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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

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I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
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Three Years and Still Going
May 17, 2004
(Sent From Long Sheng, China)

Our Asia Homepage is Located At:
http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Previous Letter

Thumbnail Pages for this Letter
Vietnam#1
Vietnam#2
Guangxi, China

Cindie's Journal for this Letter

Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP ITS BEEN (Grateful Dead)

Wow!!!, Cindie and I recently celebrated an anniversary, our three years on the road!  To me, it seems like we just began our quest to see the world on bicycles.  The road seems so short behind me and to have no end in front of me.  Whenever I look at a world map all I see is places I still want to go.  Cindie is a child of the road who never wants to stop traveling either.  I often see her staring at the horizon and I know she is dreaming of some far off place and making plans.  Dreams eventually turn into airline tickets in our current lifestyle.  I feel very lucky that our dreams turn into reality.  Long live the Road that Has no End.

Our journey began over three years ago on March 30, 2002.  On that day we struggled to ride out of Prescott, Arizona.  It was like taking a giant leap in the dark and not knowing how we would land.  On that sunny first day in Arizona we both were nervous about cutting our attachments to our routines and drifting on a free current.  Without jobs, commitments, or structure how will we know what to do?  We pedaled the first miles in a daze of fear and apprehension.  Countless people were telling us not to go or "you can not ride a bike through all those dangerous countries."  Cindie was noticeable trembling.  We were leaving it all behind.  I had a flat tire and sunburn to take my mind off of all the voices telling us not to go.  That first night we were exhausted and slept soundly in our tent.  The next morning everything was better.  We woke to the first day of the rest of our lives.

Three years later on March 30, 2005 we found ourselves riding from Hanoi to Bac Giang, Vietnam.  We were now confronted with a language we do not understand and a way of life different than our own.  A man pedaled up next to us and recited a long smiling speech that we did not understand and offered me a cigarette.  The smell from restaurants serving dog meat filled the streets.  We avoided places that announced they served "Thit Cho" the Vietnamese word for fried dog.  As we peddled down the road, we saw two men throw punches at each other as they argued over a motorcycle accident.  Not knowing how far the fight would escalate we gave them lots of room.  It used to be alarming to be surrounded by things we did not understand but now this seems more normal than speaking to people in English and eating hamburgers.  Three years on the road has made confusion much easier to accept.

We have entered 15 countries to date and 15 times we have had to learn how to survive with new currencies, governments, and ways of life.  In Asia, there is the added element of a new language and written script for each country.  I have learned that accepting confusion is the most important skill a traveler can gain.  With this skill we can be plopped down in any country of the world and be able to travel on our bikes.  I often say to Cindie when confronted with a particularly difficult situation "Ain't no beginners here" but I do not feel that we are experts either.  We are still learning something new every day.  To survive on the road takes common sense, adaptability, and the willingness to accept things that we do not understand or agree with.  It takes letting go of everything we know and just going with the flow of the culture we are in.  This must be where the expression "When in Rome - Do as the Romans do" comes from.  I can imagine that Marco Polo repeated this all the way to Mongolia.

Our three year anniversary caused us to talk for days about what this trip has meant to us and how it keeps changing who we are.  In the grey drizzle that followed us for weeks out of Vietnam and into China we came to several conclusions.  Three years of experience has made some things like choosing equipment, packing every day, and adjusting to the endless foreign cultures much easier but this time on the road has not taken the newness and excitement out of our travels.  We have not become jaded.  Every day we experience something different and have an opportunity to learn about the countries we visit and the people we meet.  It is endlessly rewarding and there is nothing that we would rather be doing.  We are both committed to circling the globe until we are physically unable to continue.  We still have a long long way to go.

I can only speculate what the next three years will bring or where we will be.  Africa anyone!

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EMAILS RECENTLY?

You may have noticed that I have not written in a long time and this letter does not include the usual long narrative depicting our ride through the most recent area, Vietnam/China.  Vietnam and China are my first experiences with a "Red" countries with far reaching cen--r (big brother) ship.  We have experienced hassles and have been followed by the law man in both countries.  I will try to explain below but please remember that these governments have computers and advanced technologies that scan all emails for key words or phrases.  I have to beat around the bush a bit here "if you know what I mean." I know big brother reads everything mechanically sent over the wire.  Saying or writing anything against those in charge is illegal and severely punished.  I have completely avoided certain keywords and hope this email gets through to you and we can easily get out of this country several months from now.  Someday it will all come out in a paperback but for now I have to consider our well being.

