Goodreads.

Even more testimonials.

Re-imagine the adventure of a lifetime

The map of Scott's World Bicycle Tour
World bicycle tour map, an example of how to ride a bicycle around the world, the red line above is where I rode my bicycle further than the circumference of the planet, not including the United States, which was my warm-up ride.
Falling Uphill. Sample. Chapter 5. Give money. A photo of Edwin trading a lamb for a pen.
Falling Uphill. Sample. Chapter 5. Give money. The funniest chapter in the book.

Read, watch or listen to some sample chapters

About the journey

Falling Uphill: 25,752 miles, 41,144 kilometers, 1461 days, 59 countries, 6 continents & 4 moments of enlightenment on a bicycle.

In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned with society, full of angst, suffering from depression, and 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 a 4-year and 25,752-mile odyssey around the world by bicycle using nothing more than a paper map as a guide. Stoll searched for answers to the great mysteries of life, vowing to find happiness or die trying. The quest wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, held hostage, mugged, run over, suspected of terrorism, accused of espionage, nearly trampled by elephants, wounded, diseased, heartbroken–he nearly died a dozen times. But more importantly, Stoll discovered the wonders of the world, kindness among strangers, the meaning of life, peace, love, faith and—Yes!—in the last place left to look, he found happiness. 

Scott won an award for his journey

Spirit of Adventure AwardHostelling International Spirit of Adventure Award
for outstanding enthusiasm and curiosity while traveling. Download the newsletter (PDF) about the award and a nice article about my trip.

Re-live and re-imagine an archetypal adventure as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment. 

Read even more about the journey around the world on a bicycle. Please note: All the generic journal entries have been deleted and turned into a book. I spent a lot of time crafting 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.

The sphinx asking a riddle: "If you could do anything, what would you do?"
This is the question that started the journey. In the hero’s journey, the Sphinx was one of the threshold guardians. If you weren’t prepared, you weren’t allowed to pass. In some legends, if you fail the question, you get eaten. This metaphor reminds us that we have to be willing to change. When Scott asked himself this question — If I could do anything?— that led to the Aha! moment that inspired his journey around the world on a bicycle and has become a guiding philosophy ever since.

If you could do anything free bookmark

Free! Get a beautiful and inspirational bookmark with every book purchased.

Buy Falling Uphill here and get a personalized copy and colorful bookmark

Falling Uphill: The Short Film

A montage of photos and videos from Scott’s 4-year, 26,000-mile bicycle tour around the world. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival. Keep your fingers crossed that someday this will be a feature film with amazing cinematography with all of the world wonders.

I nearly cried watching this video. Just a normal guy and look what he has achieved. ~

Falling Uphill The short film: A montage of photos and videos from Scott’s 4 year, 26,000 mile bicycle tour around the world. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival. “I nearly cried watching this video. Just a normal guy and look what he has achieved.” ~ Ingrid K.

The Top Ten Reasons to Read Falling Uphill.

I’d like to share some important features that make this book unique:

