About The Journey

Updated: April 22, 2020

Hello, World

My name is Mark Wallace. I’ve been exploring the world full-time since 2014. I’m single, I have no children, and I work as a photographer as I go. I’m currently traveling on my 2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure motorcycle, named Shifty Drifty.

Shifty and I have traveled across every continent except Antarctica. This is the story of our journey.

In The Beginning

The trip on the motorcycle started in February 2016, but the story begins a couple of years before that, in Kochi, India, December 2013. That’s the place where I decided to give away as many possessions as possible, sell my house, and travel the world.

I saw a lot; South America, Europe, India, Nepal, SE Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. I traveled by plane, train, tuk-tuk, bus, and automobile. As exciting as the trip was, I still heard the call of the wild. I wanted to see more and be closer to nature and the cultures I was visiting.

After much thought, I decided I would fulfill a life-long goal: I wanted to ride a motorcycle around the world – solo.

Six Continents: one bike

I rode from April 2016 until May 2018 and was able to ride Shifty across six of the seven continents – sorry Antarctica – and I’m still riding today.

The journey has been fantastic so far but, once again, there’s so much more to see. I had to skip much of North Africa, severe weather caused me to turn back in Mongolia. The Middle East, China, and Japan remain unexplored.

The ride continues…

Why Ride a Motorcycle?

I’ve been around the world before, but I traveled much of the distance in an airplane, bus, or train. Cities and people go whizzing by at hundreds of miles per hour, and you’re isolated from the environment. A motorcycle gives me the freedom to travel to more places, see more things, and experience the climate in a tangible way.

No Schedule

How long will this trip take? I don’t know. I’ve made a general list of all the places I’d like to go to and the things I’d like to see. It may be three years, or five. I don’t know. The journey is more important than the timetable.

This isn’t a tour; it’s a journey. I don’t have dates for specific cities or an itinerary. I plan to explore a place until I’m ready to move on. I may stay in a city for a few days or a few weeks, I’ll decide in the moment.

The Community

I might be riding by myself, but I’m certainly not doing this all alone. There is a vast community of adventure travelers in the world. Thousands of people are taking similar trips at this very moment. I’m in contact with many of these people and will be joining with them at different parts of my journey.

In addition to connecting with other travelers, I meet locals in each place I visit. If you’re reading this right now, you’re already part of the community. Leave a comment on this page so I know who you are and where you’re from. We might meet one day. Maybe we’ll share a meal, or perhaps you’ll join me for a few miles along the journey.

The Work

I am not on vacation. I’m creating videos during the journey. I’m still hosting Exploring Photography on AdoramaTV.  I’m writing articles for magazines and blogs. I do photography and travel workshops whenever possible.

The Blog

I intend to share my travel experiences with you. Although I have years of world travel under my belt this journey is a new experience for me. I’m not sure what to expect, and that’s what makes it exciting. This blog is an ongoing project. I’ll be adding pages, creating new sections, posting photos, and doing everything I can to share my experiences with you. Come back often.


  1. Wow Mark that sounds quite well! Would love to join your journey a little bit. I live in austria. Europe is in the end of your journey plans so maybe it will take some years till we meat up 🙂
    Take care and enjoy your ride!

  2. Hi,
    I sure would like to meet you in Lisbon, Portugal, but while in my country remember that there’s much more than Lisbon or Algarve.
    Portugal is gem to be discovered. Many of the best places to visit are not in the brochures.
    My country is all about scenic places, cultural heritage, monuments and people. And yes, beaches of course. Oh… one more thing that’s very important to us portuguese… food. You’ll eat good food. Forget french cousine (sorry frenchies). Our food is more basic, but more tastefull.
    Have a good ans safe journey.

  3. If you are passing through Portugal, come and stop by Castelo Branco. There you will find a place called Monsanto, the most Portuguese place in Portugal. I will keep a patch of ground ready for you to camp on in my olive grove.

  4. Hi Mark, if you come to the southern part of Germany I would be happy to be your host at Tuerkheim, Bavaria in a wonderful area nearby the Alps. Good luck for your journey and live our dream 🙂

  5. Maybe after visiting North America you can jump to the Caribbean, would like to take a few photos with you around Puerto Rico. Also I didn’t see Iceland in the plan, think about some time there after Europe.
    Best wishes,

  6. Hi Mark, how very exciting, I expect your beside yourself with antiscipation! I’m really looking forward to following your journey, especially looking forward to seeing some of the things you see, they won’t be happy snappy shots, which are okay but I like things a wee bit more next level, which is your forte.

