Heinz Stucke, Cycling’s World Traveler, Makes It To Netflix

Forget about Instagram’s travel influencers — Heinz Stucke has lived a life that the hardiest backpacker would envy.

This German 82-year-old has spent more than a half-century traversing the globe on a bicycle. Using just two human-powered wheels, Stucke visited every single country in the world — 196, to be exact — and racked up more travel experiences than an entire shelf of Lonely Planet guidebooks.

If you’ve never heard of this one-of-a-kind adventurer, the miracle of streaming now brings his story straight to your living room.

This feature-length documentary about Stucke’s life came out in 2021, after a 2019 Kickstarter campaign that barely met the fundraising goal of €15,000. The film uses Stucke’s many photographs to tell the story of this insatiable explorer.

Stucke devoured books about the adventurous travels of explorers when he was young. Hungry to create his own story, he left his hometown in Germany in 1962 at the age of 22.

“I heard about others doing adventurous journeys without money,” Stucke says in the film. “And if they can, I can.”


A life of adventure — and sacrifice

“The Man Who Wanted To See It All” quickly sets a moody and reflective tone, as Stucke contemplates both his desire to travel — and what it cost him to spend a life on the road.

In one striking scene, he reads a letter from his father about the death of his mother. Stucke’s father expresses how much he wants his son to return home.

“Dear Heinz, now I am alone in my room. It is such a relief that your young sister Claire is with me,” Stucke’s father wrote. “Dear Heinz, I won’t be okay until you return to your homeland.”

But Stucke kept traveling, and it’s because of that obsessive focus that he led a life worthy of an hour-and-a-half documentary. He crossed the globe long before smartphones and GPS, building a lifetime of unforgettable experiences along the way.


“I do not buy souvenirs,” he says in the doc. “I keep the things that people give me and that reminds me of them.”

Stucke survived bandit beatings, vehicular accidents, animal attacks, and the dangerous bureaucracy of unstable governments.

After 50 years on the road, he finally returned to Germany in 2012.

“The priority of my life in travel is people,” Stucke says. “But it is the bicycle that makes it possible. The bike is my passport.”

“The Man Who Wanted To See It All” is currently available on Netflix in seven countries, including the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and others.

Check it out here.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.