WorldRider Travel Show with Allan Karl

I’ve got great news.

The show is happening. In 2018, the new “WorldRider” television show will air on a major US network. The first episode, the pilot for this exciting show should air late this winter or early spring. Stay tuned to these pages for the exact air date.

The title of the show has yet to be determined. To be sure, though I am hosting this new TV show, I will not have much say in what it’s called-the title. My working title is and always has been “Beyond Borders”. Because that is our objective, to go beyond borders, the tourists spots, the usual suspects. Beyond means taking the back roads and seeing the places in between.

Pilot Episode—Mexico

With an incredible, passionate and immensely talented crew, we shot the pilot for the show in Mexico. Specifically, we wondered and wandered through Baja California searching for interesting stories, people, and locals. We chose Mexico because, in my eyes, I find Mexico to be incredibly misunderstood.

For many American’s Mexico means tropical resorts like Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or others. Yet these places hardly define what Mexico is, or what Mexico can be. The things that capture US headlines are walls, immigration, drug cartels, and other pessimistically negative things.

We set out to show a different perspective about Mexico, and Baja. We set to focus on what’s right and good in Mexico. We found an incredible place packed with passion, culture, great food, and friendly people. We also found a proud Mexico—and discovered many “firsts”—things that started in Mexico—invented in Baja. You’ll have to see the show. For now, here’s a handful of photos from behind the scenes of our shoot in Baja.

What’s Right?

I wrote about this in my previous post. Yet, it deserves repeating—and reminding. If you set out thinking and looking for what’s wrong, you’ll find it. Guaranteed. Better is if you set out thinking and searching for what’s right, what’s good, and what’s beautiful, you’ll find that. It’s a simple choice. What do you choose to find and see.

I like what’s right and what’s beautiful. We do have this choice.

So for the first episode to what I hope will be a multiple season hit show, you can expect to see what’s good, what’s right, and what’s beautiful about Mexico—Baja California.

This is about the beauty in the world—culture, cuisine, and connecting with humanity.

Will you join me for the ride? You’ll be amazed at what we’ll see, learn and experience.

Let’s ride.

Stay curious. Never stop exploring.

Stay tuned to these pages for information on the air date of the pilot episode.

Happy New Year!
2018 Optimism
What’s Right With The World?

Happy New Year 2018! A street woman offers me a blessing outside a cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria.

When the ball dropped at midnight last week, signaling a dramatic end to 2017 and a cold and chilly beginning to 2018—at least for those who braved one of the coldest New Years ever in Times Square—I know many felt a sign of relief and perhaps a feeling of hope for the future—for 2018.

It’s not that the world has grown wackier, it’s that we’ve grown a bit resistant and more uncomfortable with change. I get it. Yet, no matter how you feel, it’s important to remember that change is good. I’ve written and spoke about it plenty.

So with good change, I want to focus on hope.

What do you hope for in 2018? Drop me a note or comment here. I’m very curious.

We can find and see hope when we focus on what’s right with the world, our personal lives, rather than what’s wrong. If we expend our energy in seeing what’s ugly, we will miss what’s beautiful. Sunshine always comes after ran. Attitude and perspective. So let’s set out in 2018 to see what’s right, not what’s wrong.

Vintage cameras I found at an antique market in Romania. No matter the lens you choose to look through, focus on what’s good in the world, rather than what’s bad. You’ll have a better day.

For me, I hope that together we can still work together to believe and to make this world a better and happier place for everyone. I’m not going to bother with any tips, ideas, or words of wisdom in this post. I’ll save those for another post later this month. Look for it.

No, I want to remind you of the importance of travel because it helps foster a happy and balance life. I’m so passionate about travel and seeing and sharing the world, that I’ve been working for more than two years to bringing the WorldRider travel experience to television. It’s been a long and tough road. But all of you know, I hardly ever take the easy route and prefer the long and time way around this planet.

Travel is the best education anyone can have. It has an amazing ability to open eyes and minds. To possibilities and appreciation. To possibilities on an individual scale, and to possibilities on a global scale. Travel brings true an appreciation of life and humanity. A gratefulness stemming from understanding and embracing diversity and celebrating culture. And travel forces us, thankfully, to be more tolerant and patient.

So for 2018, if you can—travel more.

If you cannot, then I hope you’ll embrace what I hope will be a new television show that put you on the back of my motorcycle and give you the opportunity to travel vicariously, from your armchair, desk, or through peering at your choice of device.

Through travel, I know all of us can find hope, beauty, and a reason to smile—even laugh.

Smiling and laughing with a woman in Shanxi province in northeastern China.

