Falling Uphill book cover and Scott standing on the edge of Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
A selfie before cell phones were even invented. In the background is the ironically named Volcan Agua in Antigua, Guatemala.
A selfie before cell phones were even invented. In the background is the ironically named Volcan Agua in Antigua, Guatemala.

Writing the first draft of Falling Uphill in Guatemala

I wrote the first draft of Falling Uphill in Antigua, Guatemala. Often I took notes while atop the roof of my hotel below. Doesn’t this look like an author’s dream? I recommend all writer’s to get off their bum and go somewhere inspirational.

Below you can see my tiny, wooden writing desk. It was a little beat up but high-quality, sturdy wood, no doubt handmade. It was something I imagine Hemingway would have worked at under a tent in the African savanna.

In the center and the right are stacks of journals and printouts of my emails. As I was traveling, I mailed my handwritten journals home. (Update: Surprisingly, they all made it; however, one was lost for over 10 years in my parent’s house. I recently found them and added a new chapter to the anniversary edition.) These unedited originals were about 300,000 words. On the left is a stack of reference books and inspirational reading.

Once or twice a week, as I wrote the book by hand, I would go to the internet cafe and type them into an email.

Scott's tiny writing desk in a corner of a hotel in Antigua, Guatemala.
Scott’s writing desk in Antigua, Guatemala stacked full of books and journals.

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

Scott Stoll being interviewed while his bicycle is on the red, white and blue podium, occupying first, second and third place.

VIP On The Race Podium

As a post world tour honor, me and my bike got to occupy first, second and third place on the podium at the Downer Classic race at the Tour of America’s Dairyland. I also had the chance to share my story with the crowd.

Falling Uphill Teachers guide

Classroom Resources

This free guide to Scott’s bicycle ride around the world includes an exercise for turning dreams into reality, a world-travel trivia quiz, exercises for planning and mapping a world adventure, travel writing lessons, class discussions, backyard adventures, and more.

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