Goat Wrestling Perseverance

Episode 35 - Find out how to use the deadliest weapon in the world with Allan Karl and host Dave Swanson

June 23, 2019 Season 2 Episode 35
Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 35 - Find out how to use the deadliest weapon in the world with Allan Karl and host Dave Swanson
Chapters
Goat Wrestling Perseverance
Episode 35 - Find out how to use the deadliest weapon in the world with Allan Karl and host Dave Swanson
Jun 23, 2019 Season 2 Episode 35
Dave Swanson / Allan Karl

Allan Karl is an American author, adventurer and speaker. He is most known for travelling around the world on his motorcycle and subsequently writing the book, Forks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection.

After a divorce and finding himself unemployed, in 2005, Karl decided to go on a trip around the world. He spent the next three years travelling on five continents and visited 35 countries. He returned to the United States in 2008 and became a public speaker talking about his travel experience.

Books

Follow Allan


Dave Swanson

Website

Book 

Goat Wrestling Perseverance Clothes 

Free Chapter of my Bestselling Book? 

Show Notes Transcript

Allan Karl is an American author, adventurer and speaker. He is most known for travelling around the world on his motorcycle and subsequently writing the book, Forks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection.

After a divorce and finding himself unemployed, in 2005, Karl decided to go on a trip around the world. He spent the next three years travelling on five continents and visited 35 countries. He returned to the United States in 2008 and became a public speaker talking about his travel experience.

Books

Follow Allan


Dave Swanson

Website

Book 

Goat Wrestling Perseverance Clothes 

Free Chapter of my Bestselling Book? 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/GWPPodcast)

