Trucker Kevin Carter ate sushi one night and figured he could make his own sushi for a fraction of the cost. That was a year-and-a-half ago. Carter, a company driver for Titan Trucking in Canada, has been rolling sushi in his truck ever since.

“The key to making a good sushi roll is patience and perseverance,” Carter says. “You gotta make sure the rice is spread out evenly and it’s a nice, tight roll.”

Carter spreads the rice three-sixteenths of an inch thick and tops it with ahi tuna, salmon, mackerel, even swordfish.

Carter learned to roll sushi through trial and error and by watching online videos. He’s now so skilled that he rolls sushi about once a month.

Carter is self taught in much of what he does. He builds houses from the ground up, inks a great design, and cooks just about anything. At age 7, Carter cooked beef stroganoff for the first time. It sparked in him an interest in cooking that has lasted a lifetime.

He learned to cook from his mom as a youngster growing up in Calgary, Canada. “I’m a mama’s boy,” he says. “She instilled in me a quality set of morals and self esteem. She always wanted me to push myself and make myself better. And she succeeded.”

He Honed His Craft In The School of Hard Knocks

Carter obtained his GED in an unlikely place—the penitentiary. He worked in the kitchen there for three years and became a skilled baker. At 26, after his release, Carter attended culinary school and became a certified “Red Seal” chef, qualifying him to cook in Canadian hotels.

Before becoming a truck driver, the multi-talented Carter also owned a tattoo business for a couple of years. For the record, Carter has 39 tattoos, 34 of which he inked himself. He learned to tattoo in 1991, using himself as a canvas to perfect his skill.

“I was sitting there drawing one day and some guy came up to me and said, ‘I want you to ink that on me,’” Carter recalls. “It was fun, I was good at it, and I just stuck with it. Then, I started doing it for others. And, the more I did it, the more I liked it. The more I liked it, the better I got.”

One of the tattoos Carter has inked

Carter estimates he’s inked upwards of 30,000 tattoos, including 80 memorializing someone.

These days, he’s devoted to his CDL trucking job, but he still inks and does piercings for clients in his free time.

“I like driving,” he says. “It’s a good fit for me. I’m on the road for about three to five weeks at a time. I see so much of the country, so I’m able to scout out places where I’d like to buy land in retirement.”

Recently, Carter did buy land—eight acres on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. When he retires from his CDL trucking job, Carter plans to build an 850-square-foot house there that runs on solar power. He’ll hunt his own food and live off the grid. It’s a longtime dream of his 15 years in the making.

That’s the thing about Carter—he never stops dreaming.

He puts his dreams into action, too. “I’m constantly striving for knowledge,” he says. “If I’m not learning, I’m not living.”

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