Tales About Me

Hello!

My name is Ryan Brown, but I’ve been called “The Wanderer” by my closest friends since high school. Even then I had a tendency to wander, though I doubt my friends could have imagined I would become the gypsy I am today. At the time, I was an extremely shy youth afraid of the world. Anxiety and depression controlled my life and kept me from accomplishing my dreams. Then, one day I decided not be afraid anymore. I began facing every fear I had leaving no shadow in darkness.

RyanBrown-2866

Adventuring became a natural extension of this fear-facing desire so when I left home for the first time on my first big adventure — a weeklong 300 mile bike tour on the Great Allegheny Passage in 2012 — I was instantly addicted. The people I met on that journey inspired me to quit my job and spend the next two months cycling to Bar Harbor, Maine. I had less than $100 in my pocket.

I hate to use the phrase “changed my life,” but the Maine Lobster Mission (when people asked why I was riding a bicycle to Maine I would answer, “For a lobster of course!!!) really did change my life. I returned with an inner confidence I had never before known. I also had a better understanding of who I am in a world that wasn’t so big and scary anymore.

The Maine Lobster Mission only fueled my desire to travel. And to travel further for longer. In 2013, I managed to cycle to Chicago while saving money for a trip from the Canada border to Panama. That journey began in 2014 but not before: a 70 mile thru-hike of the Laurel Highlands Trail; a bike tour with my younger brother along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath to Washington D.C.; and a float-trip down the Youghiogheny River with a close friend. I called it my “summer of adventure.”

Canada to Panama became Canada to El Salvador when I flew home short of my goal. I have a list of excuses why I stopped when I did, not the least being a parasite, but that trip was never about the destination nor is it over. In the fall, after spending the summer thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, I’ll fly to Argentina where I’ll ride my bicycle from the southern tip of the world — Tierra Del Fuego — to at least as far north as Colombia. I may even continue on to the El Salvador International Airport where I last left off.

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8 thoughts on “Tales About Me

  1. Hi Ryan, I just met you this morning in the Loreto coffee shop. Great conversation and I look forward to following your adventure. Be safe and enjoy Mexico, it’s a wonderful country with so much to see and experience. Terry Anderson

  2. Hey Ryan,

    We met in Mexico City, had lunch together with Cathy and searched for the journal. I just read your stories and they are amazing. Keep going please and I look forward to reading your new adventures. Btw, I keep telling people about your trip and no one actually believed that’s doable. Great job with the blog.

    Best
    Deniz

  3. Ryan, I’m so happy to hear you have made it to gautemala. and so so happy to hear your stories. I can’t wait for you to see that sunrise in Panama. And when you make it back to Pittsburgh give me a call. I would love to hear more and more stories. Best of fun on your journey southward!

    • Steph! How are you? How is Pittsburgh? I looking forward to returning home and seeing everyone.

  4. Inspiration! Thanks for all the information and story’s you have on here as it’s helping me and my partner plan our own tour.

  5. Hi Ryan – I met you on Saturday April 2nd on the AT right on the border between TN and NC. I was touring on the motorcycle and met you and the other 3 hikers (one from Australia, one from Germany, and one California). Be safe and enjoy the AT – looking forward to following your adventures..

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