One man's quest for happiness
around the world on a bicycle.
Second Edition. New preface. Easier to read font size. And color photos in the e-book edition. Also available as an audio book and in Spanish or Korean.
I've traveled the world by bicycle to discover the "secrets" of life, and I've spent many more years to digest what I learned, exemplify the lessons learned and create a book that I guarantee is entertaining, and which I hope you find enlightening. Thanks in advance to my readers for being part of the journey. ~ Scott
Over one year in Amazon's
Top 100 travel memoirs.
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. ~ Michael Berry, Bay Area book critic
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. ~ Larry Habegger, Executive Editor, Travelers’ Tales Books
Falling Uphill is essentially a metaphor for the inner journey, but if you like cycling here is what one person had to say -- 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. ~ Christina T. Amazon reviewer. More Amazon reviews.
Re-imagine the adventure of a lifetime for the price of a pizza.
Download a PDF sample of the book. Chapter 3 -- Give money?
See my friend Edwin trade a pen for a sheep as he tries to teach a Tibetian shepherd "a lesson". Also read about my intriguing discovery in the Preface. Or try the Kindle Preview. Or more >>>
Falling Uphill: 25,742 miles, 1461 days, 50 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, 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 a 4 year and 25,742 mile odyssey around the world by bicycle, seeking 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, 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 — in the last place to look — and much more than he imagined possible.
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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.
The Top Ten Reasons to Read Falling Uphill.
I'd like to share some important features that make this book unique:
- 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.
- 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 classical 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.
- In retrospect, two features make my journey and book unique. One)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.
- Two) 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.
If I could do anything, what would I do?
This was the question that started my adventure in life. It may seem like an obvious and innocent question, but when taken seriously, it is perhaps the most awesome (literally meaning frightening and inspiring) question one may ask of themselves. So I must ask: If you only have one life, one chance, if you weren't afraid, and money wasn't an object, and people's opinions didn't matter — if you could do anything, what would you do?
- 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 foothill 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.
- Re-live the most difficult moment -- 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 world view with the old bad habits.
- Witness how the author realized the journey never ends, and learned how to find or create an adventure in every moment and to see the world with eyes of wonder.
- This collection of easy-to-read short stories 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; and, the stories slowly build towards the grand finale which changed the way the author saw himself and the world forever.
- 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 to write 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 audio book or e-book.
- Bonuse reason #11: Top 100 most common words in Falling Uphill
Re-live the adventure and re-imagine life today.
Travel the world from the comfort of your own home or while driving to work or while exercising or anywhere....
• 11 hours of abridged MP3 audio for the busy schedule.
• Kindle, Nook and Apple
Author: Scott Stoll
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.
- Upward of 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.
Flip through this book. Watch a video.
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.
Cayendo Hacia Arriba:
El Secreto De La Vida
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 Movie
One man's quest for happiness
around the world on a bicycle.
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.