Featuring 167 photographs
  1. The #1 reason to read this book: if I can live my dream, so can you. It actually happened. The adventures are real, not fantasy; the lessons learned and moments of enlightenment are real-life experiences, not theory or rumors or cut-and-paste from another book; therefore, if I can live my dream, so can you.
  2. It’s not about the bike. This isn’t a boring day-by-day travelogue. Unlike most memoirs, which are written in a journalistic style, Falling Uphill has an over-arching theme — to overcome depression and create meaning to my life. I didn’t realize it while on my journey, but the theme is the classic hero’s journey towards self-actualization that we all must travel, as exemplified by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”; therefore, Falling Uphill is a metaphor for your own journey, and as you re-imagine my discoveries, adding your own life experiences on top of mine, you’ll discover even more secrets to actualizing your own dreams.
  3. In retrospect, two features make my journey and book unique.
    • I left before the digital era made cell phones, GPS, and social media ubiquitous. This means I had to use paper maps that were always inaccurate, and that if anything went wrong, I couldn’t call for help. In fact, when I began planning my trip in 1996 there were no websites dedicated to the sport of bike touring and only two related books in the local library and bookstores “Miles from Nowhere” and “Full Tilt” each covering sections of the world. I naively thought that I would be the first person to attempt riding a bicycle around the world. I wasn’t the first, but I feel proud to be a pioneer. Now, thankfully, it is a sport that becomes easier every day.
    • The feature that makes my journey and book like no other is that I left 5 days before the tragic events of 9-11. So, during a time of world upset, wars, terrorism and anti-Americanism (rightfully so many would argue), while most Americans were returning home for fear of safety, I continued my trip and was the only American to complete a solo cycling trip around the world during these challenging times.
  4. Re-live the harrowing adventures: imprisoned in Zimbabwe; head-on collision with a motorcycle in northern Vietnam; nearly trampled by an elephant twice; almost dying of dehydration in the 125° Baja desert; mugged and beaten by armed robbers in Guatemala; held hostage in the Tomb of the Engineer in Giza, Cairo; Climbing to Mt. Everest Base Camp on a bicycle; interrogated as a suspected terrorist in Israel; threatened by poachers and a witch doctor with a magic crocodile in Zambia; and, visit the Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu, Victoria Falls, Pyramids of Egypt, the Parthenon, Uluru, and more.
  5. Re-live the heart-warming adventures and moments of enlightenment: “Fall Uphill” on the backroads of a Mexican mountain. Re-discover how to find peace and use your emotions like a sail to travel to faraway lands. Re-define what it means to love while facing extreme loneliness. Re-create the key to happiness living with the poorest of poor people all over the world. Tame the lions of your mind on a bicycle safari in Africa. Sit at the feet of an enlightened guru in the foothills of the Himalayas discussing the secrets of life. Meet a great buddha in the most unlikely place and learn to literally create the meaning to your life.
  6. Re-live the most difficult moment, and learn from my mistakes — the extreme culture shock of returning home, and discover how we’re all programmed by our culture to be fearful and reactive. Unlike most books that end on the last day with a “happily ever after” moment, Falling Uphill contains several chapters that take place after returning home and integrating the new worldview with the old bad habits.
  7. Create an adventure in every moment. Witness how the author realized the journey never ends, and learn how to see the world with eyes of wonder.
  8. Easy-to-read short stories. The book is written in the rare first-person, present-tense narrative so that you feel as if you’re riding the bike in quest of the great mysteries of life. Each chapter answers a common question and is a complete short story. You can read the book in any order! However, the stories slowly build — from a survival mindset to moments of enlightenment — towards the grand finale which changes the way the author sees himself and the world forever.
  9. It’s a busy world, and people have less and less time and more and more distractions with life’s uphill battle. So, I spent over 4 years writing a book that I feel is both entertaining and educational and somewhat enlightening. One of my goals was to help readers slow down, appreciate the adventure in their daily life and even shed some emotional baggage to make the trip easier. If you’re really busy try the audiobook or e-book.

Re-live the adventure and re-imagine life today.

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. ~

When I started my journey, I never imagined that I would become an inspiration to millions. My story was featured in newspapers around the world. And this quotation went viral being seen by millions more. More info.

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

Falling Uphill

The Paperback Book

The Anniversary Edition.

Travel the world from the comfort of your own home. Re-live and re-imagine a 4-year journey around the world on a bicycle as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment. 

  • Re-designed and easier to read. Including map, chapter key, bibliography and more.
  • New Chapter: “Were you scared?” Excerpts from the original journals that were lost for over 10 years, including the fateful day of 9/11.
  • New introduction and afterword.
  • 12 new postscripts.
  • Professionally edited 2 MORE times! Including a revised chapter on the culture shock of returning home.
  • Stuffed full with 167 photographs.
  • Links to bonus chapters online.
  • New low price of only $16.95.
  • And, of course, much more.
Available here:
  • Signed copies are available in our shop. Falling Uphill is also available for order at your favorite local independent bookstore.
Also available almost everywhere else:
  • Order books at your favorite local bookstore. I recommend Bookshop.org. They donate 100% of the profits back to your favorite local bookstore.
  • You can order it at your local library.
  • Or almost anywhere online. 

Price: $16.95

Falling Uphill the ebook

Falling Uphill

The e-Book

Anniversary edition. Everything above, plus:

  • Color photos
  • Bonus online content
  • Easy to read font sizes and background colors.
  • New low price of only $5.95.
Available at:

Price: $5.95

Falling Uphill audio book cover art

Falling Uphill

The Audio Book

The Anniversary Edition Audiobook is here.

New audiobook made with professional recording equipment as read by the author. Whew! This was 3-months of full-time work all by itself, including some voice training and learning how to use the software and stumbling through a few different microphones. Now you can listen to the adventure anytime, anywhere. While recording this audiobook, I have a newfound respect for actors. It was really hard to relive the high and low emotions of my trip over and over again as I stumbled through my recordings. I may not have the talent of an actor, but I believe that I read the story with the emotions that only the author can give it.

