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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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Places I have been
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How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


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(see all 3 book)

Goodbye Letter (Sent out in February, 2002)

 


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Read the story about how we made the decision, saved up, and finally left on our life long bicycle tour  

    Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)


We tried to keep our leaving a secret from our jobs but 2 months before we left we spilled the beans with this email that we sent to over 300 friends.  The reaction that we got was overwhelming.  This letter also committed us to leaving on a specific date which was truly the point of no return. 

Dear friends and family:

As you probably all know, Cindie and I have been planning a big bike tour for several years now. We now have money for seven years and I hope to find a way to keep traveling even after that. We leave in just a few short weeks. Our house is now rented out and we are currently living in our RV near the school I teach at. Because I can now walk to school my car is now up for sale. Cindie's truck and the RV will be sold in a few weeks as well. We had no idea how much work and planning this trip would take. We have been knee deep in chores for the last three months. We will soon be past the point of no return and we both are very excited.

We leave Saturday March 30, 2002. We will first have breakfast at the Tecate Grill in downtown Prescott at around 8AM. We will be leaving on our adventure from the Prescott Courthouse at 9:30AM. We will hopefully make it to Yarnell to camp but will be satisfied with anything past Wilhoit. We are giving ourselves three days to get to Phoenix. We will be carrying more than is considered reasonable and be very slow. The first day is always the hardest.

It is very hard to plan a trip like this out because things change but it is also unwise not to plan at all. Our route for the first six weeks is pretty much figured out but as we get further into the future my planning gets vaguer.

I want to follow the good weather around the globe. Weather is truly something worth planning around. We do not want to be somewhere during the rainy season or the desert when it is hot. I have researched several different sources and have put that information together like a puzzle and planned our route by that. We will see how it works in time.

We are not concerned with our mileage. I bet we average less than 200 a week. I have met people who have ridden from Panama to here in three months. We plan on taking an entire year. We really just have to haul our load to Panama the rest of the time we can do rides or hikes without our loads.

The main yardstick for us is how little we can spend. We plan on only having $15,000 a year. That comes out to about $41 a day. If we can get by on less who knows how long we can go but if we spend more we will have to cut something out.

THE PLAN

At this point we plan on spending the first four week meandering around southern Arizona in order to get our legs strong and break in the gear. Around May 1, 2002 we will cross the border at Douglas and begin the many climbs into the central Mexico highlands. Around July, or so, we want to spend a few weeks going to a Spanish immersion school in Guanajuato, Mexico. The famous velodrome, where Eddy Merckx set the hour record, is on our list as well. Around October 2002 we will descend out of the Central highlands of Mexico and cross the Guatemalan border in late November 2002.

We will spend about 5 months in Central America riding south through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica until we arrive in Panama around April 2003. At this time we plan on visiting my family in Indiana and Cindie's family in Connecticut for a month. After our time in the states we hope to continue either in Colombia or Ecuador around June 2003. Colombia is a great bike country but not the kind of place you want to visit in a bad year.

If all goes well we will follow the spine of the Andes Mountains south all the way to Southern Chile. We have not decided whether we want to go all the way to the tip at Terra Del Fuego or not but around March 2004 we plan on flying to Africa and spend several months riding in the more friendly countries (and not in civil war) of that continent.

After Africa we think that we may want to teach English in Europe. Maybe southern Spain or Greece in September 2004. Athens for the 2004 summer Olympics may be a possibility too. Besides teaching English we would like to travel around Europe for a year. There is so much to see there. I am sure we will have to catch a major portion of the Tour De France or we will surely feel like we came to dinner but never really ate.

Things get very sketchy after that but I can see us flying from Europe to Hong Kong and riding several months in China and eventually meandering south through Asia until we get to Australia. Australia will take about a year to explore. Heading to New Zealand is a requirement that I must accomplish in order to satisfy an agreement that I made with Cindie. You have no idea what other things I had to agree to before she would go on this trip, but she is my trooper and worth every effort.

COME JOIN US

We leave Saturday March 30, 2002. Again, we will have breakfast at the Tecate Grill in downtown Prescott at around 8AM. We will be leaving on our adventure from the Prescott Courthouse at 9:30 AM. I would like to invite anyone who wants to see us off to meet us for breakfast at the Tecate Grill and/or at the Prescott Courthouse to ride with us one last time. I know that this will be impossible for the many out of state recipients of this email and we will have to catch up with you later. For the rest we would like one last grind up the Whitespars together or at least coffee.