The powers that be are extremely paranoid here.  We have experienced "The Man" looking over our shoulders in internet cafes, checking up on us in our hotel rooms, following, arresting, detaining, questioning for hours, releasing, following us again for days, and even shooting pictures from a hidden camera in a black sedan.  I have decided to mostly play by their rules now.  It is not worth going to the "big house" for telling the truth in email.  I will say that we have had some of our most extreme and biggest adventures recently.  We have stumbled across some disturbing things and have seen activities that few outsiders ever will.  Foreigners are not allowed to independently drive motor vehicles in China. This free movement scares the people in charge so they restrict it.  A bicycle is a loophole in their rules.  Foreigners are allowed to ride bicycles and often rent them in cities to visit tourist attractions.  Bad things are not hidden in cities or anywhere on the standard tourist trail.  The rule makers never thought that foreigners could ride 100 kilometers in a day or cross China without an engine.  Traveling by bicycle can take you very far off the beaten track.  I have learned just how far from home we can go.  The furthest from home is when you are not allowed to leave.

Please be careful what you write to us while we are in this part of the world.  I do not know all of the boundaries and capabilities of the watching eyes.  What I recently saw and learned was shocking.  This will not stop us from going where we want here.  In fact, it is best for us to keep moving.  We are perfectly safe and happy now so please do not worry.  If we were in trouble this would be a completely different email.  Writing about what exactly happened and sending the story over the internet is not a good idea.  Oh, the things I have learned out on the road!

NEW EMAIL LIST!!!

Lately it seems like I have spent more time working on our computer than enjoying the trip.  We have been thinking of ways to reduce my workload.  Our website is generating unbelievable amounts of emails and newsletter signups each week.  We are in the process of completely switching to an automated email subscription service to maintain our growing list.  I am sad that this will take some of the personal contact away.  I just can not keep up entering each new subscriber and removing inactive emails, one at a time, by hand.  This list grows constantly with numerous daily sign ups.  If you are reading this you are one of the original 3,000+ subscribers and the last that I feel that I personally know.  Unfortunately this means that all of you will have to subscribed to our email list again.  If you do not subscribed you will stop receiving our updates.  We do not want to loose any of the original members of our online family so please take the 30 seconds necessary to continue being part of our travels and our inspiration to carry on.  The directions for subscribing to our new list are found at the link below.  Thank you for your time.

Re-Sign up here
http://www.downtheroad.org/EmailSignUp.htm

DO NOT FORGET TO WRITE BUT???

Do not be afraid to write (especially because I would like to know this reached the outside world) but please be understanding If I do not respond.  We get so much email that it is impossible to answer them all.  Also, many emails sent to us are accidentally deleted because our spam filter has a difficult time telling the legitimate emails from the advertisements and scams.

 If you have a question, message, or general comment please post it on our Discussion Board.  You can do this anonymously or sign your name.  All messages posted to our Discussion Board are read and reread by us several times.  I download your post to our computer to be read offline.  Reading your Discussion Board posts are a big source of inspiration and entertainment.  You questions have a very good chance of being answered on our Discussion Board because I feel that we are answering the question for thousands of readers instead of one at a time.  Our Discussion board can be found by clicking the following link:

http://www.downtheroad.org/Discussion/

Keep on Rocking in the Free World (Neil Young)

Tim Travis
Long Sheng, China
http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/

 

Our Asia Homepage is Located At:
http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Previous Letter

Thumbnail Pages for this Letter
Vietnam#1
Vietnam#2
Guangxi, China

Cindie's Journal for this Letter

Next Letter WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

 

2002 - 2012 DownTheRoad.org (TM) All Rights Reserved
 

 


INDEX #3: SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to 9-15-06

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present


(see all 3 book)


November 22 - December 15, 2004
Thailand
Bangkok, to Aranyaprathet, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Thailand #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
INTRO Crossing Over to the Other Side: Relocating to Asia

LETTER Thailand: Landing in a Whole New World.

Best Place to see Pictures
Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Bangkok, Thailand
- Royal Barge Museum
- Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
- Wat Phra Kaew and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- Pictures of Wat Pho
- Bangkok to Chanthaburi, Thailand.
- Island Ko Samet National Park
- Thailand's famous Thai Food
- Chanthaburi to Aranya Prathet and the Cambodian border.


 

 December 16- January 16, 2005
Cambodia and Angkor Wat
Poipet to Tien Bien, Cambodia

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Cambodia Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Cambodia: Poverty Does Not Equal Crime.