Travel the world from the comfort of your own home or while driving to work or while exercising or anywhere…

Available at:

Price: Varies by vendor.

Young adult and children’s editions available too!

Over 500 children and teachers standing on the playground in the shape of giant bicycle.
After seeing the world wonders and taking thousands of photographs, this is my favorite photograph that I made when I returned home. These are the illustrators of the children’s edition of Falling Uphill. Poplar Creek Elementary School. Photo by Scott.
Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life. A true story about finding happiness in the last place left to look. By Scott Stoll. Book cover.

Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life

The Children’s Edition

I’m proud to announce Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life has been illustrated by Poplar Creek Elementary School. This project has involved over 1500 people. BEST OF ALL! — This short and sweet edition is my favorite one! — It took all my years of wisdom to learn to write this simply. More info and samples of the book.

Ilustración de Scott montando su bicicleta y cayendo cuesta arriba.

Cayendo Hacia Arriba:

El Secreto De La Vida

The Spanish Children’s edition

It has been the honor of a lifetime to be invited by the US Embassy and the schools of Argentina to collaborate on this special Spanish edition featuring all-new illustrations from the point of view of the Argentina culture and several new pages just for the Spanish edition. Once again the kids have been so creative that the book truly turned out better than I could have imagined, and now with a whole new level of meaning. More info and samples of the book. >>>

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

The Young Adult Edition

If you read the first book, you’ll love this one. It’s a brand new re-imagined book suitable for all ages, featuring:

  • An easy-to-read format. Every page is a mini-adventure, so you can skip around and read as much or as little as you want.
  • 236 photographs and illustrations.
  • Over 225 frequently asked questions that highlight the “secrets” of life that it took me many years and many thousands of miles to discover.
  • A new humorous story: What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten? And other brand-new, super-short stories.
  • And much much more.

More info and samples of the book.

Flip through this book. Watch a video.

SOLD OUT!!! Thank you.

We will probably be putting this content online.

Books by other authors featuring Scott’s journey

Pedal Power: Inspirational stories from the world of cycling.

Pedal Power: Inspirational Stories from the World of Cycling

Scott has a chapter about his bicycle journeys and how his adventures fuel a desire to make the world a better place.

Synopsis: A bike can be so many different things—a simple way of navigating busy city streets or enjoying quiet lanes, a cross-country steed to take a rider up hill and down dale, or even a world-beating racing machine. What unites everyone who rides is that they each have their own cycling story to tell. This book collects inspirational stories from riders around the world, both ordinary and extraordinary, from the London cyclist who rode 10,000 km in a month, to the daredevil trials rider who hops from building to building, to classic tales of grand-tour rivalries and legendary cycling records of days gone by. Essential reading for anyone who loves life on two wheels.

Available on Amazon.

By The Seat of My Pants. Edited by Don George. Lonely Planet.

By the Seat of My Pants

New Second Edition. Scott has a co-starring role in Edwin Tucker’s “Let the Buyer Beware”. This story is based on the funniest chapter in “Falling Uphill” but from Edwin’s POV.

Synopsis: Humorous tales of travel and misadventure. Lonely Planet knows that some of life’s funniest experiences happen on the road. Whether they take the form of unexpected detours, unintended adventures, unidentifiable dinners or unforgettable encounters, they can give birth to our most found travel lessons, and our most memorable – and hilarious – travel stories. These 31 globegirdling tales that run the gamut from close-encounter safaris to loss-of-face follies, hair-raising rides to culture-leaping brides, eccentric expats to mind-boggling repasts, wrong roads taken to agreements mistaken. The collection brings together some of the world’s most renowned travellers and storytellers with previously unpublished writers.

Available on Amazon.

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

My debut video as a backup dancer in a Bollywood blockbuster movie. This is the catchy song "Mohabbat Hai Mirchi" from the movie "Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne."
My award arrived in the mail for the anniversary edition of Falling Uphill. Yay! You could call this my coming of age journey. The sequel is planned for 2037. I imagine I'll have some interesting perspective as I do it all again. Well... maybe not the whole world via bicycle. Thank you Next Generation Indie Book Awards
The rule of thumb when preparing for a trip is to leave half of everything at home and you'll still be carrying too much. Here is a supply kit and tips for almost any adventure.