Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought. ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
15 Countries. 45,000 miles. 13 months on a motorcycle.
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 that I took on my motorcycle, solo. I shared this trip to the greatest extent possible on all social networks and created content here on this site that I hope you will enjoy.
I left Virginia at the end of April, 2016 and returned to Seattle in May, 2017, where I settled.
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 had never experienced it from a motorcycle. I felt I have missed the people, the culture, and myself in previous journeys. More importantly, perhaps, is I had never had the feeling of control, being in charge of my own time. That is what I sought, and found.
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 felt I had worked hard, and cared deeply about the people that I worked with and the work I did. I was just 47, but…
I wanted to see and experience the world in a new way while I could! My Dad passed away when he was 51! That alone was enough motivation for me to realize life is too short.
When everything is said and done, I also wanted to point back to some chunk of my life that was completely under my own terms, doing what I wanted, going where I wanted to, truly getting to know the world in which I lived, and not worrying about… anything, really, and also not waiting until retirement or when I am not physically able to do this. I strongly felt the urge, and need, to do this, to see the world for what it really is.
So… having said that, and perhaps the more “pure” reason I wanted to do this is that I believed 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 wanted to challenge that really negative dogma and share my experiences with the world on this blog and in social media. Again, goal achieved.
Ramping up for the trip, I came to know that riding a motorcycle was 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 shared information about an extended, around the world motorcycle trip I took in 2016/2017 – the planning, the preparation, the route development, blogging. Initially, I thought the trip would take about 18 months, but I returned home early for several reasons I won’t get into here.
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 wanted 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 could, I liked to plan ahead a bit. Ultimately, I did find some happy medium between meandering and planning.
Any-hoo – I left Virginia in the spring of 2016, and first travelled north to Newfoundland, crossed Canada, headed up to Alaska, and then followed generally the Pan-American Highway in its entirety all the way south through Patagonia to the southern tip of South America in Ushuaia. And then… I turned around and headed back to Seattle via Buenos Aires. I covered about 45,000 miles with my meandering.
Generally, when I first told people of my trip, their usual reaction centered around my safety – “Oooh, aren’t you worried about place x, place y, and place z?” No, honestly, I was not. Personally, I thought I live in a pretty dangerous country to begin with (the U. S.), so many of the places I ventured to were 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 was not the first to do this. There have haven been hundreds if not thousands of folks who have taken the same steps I took. 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 met lots of people doing their own adventures and heading in the same direction as me, so I was rarely completely alone.
So, I did not go about this blindly. Instead, using the information I got along the way and the experiences shared with me from those before me, I went out into the world and tested my own fears, learned about people for who they really are firsthand, and immersed myself in worlds that I had become so isolated from all my life – and then wrote and photographed and shared 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 turned out markedly different.
So, how did 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 covered my trip. I also had savings and no debts that I worked hard to achieve.
As I said, I landed in Seattle once the trip was over and resumed a productive, working life.
I had a few generic, overarching goals for my trip, though, most of which I met:
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 was after, and the rationale that resonated 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 did 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 had 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 about your travels. I will be available if you need help, or more motivation. I shared my personal email address.