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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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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

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May 2008 to April 2010

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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
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Pictures of Equipment Failures
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(see all 3 book)

Six Months Down the Road
Monday, October 7, 2002  (Sent From Amecameca, Mexico)


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It is hard for us to believe that it has been six months since we left our home in Prescott, Arizona and started on a journey that will take years to complete.  It has taken this long to adjust to our new lifestyle of living on a bike and devoting our time to the study of the people and places that slowly drift by.  It has been a wonderful experience and some hard clean living.  We have had our share of dark times but nothing that we could not handle.  The good times far outweigh the bad and we feel like we have just begun to get down the road.

We have stuck to our original plan more than I had expected.  I occasionally look back at that first letter that I sent out saying good bye to everybody and explaining our trip plans.  I am surprised at how closely we have stuck to that plan I made so many months ago.  I believe this was possible because my original plan was so flexible.  As we move into the future it will be interesting to see if things pan out as I predicted in the good bye letter.  We still intend on seven years and visiting the more hospitable countries of the world.  We will be crossing the border and riding through Guatemala in mid November (the start of the dry season).

We have spent less than we have expected.  This is surprising because from all of the books and web sites that I have read most people spend more than they had planned.   We expected to spend US$288 per week.  We found we can travel comfortably on US $200 a week in Mexico and even less in Arizona.  This is good because the US stock market has had a less then stellar year.  We hope that when we get into Central America next month that we can live off of as little as US $100-$150 a week.  At this rate we may be able to visit more countries or have a higher budget for when we arrive in Europe in 2004.

The web site has swelled with our memories and thoughts. At last count there were over 300 pages.  The traffic growth is surprising and there is no sign of it leveling off yet.  Every time I check email someone new is signing up for this newsletter.   The writing of this newsletter is good practice for a potential book that several of you have inquired about.  We are starting to meet and stay in contact with people from all over the world.  I find that very exciting and one of the most pleasurable aspects of traveling.

It is also hard to believe that we have been in Mexico for five months now.  There is so much to see here.  There are several places on our map that we just do not have time for.  Our tourist visa is going to expire in a few weeks and we need to move on.  I think that it would take at least a year to fully explore Mexico.   We will have to return someday and see the rest.  Hands down the best part of Mexico are the Mexicans themselves.  They have been kind, generous, and always willing to take the time to help a couple of lost bike tourists find there way or just shoot the breeze.   I tip my helmet to these people and wish that all Americans could see the true nature of Mexico. 

We have spent more time sleeping in our tent in Mexico than we anticipated.  At first we were a bit afraid to camp in this exotic country but we quickly became comfortable with the idea.  Now when we hear a noise out side our tent we do not think the worst but instead expect to find curious children waiting for us to wake.   We have come to the conclusion that our tent and blow up beds are more comfortable than a lumpy cheap hotel mattress.  Mexican hotel beds are always about a foot to short for me and my feet have gotten used to the idea of having to hang over the end.  I know from previous trips that the Maya people in southern Mexico and Central America are even shorter and I will have to make further adjustments.  I also bang my head into doorways and signs everywhere I go and that is also bound to get worse as we travel south.  

Our Spanish is coming along nicely.  I now believe that you are never to old too learn a language, it just might take a little longer.  Our conversation base is expanding and locals are always very pleased that we use our dictionary and continue to try to learn.  I knew that we had made progress with our Spanish when we started occasionally translating for other tourists at the hotels or restaurants.  Wow!   Many foreigners still have much better Spanish than we do but we are quickly catching up.  If we learn as much in the next six months as we have learned in the last six months we should be able to converse freely without a dictionary in hand when we reach Panama for our one year anniversary.  On the down side I knew that we had been in the Spanish world a long time when we started receiving junk email (SPAM) in Spanish.   I also have more trouble writing in English because I type in Spanish words often.   We are definitely changing in strange and wonderful ways.   

All in all I think that we have adjusted to our new nomadic lifestyle in the Latin American world pretty well.  We both are very happy and glad to be able to continue down the road to Central America.

I would like to thank all of you for the many encouraging emails.  We read and re-read them all several times especially when the trail gets hard.  Email is the thing that keeps us connected with the friends and family back home.  It prevents us from being home sick and makes us feel like we are not alone.

We both greatly appreciate the dozens of people who have bought books or other items offered for sale from our web site.  This growing source of revenue enables us to see things like museums and archeological sites that we would not other wise be able to visit without your assistance.  This in turn gives us the ability to provide additional information and photographs about these educational and cultural areas on our web site.   With Christmas just around the corner, I would like to provide a partial list of the online stores that we earn commissions from.  You can click through from this email or our web site and anything you purchase will also benefit us :). 

Amazon.com 100 Hot Books

Dell Computers and Accessories

Sierra Trading Post, Your In-Home Outlet Mall!

REI.com

Performance Bicycle, Inc.


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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

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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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