Mike Schram jumped on a motorbike and proceeded to travel 120,000km, passing through 53 countries and setting a new world record as the youngest person to circumnavigate the world.
Aussie Mike began his incredible journey in November 2012 on the Great Ocean Road, on the south-east coast of Victoria.
He was accompanied by his parents Jeannette and Aad – although his mum did not complete the entire trip.
The youngster used a Yamaha XT660R, with tyres supplied by British firm Avon.
Mike spoke to Mirror Motorcycling after completing the mammoth adventure and told about the highlights – and the not-so-good incidents.
He said: “The best bits were undoubtedly Mexico, because of the culture and the people, and Norway, due to its sheer beauty.
“Also, travelling through Kazakhstan was really special. There’s nobody around for thousands of kilometres – it’s a whole new level of ‘nothing’.”
Not surprisingly, the teenager also had a few scrapes along the way.
“The most dangerous moments were when we almost had a head-on collision with a moose in Canada,” he explains, “and when four trucks were overtaking each other on my side of the road in Honduras.
“In Kyrgyzstan, a car was on the wrong side of the road and I had nowhere else to go, so my pannier went through the front bumper, lights, rim and tyre of the car. Luckily I was able to stay on the bike as I was doing about 60km per hour.”
While in India, Mike got salmonella and food poisoning – and was then bitten by a venomous spider.
He got food poisoning again in Myanmar and lost all feeling in his arms and legs – while riding.
The most positive lesson Mike was left with after the journey was the friendliness of the people he met all around the world.
“I realised that actually in poorer countries, the people seem so happy,” he said.
“There is a greater sense of community in the poorer countries and, for example, in South East Asia or Central America, the locals are so welcoming. I never realised how important people are when you start travelling.
“Meeting people and speaking to them is such an important part of your journey. It gives you a new perspective.”
Now back at home, Mike found the return to “normal life” and being in one place took some getting used to.
“It’s very hard,” he said. “The first two weeks are okay, but then you start getting the itch to go again!