Announcer:
0:03
Welcome to goat wrestling perseverance podcast with your host, Dave Swanson. He's wrestled with goats, climbed mountains and bicycled across America. He wants to help you with your dreams and goals with one perseverance story at a time.
Dave Swanson:
0:22
welcome to goat wrestling perseverance podcast. I have a doozy of a guest today is known as a world writer. He has done three years on a motorcycle, five continents, 35 countries, 62,000 miles. And if that's not enough, he is an author of a bestselling book called, he's been seen on good morning America, Fox, NPR. There is not a place in this world. This man has not been. And I just want to say welcome Alan Carl to the show today.
Allan Karl:
0:57
Excellent. Good to be here.
Dave Swanson:
1:01
Yes, thank you so much. And we talked a little bit about your story, but on this, the audience knows we're ready to jump right into your perseverance story. And I'm excited to hear it as well.
Allan Karl:
1:12
Well, perseverance for me is, is one of those things that, um, I, I've had the person who has so many, so many things as we all do in life. Uh, I was in a corporate job, I was an entrepreneur. I started my own company and it grew. And Soon I realized we were all, we had offices in eight states, 200 and more partners and private equity investors in. And that was really getting to be out of hand. And, uh, while I was persevering that growth of my business, it, it occurred to me one oh one afternoon after having a big corporate meeting in Las Vegas at the hard rock hotel. It was actually September 10th, 11th and 12th, the three day meeting where we were getting together with our investors to determine what is our, what is our strategy to go forward. And it was 2001 and I woke up that morning, the planes hitting the buildings and I decided at that moment, Dave, uh, that life is a, is too precious and that what am I doing now? And I was in bed, if you will, with some investors in that company that I didn't really see eye to eye would. So I resigned and I decided to hop on a motorcycle and travel around the world. Uh, originally I thought I could do it in two years. It took me three years, which I got through 35 countries. Still plenty more to do after that. But, uh, along the way now, just three years by myself on a motorcycle. How do you persevere to do that? At the same time, handle so many obstacles along way such as getting walked into the, into the Colombian jungle by guerrillas with automatic weapons, uh, on a muddy, nasty, ugly road. And, uh, the Altiplano in the Andean mountains of Bolivia, I slipped in some mud and my motorcycle stood out from under me and landed on top of me brushing my leg, or I was in the literally that is the middle of nowhere. There's no cell coverage or anything there. And they'll cars hardly any electricity, uh, to persevere and get myself out of that. And as I continue to travel, the world eventually went to Africa and from, from Cape Town in South Africa, all the way to Cairo calling the route of the Rift Valley, then other than the Nile River. And I got to the border of, uh, uh, crossed over the sea of Ahca bar through Jordan Israel. I got to the border of Syria, and this is just about a year before the, uh, the madness there started, um, as we know it now anyway, and being told by the Syrian authorities that, uh, for me to get a visa to come into their country, I'd have to go back to Washington DC to go to the consulate. And I'm like, I can't turn around at this point and I've got to go forward. So I took out my tent, I planted it right there on the side of the border office. This is the border between Jordan and Syria. And I refuse to leave until they gave me a visa. And, uh, and, and the, the fun part of that story is, is that the, eventually they did, you know, give me the visa, but by that, but when I had all my stamps in the passport and a document for my motorcycle, I cruise up to this gate, this like huge iron pipe with guys with guns kind of garden at. And I show him my documents and they say, no, no, no, no, we're not lifting the gate. Get over there. The chief inspector wants to see you. And I'm like, oh my goodness. So, so sure enough, I moved my bike out of the way so other people could get through. I sit on a bench waiting for the chief inspector. He shows up with one of his friends and he's carrying the stray a silver tray and onto, there are three cups of tea. In the end he says, look, Mr. Allen, you know, and I'm terrible sorry about the horrible accident accent, but Mr. Allen, we must have, you know, there's always time as you know, Dave in, in the Middle East and these countries, there's always time for Chai or tea and, uh, you wanted to know about my trip. And then he would, the stick on the ground grew the outline of the country of Syria and put dots at places that he insisted on, not miss while I was touring his country. So perseverance to me is um, is all of those occasions and it's this stick to something to set a goal that you, what would she, and regardless of what obstacles in what walls maybe put up in front of you is to his dues to crash through and do that, to not give up. Never give up.
Dave Swanson:
6:03
I'm sure there's so many more obstacles, stories like that that you have as well and I know we can't get into all of them here, but the one thing I'm very interested in is you know your book of course that you discussed the culinary side of things. I want to say after you've had a long day, maybe road, you know, hundreds of miles through a place where you sold no one you finally get to where he, how good does the food tastes when you finally stopped and you realize you're going to rest for a little bit, what's kind of your favorite meal that you're like, what a long day I sitting down and this was the best meal I've ever had.
Allan Karl:
6:43
That's a great question. Thanks for bringing up the culinary part of this because that is the one thing I'd look forward to after a rough day of writing or even maybe not so bad in terms of the roughness of the road, but the roughness of the, of the just trying to make it through whether it's a border crossing or whether it's, you know, trying to find gas or ever it is, is that food is that is looking forward to I realize every night for three years, part of that journey is I had to make decisions and I call it decision fatigue after a while is I just sometimes don't want to make a decision and that is, I'm going to decide number one, where I'm going to stay tonight, number two, where I'm going to park the motorcycle and number three securely, and number three is where I'm going to eat. And it was in this kind of tiny island and island that you get over through a bridge. So it's not a boat thing. And, um, uh, near Salvador in Brazil where it was a rainy Wong Day soaking wet. And I ended up at this guest house. And it was interesting because it was a French guy owned the guest house and he's married to a Brazilian woman. And, uh, he, uh, he says, okay, I'll call, you know, I says, I got out of my wet clothes and just in civilian clothes, you know, and uh, and he takes me to this restaurant. We're sitting on plastic chairs under a fluorescent lights, grandmas in the kitchen and there's a traditional dish. And it'd be, it was, it became inspiration for me all along this journey that's called a [inaudible]. It's like, it's like a fisherman stu, but it's fresh seafood in this coconut, uh, no based Bra that is, um, flavored with a red palm oil called 10 days, what they called and, and they serve you these beers that are in there always like a liter bottles, right? So they're, they're, they're share bottles and they put these nice foam, uh, you know, things to keep them cool because they're so large. And would that just kind of casual beer. And located when she drinks it out, it's literally boiling and bubbling. And I, I had to take out my, my a camera at the time, and this is before the days of Instagram and, uh, all the, uh, food porn as we'd like to see when people take pictures of their food. It was a, you know, like a point and shoot camera shooting and video and a, I still have that video. I look at that many ways, Dave, that became the, the inspiration that meal or forks.