We will soon be updating our web page http://downtheroad.org when we can. The site is started but is just a shell at this point and will have more content as we travel down the road. We are starting a new email list in order to stay in contact with everyone. If you would like to remain on this list, please reply to this email.

Don't be afraid to write,

Tim and Cindie Travis

WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  See the complete story on how we made the decision, saved up, and finally left on our life long bicycle tour  

    Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

DownTheRoad.org's RoadNews Newsletter Past Newsletters Index

If you would like to be put on my email list just fill out the Email Update Sign Up form.

Newest to Oldest

Suddenly, In The Blink of An Eye - How the gap year tour was interrupted
Aug 2013 (Kalispell, Montana, USA)

Greetings from America's Great Pacific Northwest
June, 2013 (Sent From Prospect, Oregon USA)

11 Years Down The Road: Looking for my second wind
March,
2013 (Sent From , Death Valley California, USA)

A Decade Down the Road: My ten year anniversary reflections
March, 2012 (Sent From Rajasthan, India)

Notes from Bangladesh
January 2012 (Bundi, India)

Earthquake, Robbed, and All Day 18% Grades - Sikkim, India-A place to remember October, 2011 (Sent From Calcutta, India)

Darjeeling, India was Great for Monsoon Season
September 2011 (Sent From Darjeeling, India)

Up The Road to Darjeeling, India With My New Travel Partner
June 2011 (Sent From Darjeeling, India)

The Divorce of Tim and Cindie Travis: Troubling times on the road
April 2011 (Sent From Katmandu, Nepal)

Tangled Up in Blue: How I found myself on the road alone
November 2010 (Sent From Rishikesh, India)

Goodbye Mcleod Ganj, India and The 4–5 year “India and Neighbors” Bicycle Touring Plan
September 2010 (Sent From Mcleod Ganj, India)

Greetings From India
July 2010 (Sent From McLeod Ganj, India)

Our Touring Bike Sponsorship
April 2010  (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Two one-way tickets to India and our books are now in Amazon's KINDLE!
January 2010 (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Digging Through The Past
November 2009 (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Greeting from the East Coat of the USA
August 2009 (Sent From Binghamton, New York, USA)

Cindie's Daily Journal Now on Twitter and Email Interview
June 2009 (Sent From Pueblo, Colorado USA)

NPR Mp3 radio interview, Newspaper coverage, and one dead computer
May 2009 (Sent From Delores, Colorado, USA)

Seven Years DownTheRoad: What has changed and what we have learned.
March 2009 (Sent From Phoenix, AZ, USA )

Back on the road and you are invited to our public appearances.
March 2009 (Sent From Ajo, AZ, USA)

A quickie before I go
Feb 2009 (Sent From Yuma, AZ, USA)

Mp3 interview download, itchy feet, and continued 50% off book sale
 February 2009 (Sent From Yuma, Arizona, USA)

Winter Break in the Arizona Desert
January 2009 (sent from Yuma, Arizona, USA)

Return to America and 50% Off Autographed Books
December 2008

Computer Crash and Selling Books at El Tour De Tucson
November 2008
(sent from Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Hear our latest radio interview (mp3) on KGNU Metro with Roger Wendell
October 2008
(sent from San Jose, California, USA)

Wind, Rain, Cold, Cindie’s Illness, and Forum Trolls
September 2008
(Sent From Victoria, British Colombia, Canada)

The Book is Done and We are Back on the Road in Alaska
July 2008
(Sent from Eastern Alaska/Wester Yukon)

Six Years Down The Road: breaking even and meeting friends.
April 2008

(Sent From Twizel, South Island, New Zealand)

New Zealand: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth
February 2007
(Sent From Wanaka, New Zealand)

Let's get started in New Zealand and 50% off our first book
November  2007

(Sent From New Plymouth, New Zealand)

Hello to friends and family of DownTheRoad.org:  Crisis in Cindie's Family

Going to New Zealand!!
August 2007
(Sent From Katherine, The Northern Territory, Australia)

Back in the Outback
July 2006

(Sent From Normanton (home of the big crocodile), Australia)