    If you end up in South West Scotland and haven’t been there then head out west to Port Logan and the Mull of Galloway, the sunsets are fantastic. It’s the southern most point of Scotland! If you say if you’re likely to be in the South Scotland say in your blog and I’ll get my Bandit out and join you for the ride.

    Ride safe and enjoy!

  7. Looks like a great adventure. While you are in Australia consider coming across the ditch to New Zealand – I’m sure you will enjoy it.

  8. If you pass by the small and peaceful island of Tjörn on the west-coast of Sweden. We can make room for you in our guest cabin. Sea-view included!

  9. Hey Mark,

    I strongly encourage you to hit Scandinavia , specifically Sweden & Norway, if you’re in that area during Summer. The rides are incredible, certainly well-worth the detour north from Europe. I’ve been planning on shipping my bike over to ride for a couple weeks, it would be awesome to meet up!


  10. I have been living in Cuenca, Ecuador for the past 3 years. Let me know if you come this way. (I am from Berkeley, Calif before retiring here)

    We travel a lot too, and will try to keep up with your travels. We might intersect. We will be spending April and May in Turkey this year, but looks like you won’t get there till much later.

  11. Hi Mark, we met in Santiago Chile, hope to see you again when you come on the bike, have an excellent and quiet ride.

  12. If you ever do pass by Central Kazakhstan please let me know. I would love to show you around Almaty, Astana, Charyn Canyons, historic town of Turkestan. Or maybe I would even be able to go to Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara with you, in the bordering Uzbekistan – since I have never been to these places myself, but really want to go.

  13. I’ve been following you since early 2011. Whenever my photography is complimented, by those frustrated with their own photography, I point them to your original P1on1 series and hope they fall into your journey.
    Please look me up when you come through Western Canada. I live in Vancouver, but also have spent 2 years playing in the mountains of Alberta. I too ride a motorcycle and would be honoured to finally meet you. Ride safe!

  14. Hey Mark, I’m sure you’ll have many offers to stop by so here’s one more.
    If you happen to be in Kent United Kingdom before crossing back over the pond, give me a shout. THe Kent coastline is amazing and I’d love to just say “Hello”

  15. I have been a follower for many years and now looking forward to tracking you around the world (again). When in Australia, I do hope that you will be able to host a workshop in Melbourne. Bon Voyage!

  16. Hi Mark, I really enjoy all your training videos and your stories. Good to see you back in USA. I see your traveling through Mexico. My family and I are living in Sante Fe, Mexico (just outside of Mexico City) as part of an International Service Assignment for Ford Motor Company. If you make it through this area, please let me know as my family would like to meet you. Mexico is a great Country with a lot of culture and history. The people are awesome and you will have a great time. Good luck with your travels!

  17. I am a Chinese living in Beijing for 10 years now. So when you come to China I’d like to meet you. But I usually traveled by a folding bike (not motobike) and train. Anyway I may some of help, because I know Beijing and China deeply. So when you are here please contact me.

  18. Hi Mark
    Been an avid follower of your videos on Adorama and the moment I saw this new journey you’re beginning the first thing I searched was the different countries you’ll be visiting and glad to see India in the list.
    I’m based out of New Delhi, India and would really love to, infact, very eagerly looking to meet, over a drink, meal, and if possible travel some distances together.
    Please do keep us updated with your journey. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    God Speed.
    Harjeev Singh Chadha

  19. Hi Mark!

    As the others I’m very grateful for your inspiring tipps regarding photography. I enjoyed your Creative Live Courses and I’m happy about the videos on Adorama.

    I’m located in the western part of Austria and would be happy to help you in any way (tipps, meet-up, …).

    Wish you a good start for your journey.
    Have fun

    Best regards


  20. Hey Mark, I am amazed! Just want you stay safe and wish you all the very best in what you do. You are an inspiration to others. In case you happen to visit Hyderabad (India) I will be glad to show you around and would love to learn from you.