Best Place to see Pictures
Cambodia Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures of  Poverty in Cambodia: Poipet to Siem Reap
- Picture from Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Temples Bayon, Angkor Thom
Ta Prom (Temple where Tomb Raider was filmed)
- Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Eastern Mebon, Banteay Kei, Ta Som, Pre Rup

- Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Tuol Sleng S.21 Museum of Genocidal Crime
- Killing Fields of Pol Pot Cambodia
- Phnom Penh to Tinh Bien


 

(January 16 - February 17 , 2005)
Vietnam #1.
Tinh Bien to Cau Ganh, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Online South Vietnam Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
South Vietnam Thumbnails

Full size Picture Pages

- Chau Doc to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Floating Market and Boat Trip Tour
- Vietnam War Remnants Museum
- Cuchi Tunnels, Saigon, Vietnam
- Cuchi Tunnels Cu Chi near Saigon, Vietnam
- Pictures from Dalat, Vietnam
- Bicycling from Dalat to Buon Ma Thuot
- Jun Village
- Buon Ma Thuot to Cau Ganh


 
(February 18. - April 2, 2005)
Vietnam #2.
Cau Ganh, to Lang Son, Vietnam

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Daily Journal for North Vietnam.

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
North Vietnam Thumbnail Pictures.

Full size Picture Pages

- Cau Ganh to Hoi An
- Hoi An, Vietnam
- China Beach to Hue.
- Marble Mountain
- The Citadel in Hue
- Impoverished Highland Market Can Cau.
- Poverty Village of Bac Ha.

Hanoi water puppet


 
(April 3 - May 21, 2005)
Guangxi, China
Pingxiang to CongJiang, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Finally in China!

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Three Years and Still Going

Best Place to see Pictures
Best Thumbnail Pictures of Guangxi, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pingxiang to Nanning, China
- Nanning, Guangxi to Liuzhou
- China's Karst Topography Landscape.
- Liuzhou to Yangshou, Guangxi, China
- Zhuo Yue English College in Yangshuo, China
- Li River bamboo boat trip in Yangshou..
- Ancient Chinese Stone Village of Fuli.
- Impressions light, dance, and music.
- Mountain biking through Yu Long Valley.
- Guilin to Congjiang Guangxi, China
- Reed Flute Cave Guilin China.
- Ping'an Guangxi, China.
- Dragon's Backbone and Rice Terraces.


 

May 22 - June 27, 2005

  Guizhou and Hunan, China
Congjiang to Zhangjiajie National Park China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guizhou, China

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Made in China: Free Birds in a Caged World!

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures of Guizhou, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Congjiang to Kaili, Guizhou, China
- Kaili Guizhou - Wulingyuan National Park, Hunan.
- Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie) National Park, Hunan.


 

(June 28 - July 15, 2005)

Beijing, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Beijing, China daily Blog and Journal

Best Place to see Pictures
Best and favorite pictures from Beijing, China

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures from Beijing, China
- Pictures of Forbidden City, China
- Summer Palace
- Great Wall from Jinshanling Simatai, China.
- Badaling Section of the Great Wall of China


 

(July 16 - Sept. 3, 2005)
Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China.
Beijing to Xian, Shaanxi, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, China daily journal (blog)

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
The Many Faces of China: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Provinces.!

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures from Inner Mongolia, China.

Full size Picture Pages

- Beijing to Jining, Inner Mongolia.
- Grasslands of Jining, to Wuchuan (near) Hohhot
- Hohhot to Bautou, Inner Mongolia, China
- Wudang Lamasary
- Bautou to Yulin, Shanxi, China with Photos from Genghis Khan's Mausoleum.
- Yulin to Yanan, Shaanxi, China
- Chairman Mao's Headquarters and Residence in Yanan, China.
- Yanan to Xian, Shaanxi, China.
- Terracotta Warriors #1
- Terracotta Warriors #2.


 

 (Sept. 4 - Oct. 29, 2005)

Sichuan, China
Chengdu, to Zongdian, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Sichuan Blog

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Into Occupied Territory: Tibet!

Best Place to see Pictures
Sichuan Thumbnail Photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Giant Panda Breeding Center #1
- Red Panda  in Chengdu, Sichuan, China #2
- Chengdu to Kangding.
- Kangding, Sichuan, located in Southwestern China.
- Mugecuo Lake near Kangding, Sichuan, China.
- Kangding to Xinduqiao
- Xinduqiao to Tibetan Home Stay.
- Tibetan Home Stay to 4718 meter (15,475 feet)
- to Litang, Sichuan, China.
- Litang Lamasary Tibetan Buddhist Monk Monastery
- Litang to Sumdo, Tibet
- Sumdo to Xiangcheng
- Xiangcheng to Derong, Tibet.
- Derong, Sichuan Province to Tibetan Shangri-La, (Zongdian)


 

(Oct. 30 - Dec. 24, 2005)

Yunnan, China
Zongdian to Mohan, China

Cindie's Daily Journals
Yunnan daily blog - journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Out of China: slipping past the watchful eye of censorship.