In Memoriam – Wayne F. Karl
June 9, 1935 – December 19, 2017

True, it’s been some time since I posted anything here on WorldRider.com. There’s nothing quite like the passing of a parent to smack oneself like a two-by-four to the head.

Yes, my father, Wayne F. Karl, at 82 years old and surrounded by family, including yours truly, passed away peacefully in Vero Beach, Florida on December 19, 2017 at about 2PM.

Dad lived a life large—huge. His impact on so many people as a community leader, fire chief, stat fire commissioner, town fire marshal, commodore, president of the local Kiwanis club—in 1998 he was recognized by the town leaders as “citizen of the year” — they bestowed him the honor of proclaiming a “Wayne Karl Day.”

There is no shortage of names and titles my dad earned throughout his life.

But the most important—to me was father—and to most everyone else in his universe—friend.

Oh yes, my dad was honored with and collected plenty of awards, trophys, certificates, and plaques and pins— and trust me, as many of you know my dad liked to collect things.

Dad never boasted, bragged or bored us with tales of bravado. Awards and such things are usually relegated to the walls and shelves of an office or home—not carried with you.

No. What dad carried, or brought throughout his life was character. Oh, and he was a character.

What is it we truly remember most, in this time of reflection—about my dad—or about anyone?

Certainly not awards and accolades.

Ask yourself, how will you be remembered?

What impact or impression will you leave?

Wayne Karl made an impression, an undeniable impact and inspired me—in so many ways.

My dad was funny. With a dead-pan and often dark sense of humor—he could make anyone laugh.

He had many rituals, in fact. He loved to read the morning paper with a cup of coffee, which he called “mud”. Before reading the front page, the headlines, he turn immediately to the obituaries. He’d peer through his glasses and quietly, he would study them.

“Why do you always read the obituaries?” I asked him often.

Without a flinch, his answer was always the same “I want to make sure I’m not in there.”

Dad was incredibly charismatic. He could talk you into doing most anything to get a laugh—to surprise you, challenge you, or even trick you. He was happy prankster.

He also gave a nickname for most everyone in his universe—for which hardly anyone gave offense.

In more than 50 years I have never heard my dad address me by my real name.

I have always been “Casper” — a name he gave me as a child—when with bright white hair and in a white infant jumpsuit, to him I looked like Casper The Friendly Ghost. That name stuck and to all his friends—they too knew me as Casper.

Beyond terms of endearment, dad’s use of nicknames were just one of the ways he taught me to bring levity and a little bit of laughter to life—and not to take anything too seriously—no matter what happens.

One day dad told me a story. He ran into another local community and business leader —Ed Lawrence—the late owner of the local funeral home here. He said, Ed asked “How are you feeling, Wayne?” Dad replied—“none of your business, Ed.”

Levity and laughter.

Don’t take anything in life too seriously. No matter what happens.

Great lessons. Dad made an impression on each of us.

His passing, a week after my birthday and just a few days before Christmas and in the midst of the holiday season, I was reminded by others who’ve experienced loss that more often than not, many of those we love somehow “choose” to leave us during the holidays—or around a holiday or other important or celebratory date. In many ways they are insinuating that the time of loss is not coincidence? Have you experienced this?

To be sure, there is never a good time nor are we every truly prepared for losing a parent or someone close to us. My dad was a huge fan of “WorldRider” and followed my journeys and supported me in spirit, and during my Kickstarter campaign through the publishing and subsequent book tour for my tome “FORKS: A Quest for Culture Cuisine and Connection“. Though, I know he would’ve preferred that I stayed closer to home, he still encouraged me.

My brother Jonathan, hosted the ABC Sunday morning show “This Week” the week dad passed away, he closed the show with a fitting and beautiful tribute.

I miss you dad, but you’re with me everywhere I go and every smile I find. And that’s the serious truth!

Where is and, what’s going on WorldRider? (bonus video)

I admit that I’ve been remiss in keeping the WorldRider blog updated. To be sure, I keep writing blogs and posting photos from my four-month Scandanavian and Eastern Europe journey from last year—so delve backwards and check out some of that journey.

My 2016 summer adventure had me race from Iceland to Greece while navigating 14 countries. Often battling rain, cold, and tourist traffic in Norway, I finally settled the end of that trip by relaxing on the wonderful and soothing Greek Islands.

Yet my nearly 5,000 mile (8,500km) journey in four months may seem like a ‘long’ journey with plenty of time, I found myself scrambling to make the time to write and post the photos and stories. That’s why many of the stories and photos are getting posted nearly a year later. But that’s okay. You still can get the vibe.

