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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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May 2008 to April 2010

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Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

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Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

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June 2003 to June 2004

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March 2002 to April 2003

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Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
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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
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Water Filter
First Aide Kits
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(see all 3 book)

Nicaragua: Travels Through a Troubled Land
Thursday, March 27, 2003 (Sent From Monteverde, Costa Rica)


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Hello all:

I have not been able to publish to the website for several weeks now.  I am having technical difficulties.  I am trying to fix it but I think that it is going to be several more weeks.  I will send out a short email when I have fixed the problem and updated the site.  The last time I posted was in Granada, Nicaragua.  There are no more pictures that accompany this newsletter after that.

Thanks for all of you who wrote wondering if we disappeared somewhere in Nicaragua.  We are still out there (in more ways than one) and doing well.

March 30 is a very special day for us.  It is our one year anniversary of being detached from the earth and living on the road.  It is hard for me to believe that we have been gone so long.  Because our travel plans are for at least seven years (six more) we really have just begun.  There is so much more ground to cover.  We have seen and experienced so much in the last year it is unbelievable. We have loved almost every minute of it.  There have been some hard times but we have always managed to work together and pull through.  The good times are at times magic.  I have seen things that I can not begin to describe in words.  I can not imagine what wonders South America will bring.

The year has gone better than expected.  We spent quite a bit less than we initially thought that we would.  This is a good thing because we left with less money then we planned because of unexpected house expenses and the tax man with his hand out.  We plan to update our finance page at the end of the year with more details on our budget.

The income from the web site was a unexpected surprise as well.  The online store sales have recently picked up.  My guess is that people are getting ready for summer.  Many particularly like the special sale items at Sierra Trading Post.

They really do have some good deals. We watch that ads ourselves.  I am always looking for more stores to add that people request because they are regular shoppers.

Amazon.com sales are brisk with many books and other items being sold directly from our website.  A lot people write me email who are confused about how Amazon.com works on our site.  I will try to explain it here.  If a book is bought by clicking straight from our site we receive 15% of the sale.  If you click through from one of the books (or general links) but decide to buy something else from Amazon we still receive 5% from the sale.  In other words you are not limited to just the books pictured on our site.

There is also income from people who just wanted to send us cash donations.  The first few times someone emailed me concerning donating I thought it was a lucky fluke.  As the site's traffic increased this kind of email became more common.  Neither of us can really believe it even now.  I started getting so much email on how and where to send donations I had to add a special section of the web site with all the different options and directions of use.  This extra income we have used for visiting additional places that we originally thought that we could not afford.  This is what the people who donate to us usually ask that we do with the extra money.  Many send us specific request like a National Park or museum.  Others just tell us that we must spend the money on something exciting or educational and not something boring like laundry or inner tubes.  I usually email people back with pictures of the particular activity that they helped fund.  This way they know we did what they asked or at least did something extra special.  Thanks again to all of those people who have taken this kind of interest in our travels and adding content for the web site.  You have made our travels very enriching.

For more information on Amazon.com, donations, or a list of our online stores please see: http://www.downtheroad.org/Donations.htm

We are in Costa Rica now.  What a difference from the last three countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  We noticed big differences as soon as we crossed the border.  The endless kilometers of trash on the side of the road disappeared.  There was actually a garbage truck picking up curb side trash in front of the houses.  We could not believe that the trash was actually in real trash bags as the men threw it into the truck.  Rural houses usually have a septic tank and the most creeks are clear and does not smell like sewage.  All of this comes at a price.  It is at least twice as expensive here in Costa Rica also.

Well, enough about Costa Rica.  This letter is about Nicaragua.  What an exotic place.  Riding through Nicaragua was much different than we expected.  I guess I could say that about every country that we have visited so far but we really expected Nicaragua to be rough.  It certainly has a bad reputation.  For example, in the north is the Sandinista region.  The Sandinista fought the Contras during Nicaragua's long civil war.  The United States secretly funded the Contras who beat the Sandinista so it is logical that the Sandinista are generally not happy to meet Americans.  It was an interesting and exciting ride through this area but I will get to that story in detail below.

Nicaragua also had many more surprises including what I think is the most beautiful colonial city in Central America and the amazing Isla Ometepe in the giant fresh water Lake Nicaragua.  Isla Ometepe is a very funky place, laid back beyond belief, and a cyclists dream come true.

If there is a moral to this story it could be "Do not judge a country by someone's horror stories who has never been there".  The world is far to interesting of a place to let these kinds of people scare you away from the more exotic corners of the earth.

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

  

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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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