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Downtheroad.org RoadNews

Four Years DownTheRoad

March, 11, 2006
(Sent From Bangkok, Thailand)


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Hello all!

This has been a tough letter to write.  It is tax season again (USA) and Cindie has been hogging our laptop, screaming at her accounting software, and searching for this elusive concept she calls "balance."  I do not understand any of it and it baffles me why I have to pay taxes in a country we do not even live in.  She tries to explain but all I hear is something about self employment taxes and penalties and jail terms if we do not pay up.  Being the "Nomadic Accountant" does not look like any fun.  I wrote this letter during her short breaks and it may be a bit disjointed.

I have only one announcement to make.  Although the American media has largely ignored us the media in the United Kingdom (UK) has taken interest in our endeavors.  We have been mentioned in British newspapers and magazines in the past but our biggest break just occurred.  We were asked to answer several interview questions for a UK based publishing company called Black Dog Publishing.  This interview will be included in a widely distributed book about cycling culture and the bicycle lifestyle.  This interview is posted at the link below.  Please let me know what you think.

 http://www.downtheroad.org/Publishing/Media/Black_Dog.htm


Four Years DownTheRoad

March 30 will mark our four year anniversary of living nomadically on our bicycles and in cyberspace at DownTheRoad.org.  It is hard to believe that we have made it this far but there is still a long way to go.  We are always planning more.  It is impossible to reach the end of a road that has no end.  This is why we are not in a hurry.

This past year in Asia has been remarkable because of the interesting sights, sounds, and people that make this part of the world fun and unique.  Oh yes, another very important part, the food in Asia has been excellent.  The language barrier has caused us to be creative in our communication, we did a lot of pointing and drawing pictures.  Of the six or more languages we were immersed in we really made an attempt to learn Mandarin Chinese and to a lesser extent Thai.  Learning the local language is always a big challenge but extremely rewarding.  Asians have a completely different way of looking at life and the world around them compared to my own.  I could have spent months picking the brains of the common farmers we met on the side of the road.  There is never enough time.  They have to work and we have to ride.  We are always saying "goodbye" to the most remarkable people.

This past year our online existence has evolved into something new.  The size and rapid growth of our website is hard to keep up with.  Our online presence has reached some kind of critical mass and has created endless opportunities for us.  DownTheRoad.org started as an easy way to organize our photos and keep in touch with family and friends via Cindie's daily journal. (see a link to Cindie's daily journal below)  We never dreamed it would grow beyond this.

See Cindie's Latest Journal at http://www.downtheroad.org/Asia/Journals/a3NE_Thailand_blog.htm

I have counted visitors to DownTheRoad.org from the very first posting in February, 2002.  Fourteen months later I can remember the celebration Cindie and I had when we reached 1,000 visitors/month or about 35 visitors/day.  Our website has grown and grown until it feels wonderfully out of control.  Today we are receiving over 3,000 visitors/day and we are expecting to reach the real milestone of 100,000 visitors/month sometime this summer.  This number is significant in the online world and starting to open a lot of doors we never dreamed of four years ago.  Much of the thanks has to be given to you, the regular readers of our website.  We would never have gone this far without your enthusiasm, encouragement, and your important word of mouth (email) referrals to our website.  THANK YOU all very much.

All of this attention and traffic to our website is providing the opportunity to continue our travels for longer than we originally planned.  As many of the long time readers know we set off thinking we would travel for seven years.  Now we are planning much more.  We often feel fortunate that we have come this far but at the same time believe that we made this happen. When I think about it; luck had very little to do with how our lives are turning out.  We earned this through hard work and thinking beyond conventional limitations.  I truly believe that everyone reading this can make almost anything happen in life if they choose it.  I know from reading your emails that this is a special group and most are living their own interesting and fulfilling lives.  I also know a few are looking to break free of the routine.  My advise to this minority is to make a long term but realistic plan, stick to it no matter what, and never listen to the nay sayers tell you that your dreams are unreachable.