In the meantime, you’ll find more on my Instagram feed (and Twitter)—yet don’t worry, you’ll get updates here, but join me on the other social media networks and get immersed! This blog is priority. And that’s why I’m committed to keeping this blog updated more regularly. Are you subscribed?

So, last year after my journey I decided to leave my motorcycle in Athens. Yes, as I type this post now (June 2017) Doc (my bike) is in Athens.

I’m working on plans to get back to Athens in July and then spend another 3-4 months exploring eastern Europe while working on my new book. I hope to visit the following countries:

  • Italy
  • Albania
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Bosnia Herzogovina
  • Serbia
  • Croatia
  • Kosovo
  • Slovenia
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Moldova
  • Ukraine
  • Georgia
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Turkey

This would top last year’s adventure by two countries—however, I’ve already visited Albania, Macedonia, Turkey and Italy. So as my quest to visit (ride) every country in the world continues, this exploration will chock only 13 more countries. But I remain positive!

I’m still working on the new TV show, so stay tuned for more on that. Meanwhile, I hope to see and find you exploring your own adventures somewhere, someplace and somehow!

Drop me a note. Where are you now?

Bonus!

Here’s a fun video shot while shooting an episode of the new television show:

Living On Jesse Luggage!

 

Al Jesse leans on one of the bags that made him famous and a legend in the adventure motorcycle community. His hi-tech CNC and cutting machines behind him.

Jesse Luggage SystemsWhile planning for adventures this summer and fall, and still working on the upcoming television show, I continue to connect with old friends and new.

This week I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Al Jesse, the principal of Jesse Luggage Systems, makers of the best aluminum/hard luggage on the planet. Trust me, it may sound like hyperbole or overstatement, but I assure you it’s not.

For some twenty years Al and his crew have manufactured 100% made in America products out of a facility near Phoenix, Arizona. While the basic concept of the luggage has remained the same, and most of the tens of thousands of Jesse panniers they have sold that don adventure motorcycles from every major brand are still in use today, I learned that Al has changed the design elements of the luggage more than 100 times.

Al just can’t sit still and leave enough alone. He has to make continual improvements. I know. I’ve been using “Jesse Bags” for more than ten years. Even though there is nothing wrong with any iteration of the bags, I get a chance every so often to update my bags and take adventage of these improvements.

Al Jesse with me in front of the FORKS Van which sports the cover image of my book—a beautiful advertisement for the design and durability of his products.

I could go on about the improvements such as the dynamic mounting system that allows for the repositioning of the bags, or the lid hinges that stay put and don’t fall on your fingers. But I’ll hold back. And I won’t tell you about new products and advancements like thin solar panels affixed to the luggage that will charge devices, or the reinforcement panels designed to strengthen the tail and mounting components of the new Africa Twin. But I won’t.

What I will tell you is that I love spending a morning with one of the legends in the adventure motorcycle community.

You can find Jesse Luggage at your local motorcycle dealer, or directly from the Jesse Luggage Systems website.

My Jesse Bags have been through hell and back over the years. Here they are on my bike fully loaded in Paros, Greece, one of the most beautiful Greek Islands while Giorgakis of Giorgakis Motos takes a welder to my forever receding a problematic kickstand.

 

Podcast #27: Neale Bayly on Bank Robbery, 200mph On A Bike & Storytelling

neale-speed-trippleVeteran Moto-journlist, Television Host, and Philanthropist

Any chance I get to spend time with the legendary Neale Bayly, I cherish and relish the experience. Now you can too. It’s hard to say, but this ranks as one of my top guests, so far, on the WorldRider Podcast (who woulda thought). Truly, the guests keep getting better which means for you listeners, less time listening to me, and more time listening to experienced travelers from all over the globe.

Neale Bayly is one of the most accomplished and prolific active motorcycle and motorsport journalists on the scene. Yet, it’s not so much about motorcycles with Neale. He gets it. It’s about connection and the experience. I guess that’s why he’s invested so much energy (and resources) into his WellSpring nonprofit. We don’t dig too much into it in the Podcast, but Neale is a role model for world traveling motorcyclists who give back. His efforts and passion were part of a hit series on the late “Speed Network” called Neale Bayly Rides: Peru. This is still yet to be released on iTunes and Netflix, but I’m told it’s coming.

Listen to the Podcast Now:

allan-neale-speed-tripple

I met Neale in the summer of 2014 when I was on the road with the “FORKS” nationwide book tour. At the time I was familiar with his work, admired his television show, and was eager to meet him. He showed up at my event at Atherton Market in downtown Charlotte. Later in that tour, I returned to Charlotte and had the opportunity to stay with Neale and his son Patrick—even shopping and cooking together a recipe from my book “FORKS”.