Five Years DownTheRoad:  a Different kind of endurance
April 2007
(Sent From Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia)

5 min Video Postcard from Tasmania
February 2007

(Sent From Canberra, Australia)

How do we stay married while traveling together 24/7? and Australia Video #1:  Bike Touring Down Under
January 2007

(Sent From Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia: On the way to the Snowy River National Park)

Downloadable Malaysian Video Postcard From the Road
November 2006
(Sent From Strahn, Tasmania, Australia)

Culture Shock in Australia and Keep Your Ears on the Road
October 2006

(Sent From Mt. Gambier, Australia)

Two 1-Way Tickets to Australia Please and 5 minute Thailand Video Download (37 mb) 2 Thailand Bike Tour Video
 July 2006

(Sent From Parit Buntar, Malaysia)

Laos: Eyes of the World
May 2006
(Sent from the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia)

Four Years DownTheRoad
March 2006
(Sent From Bangkok, Thailand)

Out of China: Slipping Past the Watchful Eye of Censorship.
January 2006

(Sent from Luang Phrabang, Laos)

Into Occupied Territory: Tibet
November 2005
(Sent from Dali, China)

The Many Faces of China: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Provinces.
September 2005
(Sent From Kangding, China)

Made in China: Free Birds in a Caged World
 July 2005
(Sent From Beijing, China)

Three Years and Still Going
May 2004
(Sent From Long Sheng, China)

Cambodia: Poverty Does Not Equal Crime.
February 2005
(Sent From Dalat, Vietnam)

Thailand: Landing in a Whole New World.
December 2004
(Sent From Siem Reap, Cambodia)

Crossing Over to the Other Side: Relocating to Asia
November 2004
(Sent From Bangkok, Thailand)

The New Global Bicycle Touring Plan.
 August 2004
(Sent From Mooresville, Indiana, USA)

Northwest Argentina: The Wrong Way In the Right Country
April 2004
(Sent From Bariloche, Argentina)

Bolivia: The Calm After the Storm
January 2004
(Sent From Mendoza, Argentina)

Peru #2:  Been Doing Some Hard Traveling
November 2003
(Sent From Copacabana, Bolivia)

Peru #1 Riding Between The Extremes
September 2003
(Sent From Huanuco, Peru)

Ecuador #2: The Magic of the Andes
August 2003
(Sent From Chiclayo, Peru)

Ecuador #1: Riding on top of the Southern Hemisphere
July 2003
(Sent From Riobamba, Ecuador)

USA: CULTURE SHOCK
June 2003
(Sent From Quito, Ecuador)

Costa Rica #1:  Green Grass and High Tides

Nicaragua: Travels Through a Troubled Land
March 2003
(Sent From Santa Elena - Monteverde, Costa Rica)

Honduras: From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border
February 2003
(Sent From Esteli, Nicaragua)

Antigua, Guatemala to the Sea
January 2003
(Sent From Omoa, Honduras)

Guatemala: From Paradise to Despair
December 2002
(Sent From Antigua Guatemala)

Guatemala:   Riding Through the Highlands
November 2002
Thanksgiving day in the USA
(Sent From Quetzaltenango, Guatemala)

Our Final Weeks in Mexico
November 2002
(Sent From Comitan, Mexico)

Six Months Down the Road
October 2002
(Sent From Amecameca, Mexico)

So Close to Mexico City Yet So Far From Anything
September 2002
(Sent From Amecameca, Mexico)

Toluca
August 2002
(Sent From Toluca, State of Mexico, Mexico)

The Great Secret of Michoacan
August 2002
(Sent From Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico)

Adios Guanajuato
July 2002
(Sent From Guanajuato, Mexico)

Hello Guanajuato
June 2002

(Sent From Guanajuato, Mexico)

Greetings from Mexico
May 2002
(Sent From Cuauhtemoc, Mexico)

Heading into Mexico
May 2002
(Sent from Douglas Arizona)

Enjoying Arizona
April 2002
(Sent from Sierra Vista Arizona.)

Our first week Down the Road
April 2002
(Sent from Tucson Arizona)

Good bye Letter
February 2002
Written while living in our RV

newbig.gif (1848 bytes)

WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  See the complete story on how I made the decision, saved up, and finally left on my life long bicycle tour

 

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