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Allan Karl | Tasting Adventure

Allan Karl

I am Worldrider. I’ve traveled three-years, 62,000 miles across five continents. I did it alone. On a motorcycle.  During the course of my journey more than a million people followed and traveled vicariously with me through my blog, dispatches on community websites and through my Podcasts on iTunes and YouTube channel.

Throughout my three-year journey I consumed 2,541 meals in some 35 countries. Some incredibly memorable, others perhaps best forgotten. No matter what,  I learned one essential truth:  there is no better way to taste a culture and connect with people than by sharing a meal.

On July 4, 2005, I set out to make my dream come true: to travel around the world—alone—on a motorcycle. The series of events that motivated me fell like dominoes after 9/11. It was time to go. On one side, I hoped to change the world—or at least bring to light its essential truths. On the other, maybe it would change me. Either way, I was filled with an insatiable appetite for discovery and thirst for adventure. I made it my mission to bring back and share my discoveries.

I figured it would take me two years. However, along the way, on a muddy dirt road miles from anywhere and 14,000-feet high in the Andes of Bolivia, I severely broke my leg. Devastated by the abrupt and painful end to my journey, dozens of strangers kept my spirit alive by their selfless succor to my safety and well-being.

After an agonizing recovery period, I returned to Bolivia, fetched my bike and continued my journey, ultimately logging more than 62,000 miles over five continents and through 35 countries. Though I traveled alone, I took more a million people with me—following every mile I traveled through blog posts, podcasts, my YouTube Channel, regular dispatches on other websites and more.

Three years passed before I found my way back home. While my journey was never short on adventure, I found that beyond climbing mountains, rafting mighty rivers or tracking mountain gorillas near the Congo, there was no thrill greater than sharing food and conversation with local people. And despite the challenges and difficulties compounded by language, culture, customs, religion and economics, I discovered how easily these are overcome and how those simple moments of sharing food, and life stories connect us all.

My adventures were far from the white tablecloths and glistening stemware of five-star resorts, big city restaurants and celebrity chefs. Instead, I relished in the hospitality of strangers at modest dining tables, simple kitchens, roadside stands, and in thatched huts with families, children, laborers, and even, on occasion, the military.

As for my background, I can best be described as a serial entrepreneur.  I have built several companies, including founding one of top 50 digital advertising agencies in North America, opening an alfresco restaurant on the California coast and publishing a wine magazine . Today, I am principal of clearcloud ctc, a creative, technology and communications consulting firm. I am also a inspirational speaker, recently engaged by Apple, BMW and Google.

Food, wine and culinary creations have been part of my life since I first learned to crack open eggs, though my mom never did complain about the egg shells in the first cake I made—when she wasn’t home.

I have a B.S. In Communications from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, and am past president of the American Advertising Foundation and member of the National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.