Dave Swanson:
9:27
Yeah, there's something interesting, you know, as I did this bicycle ride across America, I'm sure the audience is certainly talk about that and you know, 3,100 miles in 30 days. And I love the time alone on the bike to think, to go through things, the process stuff. But at the end of the day, I really enjoyed meeting up with people, people I didn't know you kind of have a great concept on, there are no strangers. Could you talk a little bit about that? Like, you know, there's not a person you haven't met yet and it's a, it's an interesting concept for people.
Allan Karl:
9:58
Yeah, it's a, it's an old problem. Ireland. There are no strangers, only friends you haven't met. And, um, that, that's how I approach everything in life is I, if people a lot of times asked me, do I bring weapons with me? You know, because I'm going to be traveling through tough places and I'm like a weapon. That's a tough question for me. I said, well, you know, actually I do. It doesn't cost anything. You don't need a manual to use it. And, uh, it's, uh, easy to it's, you know, it's real easy to use and that's the smile. And when you have that smile and you can approach any situation with a smile, that's a way to break down a barrier. And I think that for me, people, uh, you know, when you smile, you immediately make that connection and, uh, have the ability to, you know, make a new friend. It's, it's easy as that. And I think my problem is I've got so many friends now and the hardest part whenever I get to a place is saying goodbye, because you really do. For me that's because I, I look at this, I'm a open person. People know me. Thank God maybe over the top positive. I, I choose to see what's right with our world rather than what's wrong with it. And um, what's good, not what's bad. So, so this is how I would approach it. And um, for me, making friends and learning something about them, their culture, their story is just an easy way to break barriers connect. And we do that all day cause you brought it up over food and drink. Right.
Dave Swanson:
11:41
I love, I love that back. You know that your best weapon is your smile and you're about to hopefully do that for some other folks. I think you got a couple things coming up that I'm excited to see. I think one of is there, you'll beyond borders show that you're, I think you shot a pilot. You're trying to, you know, get it out there. Let people see that. But then you also have, uh, there we say you're robbing book called courts, which is about why and what we talked about a little bit already. And so talk about those two things right now. Beyond borders and course. I think those are two really good stories and what you're going to be doing.
Allan Karl:
12:17
Yeah. I think when I traveled daylight, typically I go to places and nobody's putting Syria or maybe Malawi or even Albania on their list of little, where are you going to go this summer? You know, people say, I'm going to go there, Italy and I'm going to go to staying. I'm going to go to Thailand. And a, I guess Croatia is in vogue now. You know, you hear these stories, but I go to these, um, these crazy places and uh, and they're not really so crazy. It's just a knot. I listed on the tourist and I, and I think that when we look at the notion of borders and we look at in this political environment of, of, of strengthening borders versus opening borders, uh, the TV show is beyond borders and it does a lot of what we were just talking about. And that is, uh, connecting with people, being open and exploring what's good and what's right rather than, than with that or what's wrong. And so beyond borders is, is almost taking orcs my original, you know, a quest for culture, cuisine and connection journey. Um, but I travel, uh, without an itinerary through system, both from one border to the next border and along the way learn about the history, the culture and um, and certainly settling the food and the wine. And, uh, it's, it's very exciting because I've got a very passionate crew. It's very cinematic way. We shoot this, um, it's, it's, uh, I, we're hoping we find a home for it. We shot a pilot for a major network, however they went through transition and mergers and all my execs left. Silica lost in the rubble of that shuffle. But, uh, that'll come about. And then my new book is tentatively titled Corks, a journey through the loss vineyards and forgotten farms of eastern Europe. And I'm going to former Soviet and former Yugoslavia countries, largely here, tracing a history, tracing them, you know, the, you know, from, from prior to the Ottomans up through the, she's the Germans, the Italians, the, you know, it's a, it's a, it's a historical and cultural journey. But along the way, I mean, young people who are making wine or running in restaurants or, um, farming, sustainable organic, uh, products. And it's these people who grew up under the shadow of the Soviet Union, uh, and the shadow of socialism in that area and learning about how they are pursuing, if you will. I'm coming from the dark ages, the dark ages of Soviet, even the dark ages of the former Yugoslavia. And, uh, and seeing what's fascinating things people don't think of. Now, Daniel, when it comes to wine or Serbia, one of them's while even Moldova, Romania or Bulgaria and I'm, I'm going and meeting people that, uh, beyond them, beyond their borders are, are really looking to make a life for themselves in this new era outside of the shadow of the Soviet Union. And there's some great stores I've met. I'm an organic farmer in Albania that, uh, is just doing some really cool stuff. I found a guy in southern southwestern Serbia who has probably one of the very few, there's a, there's a great variety and we think a Cabernet or Sheridan is a grape variety. It's called Coco pops. And uh, and he's got, uh, these designs that are on this hill that are a hundred to 200 to 120 years old. And what happened there, just as a historical point, is when Yugoslavia post World War II became Yugoslavia, the federation, um, the government, they're, the state owned all the property of the state, owned all the businesses and everybody contributed to cooperatives. And in order to sustain and have a two, two, two x, they were there. So you can slap it with the pip largest export of bulk wine in the country during the seventies and eighties. Nobody thinks about that, but the reason they were doing it wasn't that good one, that's for sure did. So what they did is they pulled out all these old vineyards that didn't really kneel a lot of juice, a lot of wine, and they planted international varietals. So it's very rare, at least in this part of Serbia to find this perfect pots can visit recovery. They did, did it persevered, the Yugoslavia pointing out all the other, uh, all the other, um, you know, when you call vineyards, these are historical vineyards. So anyways, these doors, so that's court. So it's a, yes, it's about wine, but it is about the history and it's about the personal stories of those young people doing great things in an area that we don't normally think of as food want.
Dave Swanson:
17:11
Well, I'm sure as long as you bring your best weapon, the smile, I'm sure beyond borders and course are going to do very well. And I just want to say thank you for being on the show today. I love these stories. I love what you've been able to share with the audience and I really appreciate you being on.
Allan Karl:
17:25
Hey, it's been awesome to be on with you as well. And thank you so much. And I want to hear more of your stories next time.
Speaker 5:
17:38
[inaudible].
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