Falling Uphill book cover and Scott standing on the edge of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Falling Uphill map, key and table of contents
Falling Uphill map, key and table of contents. The book is written in what I call spiritual order (survival issues come first), but you can read the book in chronological order if you want.

Map and Table of Contents

Bonuses for owners of Falling Uphill

This page is primarily for listeners of the audiobook so that you can follow the journey on the map. Match the chapter numbers below to the numbers on the map. Click on the map to see a larger image. I’ve also included the appendix and bibliography at the end. Thanks again and please enjoy Falling Uphill.

Table of contents

Map: Where did you go?
Introduction: What was the greatest discovery you made?

Part I: The Call of the Wild

1) Why are you riding a bicycle around the world?
2) How do you ride a bicycle around the world?
3) Aren’t you scared?

Part II: Survival

4) How are you?
5) Give Money?
6) What do you want?
7) Where are you going?
8) Where are you from?
9) What are you doing?
10) Did you ever get attacked by animals?
11) Did you ever get attacked by people?
12) Did you ever get robbed?
13) Did you ever get run over?
14) What’s the worst thing that happened?
15) What’s the hardest part?
16) Don’t your legs get tired?
17) Don’t you get lost?
18) Don’t you get sick?
19) Where do you go to the toilet?
20) Where do you sleep?
21) Where do you find water?
22) What do you eat?

Part III: Questing

23) Why don’t you quit?
24) How much does it cost?
25) Can I help you?
26) Would you please visit my home?
27) Are you married?
28) Do you have children?
29) Don’t you miss your family?
30) What is your tribe?
31) Who cares?
32) What are you trying to prove?
33) How did you get so lucky?
34) Are you crazy?
35) Why? (Part 2)
36) How? (Part 2)

PART IV: Oneness

37) Are you on a spiritual journey?
38) What gods do you worship?
39) What was your favorite ___?
40) Did you find peace?
41) Did you fall in love?
42) Did you find happiness?
43) Do you believe in magic?
44) Did you find the meaning of life?
45) Did your trip change you?
46) Did your trip change the world?
47) Do you have any regrets?
48) What are you going to do next?
49) How does it feel to cycle around the world?

PART V: The Return Home

50) What’s it like to return to the “real world”?
51) Did you find what you were looking for?

Afterword: What are you doing now?
Appendix: Metric conversion table (See below)
Bibliography (See below)


Appendix: Metric Conversion Table

I have decided to use the metric system in my book because it’s the standard everywhere except the USA, Myanmar and Liberia. In addition, I find the metric system to be very beautiful and simple. Like my bicycle trip, the length of the metric meter was originally defined by the circumference of the planet. Specifically, the distance from the equator to the pole was measured and assigned to be 10,000,000 meters, which is a rather arbitrary number except that ten happens to the number of fingers that we have, and one meter made a convenient unit, similar to the empirical yard. One liter was defined as the volume of a cube of water ten centimeters squared, which also defined the weight of one kilogram. Temperature was defined according to the freezing (0º) and boiling point (100º) of water and also based on units of ten. The metric system made it very easy to plan my days, estimating such things as the inclination of roads, distances to the summit, how far I could I ride, and how much food and water I would need.

Conversion Table

1 Kilometer (km) = 0.62 miles
1 Meter (m) = 1.09 yards
1 Liter (l) = 0.26 gallons or 1.05 quarts (2.2 pounds)
1 Kilogram (kg) = 2.2 pounds
1 mile = 1.60 kilometers
1 yard = 0.91 meters
1 gallon or 4 quarts = 3.78 liters
1 pound = 0.45 kilograms



I estimate that I read about 200 books during my journey, like many religious texts such as the Bible, Quran, parts of the Vedas, and many Buddhist and philosophic teachings. Unfortunately, I didn’t record everything that I read. Below, to the best of my memory, is a short list of books mentioned in Falling Uphill and a few other books influential to the journey.

  1. Brazier, David. The Feeling Buddha: A Buddhist Psychology of Character, Adversity and Passion. Palgrave MacMillan, 2002.
  2. Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton University Press, 3rd edition, 1973.
  3. Carnegie, Dale. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Originally published: 1948. How to Win Friends and Influence People. 1936.
  4. Charrière, Henri. Papillon. Originally published: 1969.
  5. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Originally published: 1946.
  6. Dunlop, Fiona. Explorer Vietnam. AA/Fodor 2002. This is the only guidebook that I recorded using [see quote Chapter 16] except Lonely Planet Thailand, which I happened to photograph [see photo Chapter 7]. I also used many other editions, like: Australia, East Africa, India, Nepal, et cetera; and many other brands, like: Insight Guide, Let’s Go, and Rough Guide.
  7. Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning. Originally published: 1946.
  8. Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken. Originally published: 1916.
  9. Herzog, Maurice. Annapurna. Originally published: 1952.
  10. Jenkins, Peter. Walk Across America. Originally published: 1979.
  11. Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air and Into the Wild. Villard. 1996.
  12. Martel, Yann. The Life of Pi. Harvest/Harcourt, Inc. 2001.
  13. Murchie, Guy. Seven Mysteries of Life, The. Mariner Books, 1999.
  14. Orwell, George. 1984. Originally published: 1949.
  15. Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements. Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997.
  16. Savage, Barbara. Miles from Nowhere. Mountaineers Books. 1983.
  17. Thomas, Jefferson, et al. Declaration of Independence. Originally published: 1776.
  18. Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Civil Disobedience. A Signet Classic, 1960.
  19. Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad. Originally published: 1869.
  20. Watts, Alan W. The Way of Zen. Pantheon, 1st edition,1957.
  21. Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. The Viking Press. 1959.

If you enjoyed the book…

Please help bring the message to life

Dinner party

Despite critical acclaim, years of work, and literally every penny I had, very few people know Falling Uphill exists. So, if you enjoyed re-living the adventure, and re-imagining life, please help spread the word.

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

Welcome to Yebrail Matta school

Ambassador to Argentina

A quick summary of my trip as Cultural Ambassador to Argentina with my 5th and favorite video of distributing 2000 books to the kids.

The new book on the floor of the printer's shop waiting to be bound. Each stack is a set of pages.

The making of the book

Here is my new book on the floor of the print shop waiting to be bound. It’s the Spanish edition of the kid’s book, “Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life.” I needed to hover over the guys at the print shop because it just wasn’t getting done on schedule. Aah! And the books need to be on an airplane to Argentina the next day!

Scotts knee surgery. A picture of laparoscopic surgery and the inside of Scott's knee

Were you ever injured

Above is a picture of the inside of my knee. Almost two years ago I was knocked off my bicycle by a reckless motorist who ran a stop sign. As you can see the cartilage was torn and frayed and I had to have the loose pieces removed. It almost ended my dreams of riding my bicycle around the world.

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