  21. Sounds exciting. I’m looking forward o following your adventure.
    If you end up in the UK I live in East Anglia, it would be good ride somewhere with you.

  22. Hi Mark,

    if you itirinary includes Southgermany, do schedule it for september, so you can have some beers at the Oktoberfest in Munich. I promise, you will take some amazing photos. And contact me, I am based in Munich …


  23. Hi Mark, there’s a shower and a bed for you in north Oxfordshire if you want one. Enjoy your trip and one day I’m hoping to do the same. For now I’ll have to be happy with spending March 2016 riding my F800GS in Portugal.

  24. Hi Mark,
    I’m living in Belgium and i’d love to be your host! I’m a rider and a photographer myself and it would be nice to help you when you’re around. Best regards and be safe!

  25. Mark, If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Southern India, just let me know.
    I’ll come anywhere here to meet you!

  26. Dear Mark, we share the same passions you and me; photography and biking. I hope someday I would be able to ride on a journey like yours. Until then I am back to work unfortunately and would be waiting for the weekend to ride again. Good luck and stay safe!

  27. Hi, Mark! I,m in Gothenburg, west coast of Sweden, Scandinavia. I’m a V-Strom DL650 rider and to some degree a photographer (Deluxphoto on Instagram). I admire your guts and spirit and I’m a little bit jelous too 😉 . Wish you all the best on your long journey. I’m sure it will be an adventurous one in the most positive way. So, if you ever planning on riding in Scandinavia, let Gothenburg know.

    Ride safely!

  28. Hi Mark,
    I’d love to have the opportunity to meet you. Being a photographer in making, I’ll love to share few thought on a drink or a meal. Anywhere around Mumbai,India and I’ll come to meet you.
    Enjoy the journey. Godspeed.

  29. Safe travels. I am in USA Gallatin,TN. Guess I will be traveling telepathically withyou. Enjoy the journey.

  30. WHAAAT!?! I’ve long enjoyed your photography videos. But I had no idea you were into adventure motorcycling. I just finished reading Alan Karl’s fabulous book, Forks. And I’ve been following Steve’s rtw journey at http://www.steveridestheworld.com/, which he just completed. I guess I just found my NEW reading obsession…a journey to follow, dream, and live vicariously through!!!

  31. Hi Mark, Doug from Houston. What do u plan ur cost will be for the entire trip. Or just per continent since you’ve travelled to several before?

    1. That’s a great question. I think I’ll need to write a small post to answer that. I basically create a yearly budget and manage it each quarter. I try to live on about $75/day total. That’s for food, travel, hotel, insurance, etc. That’s my target.

  32. Hello Mark,
    I’m from Holland. You’re going to do what a lot of people are dreaming of.
    I’ll follow this world trip. I’m looking forward to your new movies.
    When are you leaving?

  33. Mark, this is an amazing way to travel, explore and photograph the world. I wish you the very best of luck from Hyderabad, India.

    Don’t forget to say hi, if you’re driving by my city! Drive safe and Cheers!

    – Raj

  34. Hi Mark,
    This is Anand Joshi from Pune, Maharashtra (INDIA). I have been watching your youtube videos since 7 years now, from snap factory to AdoramaTV. I haven’t missed a single episode till date; not even the bloopers! I am a big fan of yours. I like your teaching style and you make things simple while explaining them. I have learned quite a lot from you. I am a teacher by profession but Photography is my passion. I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for all your good work. I am following you through the internet while you are traveling the world on your bike. I wish you good luck and safe journey always. I hope to meet you whenever you happen to be in India. Take care… Cheers!

  35. Hi Mark sir,
    Do visit Goa in India. If u r in Goa sir, please do let know on ur blog, FB, snap factory.com or adoramatv. It would b my dream come true to meet my mentor in person. It’s a graceful n a greatest moment of my life to meet u!
    Thanks sir for the knowledge u share.

  36. By coincidence I started to see your photography videos couple days ago. Now I see you are doing this trip. Wish you luck. My wife´s uncle start doing a trip by bike 3 years ago. He did four trips from São Paulo coast. First to Santiago Chile. Second to Ushuaia. Third to Uruguai. And the last to Bariloche Argentina. He wrote a book and told me from São Paulo to the South is cool. I did read his book last week which official release is 12th may (two days from today) . He started these trips when he was 83 now he is 86 years old. If you need some help in São Paulo, will be my pleasure. Cheers.

