On the Move

American Stock Trader / Adventurer Found Murdered in Mexico

Although this story is not about the Asia region, being two-wheel enthusiasts, adventure travelers, and finance guys, we here at knowmadic news feel compelled to discuss this story out of respect and grief for a kindred spirit.

American Harry Devert set off on the adventure of a lifetime, to ride his motorcycle from the United States down to Brazil in time for the World Cup this summer. He never made it out of Mexico alive.

Devert, traveling alone by motorcycle through the Mexican Pacific coast, last contacted his girlfriend on January 25 with a somewhat foreboding message regarding a military escort out of a dangerous area in Michoacán, Mexico, and more possible issues to come as his travels progressed.

Mexico, especially the State of Michoacán, has been under civil war-like conditions for some time now. The battle is for the heart and soul of that region, and it involves drug cartels, local militia (farmers), and the Mexican military. It’s an ugly and dangerous situation, and probably a place you wouldn’t ever want to stumble upon, especially alone on a motorcycle.

Not a naive traveler, Devert, a self-taught day trader, had quit his day job at the age of 27 to travel the world, apparently traveling extensively from Southeast Asia to Iceland and many places in between—on a budget and high on the hog.

Obviously not one to scare easy, he broke three ribs running from the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, spent “time” in a jail in Paraguay, slept on a street in India, and has even taken a nap with a tiger… and these are just the things he chose to share on his blog.

The consummate adventurer unafraid of this big beautiful world we live in… but his luck had run its course in a small beach community in Mexico, where the illicit world of the illegal drug trade rules the streets, the beaches, and the communities.

It’s an extremely sad situation. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family and friends. At the same time, this is also a cautionary tale to all to take care when traveling, and never believe that you’re singularly greater than a serious situation or complex issue, especially if you don’t fully understand all of its moving parts.

This is not directed at Devert and his particular situation, but rather is a reminder to all travelers, especially young and single ones. The need to understand that being an outsider doesn’t prevent you from being absorbed into (or even overtaken by) a situation not of your doing very fast and spontaneously without any warning.

I myself have stumbled into situations where I wish I had either took a pass or shown up 5-10 minutes later. Once in particular where I had merely opened a door to a bar, and then was thrust into the middle of rotten circumstances that I later regretted because I paid for it with a beating I took from a group of thugs.

We all know this, accidents and seemingly unavoidable things happen all the time, but most of the time they don’t so this leads us to a false sense of security, especially when we’re happily on the road and/or when alcohol possibly is an added factor.

Traveling is, for me at least, the greatest single pleasure a human being can experience, learn from, and grow with, but it’s also something not to discount or sleep on. When we travel, our senses heighten and certain instincts are tweaked. These tools are very important for us because they allow us to judge situations, people, and surroundings. Unfortunately though, they can become dulled and clouded from the road, continuous unfamiliarity, exhaustion, excitement—maybe even one too many cheap beers. It’s part of the ups-and-downs of extended travel, but this is why we love it… each new step something new awaits!

By all means, get out there, travel, roam, wander, just remember to listen to your body, mind, and those certain internal tools that keep us reasonably safe and instinctively out of harm’s way.

RIP Harry Devert, your wandering spirit lives on in all of us….


Just to familiarize yourself with the situation in Mexico, take 20 minutes and watch this short documentary from Vice.

Warning: Extremely graphic

  • James Bond

    Sad story indeed………………………………………….

  • Azul K.

    How is this a sad story? Did he not know that these areas were controlled by outlaws and maybe camping was not the most intelligent idea?

    Sad is living in a small apartment in Gaza while bombs drop on your neighbors and wipe out their entire families.