FOR most people travelling solo on a motorbike through 53 countries would be a frightening experience, but Mackay man Peter Maddox couldn't think of anything better.
Mr Maddox returned from his three-year adventure on Friday.
The 59-year-old travelled on his BMW bike through America and Africa while living on a budget.
He said the best part about travelling was experiencing different cultures and meeting new people.
"I started in Tahiti and spent a week on Easter Island," Mr Maddox said.
"I went through Spain, Portugal and Morocco and down the west coast to South Africa.
"The biggest experience with this trip was being solo.
"I was on my own and I think that was the challenge; it's amazing what you learn about yourself.
"I had no telephone, no GPS; it was just the bike, myself and a Lonely Planet book."
Mr Maddox said one of the highlights of the trip was meeting different people.
"The Inca civilisation was fascinating to me, and the music in Peru," he said.
"The biggest surprise to me was the people in Colombia.
"They were friendliest, kindest people I've ever met.
"In Africa I saw two lion kills in 55 minutes which was rare."
He said he was overwhelmed with how Mackay had changed since he left in 2008.
"I've come back to Mackay and I've had the worst culture shock," Mr Maddox said.
"I've lived on a dollar a day and to come back here is frightening.
"The big thing I learnt on this trip was money is the big evil.
"People are dominated by money and I'm dominated by freedom, that's the difference.
"Freedom is more important to me than money because the memories and experiences you get are priceless.
"I have an expression on the bike - every problem has an expiry date and if you believe that you can do anything."
Mr Maddox has already planned his next trip.
"I'd like to get a job here but if I'm not settled down by December than I might buy a Yamaha 600 or 660," he said.
"I think I'll go to Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet."
He said people shouldn't be so afraid of travelling to unusual places.
"There's bigger surf on Easter Island, but people still go to Bali," Mr Maddox said.
"Why is that? The water on Easter Island is so clear as well, it's beautiful and there are only about 10 people on the whole island."
Mr Maddox's future plans include writing a book about his experiences.
"I think I'm too young to settle down completely," he said.