  37. Pakistan and Iran? Do you think those countries are safe, friendly to Americans with cameras? I wish you nothing but the best but have grave concern for your safety.

  38. Hello from Melbourne Australia and I am glad you are on another journey as I enjoyed your last. Your photography videos have been a great help to me developing my skill and now your journeys are an inspiration to experience life. Ride safe but keep riding.

  39. Hello Mark,

    My name is Rahul and I am writing from Bangalore(India). I have been following you on YouTube for last 3 years as I am a Photography enthusiast. I have learned lots from you and Adorama.

    Like many of the photographers, you are also on a journey to capture the world, may be the most unlikeliest manner someone would dare to do. I wanted to wish you all the very best and hoping to see the best of world through your eyes.

    Safe journey.

  40. Hi Mark! Amazing journey! Ready for our meet up tomorrow here in Lima, Peru. Hope you stay some more days and run a workshop or something. How long will you stay in Lima? Congrats for this new experience. Can’t wait to continue watching the videos and pics you upload.

  41. Hi Mark. How are you doing?
    I´m photographer too and I follow your snapfactory channel a long time. Now I´m following you on this trip. I also like too much to travel and now I´m looking to know more about the region close to me and my city.
    I live in Curitiba, south of Brazil. When you get close to here, please, feel free to contact me and we can change experiencies.
    Big hug and have a great time in South America.
    Luiz (from Curitiba, Brazil).

  42. Mark, I really liked what you said about India. The huge disparity between rich and poor. And, when you show something that’s horrific, it should be shown in the context of with the place and environment.

    There’s so much more to India than capturing people suffering through their day. When we read this, we imagine homeless poor people. But suffering isn’t partial. There are filthy rich people who too suffer through their day and people living on pennies happy and content with whatever they have.

    I’ll suggest going North east of India. Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal pradesh. Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. This is different from rest of India. In terms of culture, people, dialects and geology. Air is fresh in most part of these places 🙂

    In state of Gujarat there’s Rann of Kutch which is similar to Salt flats in US. You may have already seen holi city of Benaras or Varanasi. You can bump into fellow tourists in Benaras, Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry in state of Tamil Nadu or Cafe Leopold of Mumbai (Bombay).

    I just threw things I know that may help you to consider when you are here.

    Have fun 🙂

  43. Hello Mark.
    Dont be wrong and from JuJuy dont take the highway to Salta. The “corniza” is one of funniest and pritiest road I ever drove. There is no brainer on that desision, you wont regret.
    By the way, it sounds like a waist of effort to come the long way down to South America and to not visit Patagonia. This place have been a life changer experencie to many peaople.
    Cheers and safe travels

    1. I did visit Patagonia, it was fantastic. I didn’t do it on the bike though, it’s winter and the wrong time of year to return.

  44. Dear Mark,
    I’ve been following you for quite sometime now and I’ve learned several thing in photography.
    As you, i’m also a “long distance” biker and i’ve travelled far. I currently own a Goldwing and a Goldwing Trike, that I use and travel often. If you’re passing by Portugal, mainly the Capital Lisbon, contact me and I’ll get you a place to stay (free of charge of course).
    I’m also a passionate ruins photographer and i’ll show you incredible places you can shoot several iconic photos (abandoned castles, abandoned churches, XV century abandoned fortresses…)
    Cheers and safe riding!

  45. Good luck on your adventure Mark and if you ever get over to Norfolk Virginia feel free to contact me.

  46. You are living what others only dream. Good luck and safe riding. When do plan to be in India? would love to meet up if possible

  47. Hallo Mark,
    I have watched many of your videos on youtube and I adore your morale, to discover how the world and its people really are. If you should come to Berlin once (where the BMW bikes are manufactured)I would be glad to show you the City and parts of Germany. Get in contact, ifyou plan to come here. You are very welcome!
    Regards, Pierre

  48. Hi Mark,

    I’m a French photographer living at the frontiers with Germany and Luxembourg.
    I would be great to meet you and maybe organise a workshop!

    Don’t hesitate to contact me
    All the best

  49. Hi Mark

    My name is Tingwei from Taiwan and I am so happy to learn your blog. I stayed in Stellenbosch for a year for university exchange program and while i was in South Africa, I was strongly inspired by BMW R1200GS as people drove on it to make incredible world journey. Since then, I know I also want to do that one day in the future.

