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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

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Places I have been
(
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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 Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle


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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


See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)

Q and A with the Sharing Experiences Website andyhayes.com

July 6th, 2009

ANDY: I loved your quote about your journey: “traveling could be more than pre defined tourist destinations.”   How much of your travels are planned and how much is ad-hoc “wandering” (for lack of a better word).
 

Tim: It is safe to say that most of our trip is made up as we go because we never know what is going to come our way in the course of the day.  We usually have an idea of which direction we are going and even occasionally know the roads we will be riding but traveling on a bicycle is different than most other forms of travel.  On a bike we can not control what is going to happen compared to driving or public transportation.  We must be flexible because there’s always the unexpected like getting lost, sick, headwinds, home invites, and free beer.  Usually, when we set off for the day, we do not know where we will sleep that night.  We have all the camping gear to meet whatever situation arises like treating water from creeks and cooking our own food.    It is the not knowing and not having control that turns a vacation into an adventure.  A bicycle tour is always an adventure.

ANDY: It is very empowering to hear that you’ve transformed your passion for biking into a bike-based business (quite literally).  With all of the books, Podcasts, and even plans for a DVD, it all must be very exciting.  Do you ever have days where you don’t feel like cycling?  What do you do on the road to “take a break?”

TIM: Most people assume this is an exciting life because of the interesting places, people, and media attention.  While it is true there are some very exciting times there are also long hours riding in the sun and the peacefulness of just staring at our camp fire.  It is a very simplistic life.  We generally only bike 4 or 5 days a week and the rest of the time is spent sightseeing, relaxing, and working on the computer finishing various projects like you mentioned above.   So, when we feel like riding we ride and when we feel like taking a break we stop.  It slows our progress but stimulates our minds.

ANDY: Has there been a place that was particularly inspirational?  Why?  (this could be a place that was deeply “spiritual”, or a place that you had a eureka and realised why you were on the journey.  sometimes also called a peak experience. Be sure to paint us a full picture here…feelings/sights/sounds…)

TIM: It would be hard to pinpoint one place as inspirational.  It is really the collection of places or, rather the ongoing experience of traveling through so many countries, cultures, and religions, that has changed us.  It was never like a light bulb suddenly turned on but more like after so many years on the road we looked up one day and noticed a bright light of new ideas, new thinking and looking at the world, and a whole new way of life for ourselves.  It started slow and unnoticeable and turned into a big sensation before we ever knew it started.

The only pinpoint answer for a “Eureka” moment was in Baralochi, Argentina when we decided to convert our then temporary trip into a permanent international nomadic lifestyle by investing our remaining travel funds into our self published book and relaying on that income to meet our travel expenses to support us indefinitely.   This moment, and all the background buildup to it, is described in full detail in our second book, “Down The Road in South America”.  see http://downtheroad.org/Publishing/

ANDY: You once said your goal was a continent a year.  How are you progressing on that lofty but worthwhile achievement?

TIM: A continent a year?  I probably said that a while back because I do not recall it.   It sounds like something I said in the first few years of this trip because it took about three years to get past the new and naive stage of travel.  This statement can be added to a long list of mis-predictions I have made about our trip.   I am clearly eating those “a continent a year” words today.  Looking at the math; we have been on the road well over seven years now and have only visited four continents. (Asia, Australia, North, and South America) All these years of travel have taught me one thing about goal setting that I keep repeating to myself, “Our goal is to not have a goal.”  This is a level of enlightenment that I have not completely achieved but I keep working on it.

We plan and hope to be fortunate enough to visit all continents and countries in due time.  Obviously a hand full of countries are currently impossible to visit because of wars and other problems but we still hold out that given enough time, maybe decades, things will clear up and we can visit someday.  This may raise some eyebrows but I always think about the generation that would have told you it would be impossible to visit Germany or Japan.  Also, Antarctica, Greenland, and the North Pole are not especially bike friendly places so I doubt if we visit unless we win the lottery or some other unforeseen opportunity arises.

ANDY: And by the way – this is such a powerful paragraph.  Wonderful!
After reading this you may be looking at your own life and thinking of ways you can live out your dreams.  Dreams are individual so there is no specific advice I can give, no blue print to success, no ten steps for achieving your life’s goal.  The solution is as individual as the dream.  I can only suggest that there are probably creative ways, often unimagined out of the box ways, to turn your dreams into reality.  Patients, creativity, and guts are the tools that will take you anywhere you want to go.
 

TIM: I wrote this (in our Finances section http://www.downtheroad.org/money/Finances.htm) because so many people write us hoping we can tell them that one little secret that will show them the way or untangle one of their philosophical problems concerning life.  I am simply unable to do this for them.  We often feel like Forrest Gump who is running because it is fun and feels good but there is a group of people running behind him thinking he knows “the meaning of life” and if he would only give it up all their lives would instantly be better.  I really wish I could help people with cosmic advise but that would be above my pay grade.  We are simply drifting on our own journey trying to find our own solutions and everyone else will need to do the same.

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice 
(see all Equipment Pages)

Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
Lights

Fenders
Tools and Spares

Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Pedals
Handelbars/Grips
Headsets
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag

Lights

Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)


Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


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