Beyond that classic experience of connecting and sharing, Neale and I got to take his stable of Triumph “Triples” for a Sunday ride—street and speed—a casual cruise through Charlotte.

Tune in to the Podcast, and please rate and leave comments on the Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

 

Jeff Salz

Podcast #26: Dr. Jeff Salz: Find Adventure Anywhere & Dodging Chinese Police

Finding A Totem Pole of Cultural Possibilities

Join host Allan Karl (me) and fellow adventurer, speaker and world traveler Dr. Jeff Salz in an engaging discussion of adventure and travel. Hall of Fame Speaker and anthropologist adventurer, Jeff shares incredible stories from the jungles of Peru to the endless pampas and glacier-studded landscapes of Patagonia. Listen as we dig into what it means to travel, preserve traditional cultures and experience aging as an adventure as we discuss his exciting new book project.

Along the way, we dig into some of the concepts and stories found in his previous book, “The Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life With Spirit And Vision

Jeff and his partner Lisa Jaffe are sought after speaking coaches and founders of Courageous Speaking, an interactive workshop for all ranges of speakers – from wannabes to beginners to the experienced presenter seeking looking to take their craft to the next level. Their two day intensive workshops, held in north San Diego include four hours of stage time, professional and peer feedback and story development.

Cross-Country Road Trip

IMG_4416-1

Okay. So here’s the deal: I left my bike in New Jersey with my friend Tim. Why? Because the journey continues this summer. Where? Likely Iceland, the Nordic, perhaps a stopover in Russia, Belarus, and somewhere else. I ultimately will make it to Portugal to meet up with my new friend Miguel and Portugal Motorcycle Tours.

It’s an incredible European adventure. The best part is, some of you can join me. More on that to follow.

IMG_4303-1So with the FORKS van a bit lighter without the bike and less books as a result of so many great new readers who bought signed copies during my tour of the Travel & Adventure Shows, I bid New York City farewell and headed west.

Without too much of an itinerary, I did know that I wanted to cruise through Chicago, Columbus, Springfield — both Illinois and Missouri, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and ultimately back to San Diego.

IMG_4379-1No agenda or itinerary other than connect with old friends and new and make my way home so I can begin planning the next adventure!

 

Manhattan Connections, Regrouping & Street Photography

Before I make my way one last time across this grand country, I head north to New York City with a stop along the way to Tim’s lake house in Northern New Jersey where I drop off the FORKS Van and take the train into Manhattan.

With a few meetings lined up for later in the week, I have a chance to connect with Tim, Lisa, Jo Ann, Paul, and Charlie—all good friends and so nice for the opportunity to see all of them during this trip to NYC.

My weeklong visit is packed with two Broadway musicals, Disaster, a spoof based on 1970’s disaster movies with a pop music soundtrack that had me humming along to most every song— extremely fun, and Southern Comfort, an odd musical based on Kate Davis’s Sundance winning documentary of the same name about an LGBT community in rural Texas.

I also had the opportunity to finally see and walk around the 9/11 memorial at One World Trade Center. I opted out of the elevator ride to the observatory, and instead explored the architect Santiago Calatrava’s controversial work at the new Port Authority Transit Hub (PATH) terminal at the World Trade Center. The terminal just opened a couple weeks ago. I’ll just let my photography tell the story. Sadly, I couldn’t truly capture the Oculus, as it’s called, from outside, but inside the terminal is quite an interesting take on shapes, contrast, shadows, and lines.

 

Winter Travel Show Tour Comes To End

It started in San Diego in January. I just finished this weekend in Philadelphia. I’ve enjoyed living a somewhat gypsy nomad existence over the past three months joining my new friends at The Travel & Adventure Shows. Since the San Diego show I’ve been to Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now here back on the east coast in Philly.

If you had a chance to meet or see me at any of these shows, I hope you’ll shoot me an email or tweet to me—even post a comment here on the blog. At each of these shows I had a chance to share and demonstrate cooking recipes from my book FORKS: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection. I also had a chance to share photographs, stories and inspiration from my travels and adventures.

Yet, the best part of touring the country this past winter has been meeting so many interesting and inspired people—travelers or future travelers. And most do not ride motorcycles. And that’s okay. I’ve always said the travel ignites our spirit and fuels our mind—how you travel doesn’t matter. What matters is that you travel.

So as I get ready to journey back to my home in San Diego, I have a feeling of relaxation. That is, I don’t have to rush anywhere, set up, rehearse, buy ingredients, and so on. No, I get a chance to spend time with old friends and certainly as I cruise across the country, make new friends.

So I share with you a retrospective slide show of photos of the faces, places and connections from my travels and at the travel shows.