    I’m now 24 years old and have the dream of driving a GS worldwide to see how different the other side of the world is. Problem now is I’m still fighting to building up business because it costs quite a lot to do that. Any suggestion / encouragement from you for a young passionate man who doesn’t have financial capability yet but with big dream?

    Much appreciated.
    Wish I could still be in Stellenbosch and can meet you in person.

    Kind regards

  50. Mark, Nice adventure. But I guess really an extension of your world tour.

    I actually have some specific questions regarding your videos for the Europe trip and this one. Specifically, what video camera did you use to film your photo shoots for the uploads? A handheld vixia like the HF50 or maybe the G30? Also, talking while riding the bike, during your current trip, did you attach the Zoom Hn1 or did that talk over later in post? Previously when you showed your gear for Europe and switching to the smaller Zoom recorder, do you sync that up with Plural Eyes or some other program. Is that done in Premier Pro or FCPX?

    I do a little photography teaching for a local community college for its Lifelong Learning program. I use some of yours and others youtube videos for the 5 week sessions that I teach. I strongly believe in not reinventing the wheel. Plus I send them the links so they can then explore the other videos on the youtube or AdoramaTV as interests per student dictates. Sorry for all the tech questions but I shoot a little video and am always looking for ways to make my life simpler and yet produce something of quality. My background was a staff photographer for various daily newspapers for 27 plus years so I have shot a variety of assignments and enjoyed the majority of it. Now, I teach, do a little freelance locally and enjoy life by posting to a blog. Thank you in advance. Whenever you can get around to it. You can also just reply to me via email if you prefer. Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, Iowa

  51. Hi Mark, This is Deekshith here from Bangalore, India, Any help while riding here, Please let me know. If you are riding here, Please share the date with me, so that i can meet you and also i can ride with you for some miles.
    Thank You!

  52. Hi Mark, like many before me, enthusiasts around the globe cannot wait until you arrive in their location. Mine is Townsville, North Queensland Australia. The best time to travel here is from May through to August. Cairns Aus. is 4 hrs to the Nth and Airlie Bch 3 hrs south, probably two locations you may have heard about. Very tropical and the great barrier reef is on the doorstep. Hope you can head this way in 2017. If not happy to hear from you.

  53. i love your work, your teachings and the drive you possess. its awesome. i adore your art!.. From Lagos,Nigeria.

  54. Dear Mark,
    Since the very first episodes of AdoramaTV I started following you, I’ve purchased some of your snapfactory.com courses and a couple of your Creativelive classes.
    Whenever you come to Mexico, specially Cancun / Tulum / Playa del Carmen… Please ping me and I’ll be happy to show you some of the most amazing places to photograph.
    Here we have some amazing treasures of caves and underground rivers.

  55. Hi Mark
    I am Silvio and having the Hostal Capurgana in Capurgana Colombia.
    Now I do have contact to a biker who wants to go from Colombia to Panama.
    To all:
    End of December to April the sea is very rough.
    It is not recommended to travel by boat at this time.
    The biker confirmed to park the bike here in Capurgana if the sea condition is bad.
    Update will follow.
    Hostal Capurgana, Capurgana, Colombia

  56. Hi Mark, if you are still travelling and passing by Dubai, let me know, we can arrange either bike trip, sea trip or desert safarey.. best weather between October to April..

  57. First of all, thank you SO MUCH for years of teaching. I have learned a lot from your Adorama episodes and for that I’m grateful. I’m a pro-sports photojournalist, biker (chopper, no trail) and father of 2 wonderful boys. If you make it to Portugal (again!), please come to Coimbra. It’s a beautiful city right in the center of the country, with the 2nd oldest university in the world (after Bologna) and some very nice places to visit, eat, drink and rest. Hope you enjoy your ride and find what you’re looking for. Cheers, Bruno Pires

  58. Hi Mark, I watched your interview on a podcast yesterday and was enthralled as I listened to your story. Good luck with all the editing you have in front of you–I saw you finally received your laptop. I’d love to hear how you connect with other like-minded adventure travelers and build that community. If you ever need to crash in SoCal, just let me know.

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