Author and filmmaker talks about his inspirational trek around the world

Kevin Kiani

Author and filmmaker, David Sylvester, told his story to students in Flintridge Hall inside the USU on Tuesday, as part of CSUN’s Black History Month lecture series.

His trip around the world was sparked by the death of his friend, Kevin Bowser, in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, Sylvester has biked on three continents, 21 different countries and 15 states, which has totaled over 20,000 miles.

Sylvester took his friend’s death as an opportunity to seize life and make the most of his time on Earth. He highlights two important aspects of his journey.

“It comes down to two things: friendship and evolving,” Sylvester said.

The Philadelphia native talked about his many travels which included Africa and a cross-country trip that started in Washington and ended back home in Philadelphia.

After the Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on Sylvester, the public reached out and encouraged him to keep pushing on his journey.

Sylvester was approached by ESPN to write a feature story documenting his life and that story sparked his interest in writing his book titled, “Traveling at the Speed of Life.”

He decided to thank everyone by going on a one-man volunteer tour across the country. Some of his volunteer efforts included feeding the homeless in San Diego, helping out a school for blind children in Phoenix, and working at a cancer treatment center in Austin, Texas.

“Each population I saw was very different and in turn they all saw something completely different in me,” Sylvester said.

To close out his lecture, Sylvester offered advice to students in the audience.

“Life is a series of moments and what we do with them. Ask for the world, go after what you want,” said Sylvester. “You guys are the next people to set the world on fire, you just have to find out how to start that fire within yourselves.”