Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought. ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
20 Countries. 60,000 miles (edited). 18 months. Let’s do this!
Hi there, my name is Brent Carroll and I am from Chesapeake, Virginia. Thanks for visiting.
This site is about an around the world trip I am taking on my motorcycle, solo. I intend to share this trip to the greatest extent possible on all social networks.
I left Virginia at the end of April, 2016.
About me… I have always had a passion for adventuring and seeing the world. While I have been lucky to travel all over the world and see it from above and below in the Navy and on vacations, I have not experienced it from a motorcycle. I feel I have missed the people, the culture, and myself in previous journeys. More importantly, perhaps, is I have never had the feeling of control, being in charge of my own time. That is what I am seeking.
First, after a fine career in the Navy for 20 years, and then working as a civilian for the US Coast Guard for almost nine years years as an engineer, and finishing my PhD, I feel I have worked hard, and cared deeply about the people that I worked with and the work I did. I am just 47, but…
I want to see and experience the world in a new way while I can – which means NOW! My Dad passed away when he was 51! That alone is enough motivation for me to realize life is too short.
When everything is said and done, I also want to point back to some chunk of my life that was completely under my own terms, doing what I want, going where I want to, truly getting to know the world in which I live, and not worrying about… anything, really, and not waiting until retirement or when I am not physically able to do this. I strongly feel the urge, and need, to do this now, to see the world for what it really is.
So… having said that, and perhaps the more “pure” reason I want to do this is that I believe that the world is full of good, purposeful, and striving people, and that everything we hear distorts our world perspective in really negative ways. I want to challenge that really negative dogma and share my experiences with the world on this blog and in social media.
Erstwhile, I have come to know that riding a motorcycle is the purist form of therapy possible, and that you get to see the world while riding all the better. You get feelings, sensations, smells, and experiences riding a motorcycle you simply cannot get on a vacation or in a car. You are not watching the scenery go by, you are in the scenery. Watch this quick video (OF ME!!) to come to understand what motorcycling traveling feels like to me, how I see it (from a 12-day trip I took to Canada in 2015). The music really matches the way moto adventuring makes me feel.
On this site I will share information about an extended, around the world motorcycle trip I am taking – the planning, the preparation, the route development, blogging. I am thinking the trip will take about 18 months.
I am an engineer and I like to attend to every detail if I can, so here and throughout, I might seem anal, but that is just me – I like attending to details. What this really relates to for you and my story is planning. As much as I’d like to just point the motorbike in some direction and then crash after a long day’s ride (find a place to sleep, that is) wherever I can, I like to plan ahead a bit. I’m sure at some point, I’ll find some happy medium between meandering and planning.
Any-hoo – I intend to leave Virginia in the spring of 2016, and first travel north to Newfoundland, cross Canada, head up to Alaska, and then follow generally the Pan-American Highway in its entirety all the way south through Patagonia to the southern tip of South America. And then… turn around and head back to Seattle. I think I will cover about 40,000 miles with my meandering.
Generally, when I first tell people of my trip, their usual reaction centers around my safety – “Oooh, aren’t you worried about place x, place y, and place z?” No, honestly, I am not. Personally, I think I live in a pretty dangerous country to begin with (the U. S.), so many of the places I intend to venture to are likely much safer than places in the U. S.
I think, like anywhere, you just have to be smart and do your homework and get to “know” the area and the people. Plus, and perhaps more fortuitously, I am not the first to do this. There have haven been hundreds if not thousands of folks who have taken the same steps I am taking. And more than a few of them have shared their experiences online for me to read about and learn from, including many I have actually met to tell me about their adventures. Plus, I am sure I will meet some people doing their own adventures and heading in the same direction as me, so I’ll rarely be completely alone.
So, I do not think I go about this blindly. Instead, using the information I get along the way and the experience shared with me from those before me, I plan to go out into the world and test my own fears, learn about people for who they really are firsthand, and immerse myself in worlds that I had become so isolated from all my life – and then write and photograph and share my perspective. Unlike all the others before me who’ve taken similar trips, they were not me. I have my own ideas about the world, so my perspective and absorption of cultures I hope will be markedly different.
So, how can I do this? Yes, that’s also a common question. No, I am not independently wealthy. How can anyone walk away from a good-paying job and all their possessions and venture out into the world on their motorcycle? For me, well… I retired from the U. S. Navy so have a lifetime annuity that essentially covers my trip. I also have savings and no debts.
But, I do plan to land in Seattle once this is all done and resume a productive, working life. But for now, I just don’t want to worry about that.
So, off I go. I do have a few generic, overarching goals for my trip, though:
Live life – see, smell, and suck in all that the world has to offer – take my time
Meet and chat with as many people as possible; capture and share my thoughts about those experiences
Average no more than 125 miles a day (to rest, to see sights, to smell the roses, to reflect, and to document)
AVOID Interstate highways when I can (I think you should, too—that’s not the world)
Average less than $50 per day in costs, covering fuel, lodging, food, and bike maintenance
Tent camping mostly, then hostels, couch surfing, AirBnB, and last, hotels
These short videos (not mine) describe the wonder, awe, and sense of adventure that I am after, and the rationale that resonates with me for doing so. Please watch them. The videos are about 5 minutes each and worth a watch if you want to understand why I am doing this.
Here’s one more video if you have the time. Miguel Sylvester is another guy just roaming the planet, adventuring on his motorcycle. He has an amazing personality and really interacts with those he meets.
OK, one more. If you’ve read this far, what’s 5 more minutes? I mean the whole point of this page is to not only begin the chat about my trip, but also to share with you the thinking I have going on inside my head as to “why.” I had the pleasure of meeting Neda and Gene in Toronto, the “stars” of the following produced video, on their own multi-year round the world trip, during a 12-day trip I took to Canada in the summer of 2015. They are truly remarkable people in my mind not just because they decided to cast aside all of life’s routine and explore the world (like I want to do), but also because they are kind and generous and special people in every way imaginable. You can follow them on their blog.
So… If you made it this far, I only ask 2 things:
1/Click the links on the right sidebar (at the top) to follow me on the different social networks (I promise to keep it interesting and exciting).
2/Share with me your advice and insights during my travels. And be available – I will likely need your help at some point. I shared my personal email address.