This Teen Just Biked From Alaska to Argentina — And It Took Him 527 Days

After Liam Garner graduated high school, he decided to try bicycle touring.

After Liam Garner graduated from high school at 17, he knew he wanted to go on an epic adventure. He set off on a bike ride to see the Americas, taking a journey from Alaska to Argentina that spanned 527 days, 20,000 miles, and 14 countries.

“I always knew that I didn't want to go to college immediately,” Garner told NowThis. “The idea of running away for some extended amount of time has always been appealing to me. I didn't know what it was for the longest time, and then I found out about bike touring, and I decided I'm going to do the longest possible one I can do just to prove to myself I can do it.”

He chose the Pan-American Highway. It’s a network of roads that link almost all countries that border the Pacific Ocean within North, Central, and South America. It holds the record for the longest “motorable road” in the world.

“Originally the whole point of this trip was just to prove to myself that, if even—if I picked something ridiculous and impossible to try, I could do it with enough determination,” he said. “And really, I just wanted to discover myself and learn more about the world.”

Garner shared periodic updates of the trek on TikTok, where his videos have been watched millions of times. But he told us he wasn’t exactly prepared for biking. “The day I started doing my bike trip in Alaska, it was the first day I had ridden a bike in over 7 months,” he said. “People need to realize I'm not some crazy special person. I'm not some crazy athlete. You know, anyone can do what I'm doing. You just have to start.”

In addition to a lack of training, Garner chose not to plan out stops, instead choosing to find a place to stay each night as the sun started to set.

“When I started in Mexico, I spoke practically 0 Spanish,” he explained. “I'm Mexican. My family's from Mexico, but my mom never taught me. Now, I'm proud that I can say I'm pretty much fluent in Spanish. I can have a conversation with anyone.”

While he encouraged everyone to see the world if possible, he also acknowledged that safety is a major concern. “I've been robbed 5 times. They all happened whether I was sleeping—either when I was sleeping, or just taking stuff from my bag, or pickpocketing,” he said. Thankfully, he was always able to get in contact with his mom, who helped him out of jams.

Garner is hopeful his story and TikToks inspire other people to seek out new experiences. “If everyone could see the world and meet all the people in it, I think it would be a way better place.”

Now that Garner has completed this epic adventure, a new one is about to start. Rather than head back to California right away, Garner plans to send his bike home and spend the next 6 months backpacking from Argentina to Los Angeles with his girlfriend.