Now that we have made it this far the questions I am constantly asking myself are "where is all this going" and "now that I can talk to the world what do I have to say?"  This is far more responsibility than I bargained for.  Any suggestion?

THE DOWN SIDE

All this traffic and interest in our trip is not without its costs. We outgrew a couple web servers as traffic increased.  We finally had to host DownTheRoad.org on our own private virtual server to handle the traffic.  I spent seventy three hours in a noisy internet cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam watching files slowly crawl through the third world connection.  I was accompanied by a bunch of rowdy teenagers playing military shoot-em-up computer games while I moved the entire (8 GB) website to the new server.  Only a generation ago these kids would have played this terrible game in real life - and death.  In Vietnamese video games (and history) the Americans always lose.

The email we receive from the thousands of daily visitors surfing around DownTheRoad.org is overwhelming.  Cindie and I try to reply to everyone but regularly fall behind and many go unanswered.  The vast majority of emails we receive are heartwarming accounts of how we inspired someone to travel internationally or think outside of the box when determining life's priorities.  We love reading these emails and we thank you for sending them.  We would like to request that your comments and questions be posted on our interactive forum or discussion board (see link below). Messages posted on this public forum receive the highest priority from us which means that when we answer your question it is answered for thousands of others.

For comments or questions  http://www.downtheroad.org/Discussion

THE NEAR FUTURE

We more or less have a plan for the next eighteen months.  We will leave Bangkok and continue riding south through peninsular Thailand.  We will make a very short crossing into Burma and back to receive another thirty day Thai tourist visa.  This is called a visa run in international travelers lingo.  Then we will spend our remaining time enjoying tropical beaches and riding south through dense jungles.  Next we cross the border into Malaysia in mid April.  In Malaysia, we will be staying with a friend of ours, David, who owns a guesthouse about a weeks ride south of the Thai border.  It is rare when we know where we are going to be staying and provides us the opportunity to receive mail.  You know, the old fashioned kind that requires stamps and paper.  Years ago we made a similar announcement about a mail pick up in Peru and were delighted at all the wonderful notes and postcards that came in from around the world.  See David's address below and please send soon.  It can take several weeks to send mail half way around the globe.

Munusamy Reddie @ David,
59, Jalan Bangau Dua,
Taman Minamah,
14300, Nibong Tebal,
Seberang Perai Selatan,
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

Also in Malaysia we will be taking a much needed two month break and do some hiking in the Cameroon Highlands National Park.  During this time off the bikes we will start the long process of completing our second book about our tour in South America.  I have actually been chipping away at it for months and have written 85% of it but the editing, layout, and cover design can take longer than the writing.  I will make an announcement as soon as there is a publication date scheduled.

After our break we will bike tour in Indonesia and then work our way to Singapore by mid September to fly to Adelaide, Australia. If we succeed in scoring our extra long - special permission Australian tourist visa we will spend twelve months in Oz.  From there we hope to fly to New Zealand for at least six to twelve months of travel and book writing.  None of this is set in stone because we do not have the Australian visa or airline tickets yet but it is our current plan.

LONG-TERM FUTURE

I am currently playing around with the idea of offering video downloads about our travels on our website.  It is not widely known but we have carried a digital video camera from the very start.  Almost all of the over 10,000 pictures you see on our website also have a video recording of the same scene.  I recently watched some of the raw footage and was amazed at how sound and motion really captured the moment.  I originally recorded this video as a memory for us to watch if we ever stop but there is growing interest in publishing an edited version.  Cindie is very enthusiastic about this and even bought me a book (to lug around) called "Digital Video Editing for Dummies."  I am not sure if she is optimistic about digital video or pessimistic about my skills.  This is a fascinating art form that I really think I can get into.  My first release will be a simple mix called Video Postcards from The Road.  My first attempts will most likely be comical and amateur.  I am wondering if any of you reading this would be interested in watching?

Well, that is it.  Cindie is asking for the computer back.  I just want to thank all of you again for being involved in our travels and helping us Down The Road.  Without you none of this would be possible.

Tim Travis
Bangkok, Thailand


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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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