Best Place to see Pictures
Yunnan thumbnail photos

Full size Picture Pages

- Shangri-La, - Lijiang - Dali, China.
- Dali to Jingdong, Yunnan
- Jingdong to Puer
- Puer to Jinghong, Yunnan, China
- Xishuangbanna Tropical Flowers and Plants Garden.
- Mengla to Mohan, Yunnan, China (border with Laos))


 

December.25, 2005 - January 23, 2006
Laos
Boten to Vientiane

Cindie's Daily Journals
Laos daily blog journal

Click here for our first downloadable video called
 "LAOS: VIDEO POSTCARDS FROM THE ROAD.

Best Place to see Pictures
Laos Thumbnail pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Boten to Oudomxia, Laos.
- Laos Wood Carving Factory
- Oudomaxi - Luang Pabong
- Luang Phrabang, Laos: Monks, Wats, and a boat tour on the Mekong River.
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #1
- Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng, #2
- Vientiane, Laos


 

January 23 - March 12, 2006

Northeast Thailand
Nong Khai, Thailand to Bangkok

Cindie's Daily Journals
Northeast Thailand Blog and Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Four Years DownTheRoad!

Best Place to see Pictures
Northeast Thailand Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nong Khai to Dan Si
- Dan Si to Lop Buri
- The Ancient Ruins and Historic Temples of Ayuthaya
- Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.


 

(March 13 - April 18, 2006)

Southern Thailand
Hua Hin to Satun, Thailand

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's latest daily journal for South Thailand.  Now with over 4 years of entries!

5 minute Thailand Video
http://downtheroad.org/video/Files_Video/2Thailand_DownTheRoad.wmv

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures from South Thailand.

Full size Picture Pages

- Hua Hin to Ranong
- Ranong to Krabi
- Boat Tour of Ao Phang Nga Bay
- Ko Lanta Beach to Satun Tropical Thailand


 

(April 18 - Sept. 15, 2006)

  Malaysia #1
Langkawi, Malaysia to Parit Buntar

Cindie's Daily Journals Malaysia

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Two 1-Way Tickets to Australia Please

Best Place to see Thumbnail Pictures of Malaysia

Full size Picture Pages

- Langkawi to Nebong Tebal
- Underwater World Aquarium Langkawi
- Bird Paradise, Langkawi, Malaysia.
- Malaysian Home Stay and Cyclist Guest House.
- Traditional Tamil Indian Wedding
- Malaysian Home Cooking and Traditional Food
- Hand Made Pottery Factory
- Chinese Fishing Village and Party.
- Toddy Plantation Farm and Palm Oil Production.
- Malaysian Chinese Temple of Heaven and Hell.
- Malaysian Indian Hindu Temple and Religious Ceremony

 

(May to August, 2006)
Malaysia #2

Tanah Rata to Taiping, Malaysia

Cindie's Daily Journals

Video: Malaysian David's Cyclist Home Stay (5:35 min)
http://www.prescottyellowpages.com/Video/3Malaysian_Cyclists_Home_Stay.wmv

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail pictures of Malaysia #2

Full size Picture Pages

- Cameron Highlands Trails and National Park
- Butterfly Garden
- Boh Tea and Sungai Palas Tea Plantation and farm
- Mardi Research Center, Tanah Rata
- Tanah Rata, Cameroon Highlands, Malaysia
- Indian Fire Walking Ceremony at the Hindu Temple
- Our 8th Wedding Anniversary the Cultural Indian Way
- Chinese Cultural Opera and Traditional Arts Celebration
- Malaysian Indian Religion
- Malaysian Guesthouse and Homestay #2

 

(July - Sept. 15, 2006)
 
Malaysia #3 and Singapore.
Taiping, Malaysia to Singapore

Cindie's Daily Journals for Malaysia

Best Place to see Pictures
Malaysia #3 and Singapore

Full size Picture Pages

- Penang hill Chinese Temple
- Taiping to Melaka, Malaysia.
- Taman Alam Kuala Selangor Natural Park
- Melaka, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.
- Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Chinese Hill (Bukit China) Cemetery
- Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore


1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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