Have you ever dreamed of leaving your home and never returning, only to travel the world indefinitely? For many, the notion of such a thing sounds simply preposterous, but for two individuals from Prescott, Arizona (USA), the dream has become a reality!
In early 2002, married couple, Tim and Cindie Travis sold off nearly all of their humanly possessions, rented out their house, and hit the road on a set of fully-loaded bicycles. Leaving their sunny Arizona homestead, they traveled south and for more than a year slowly weaved their way through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Along the way, they recorded their daily events in their personal journals and chronicled their travels on their website at downtheroad.org.
After reaching Panama and flying back to the United States for a short hiatus from their Central American travels, Tim Travis put together his first book about the couple’s cycling adventures and titled it, “The Road That Has No End: How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For A Round The World Bicycle Touring Adventure.”
Since the publication of this first book, Tim and Cindie Travis have continued traveling the world by bike. As of this writing, they have been on the road for nearly eight years… and they have no plans of stopping any time soon.
Whether you too have aspirations of one day becoming a world-wide bicycle traveler… or even if you have never dreamed of traveling the world yourself, you will find the Travis’ story absolutely fascinating. Not many people have the guts to actually dream up such an adventure… and even fewer actually do the work required to make it happen!
The Road That Has No End is the first of three books about the Travis’s world-wide bicycle adventures. The other two are:
- Down The Road In South America: A Bicycle Tour Through Poverty, Paradise, And The Places In Between
- Down The Road In Thailand, Cambodia And Vietnam: A Bicycle Tour Through War, Genocide And Forgiveness.
The Road That Has No End, is the story of the Travis’ first exploits outside of the United States. Unlike many other travel stories, The Road That Has No End begins with a detailed description of exactly how the Travis’ came up with the idea to travel the world by bike… and even more interestingly, how they saved up the money to make the venture possible. For me, this was the most interesting part of the entire book. Like so many others, I have read hundreds of travel books in my lifetime and after a while, they all start to start to sound the same. After a while, experiences on the road seem to be similar no matter where you are in the world, but it is rare to find such details on how two individuals (a married couple, no-less) were able to come together, decide that a world bike tour was possible, and then work for years on end in order to make it happen. This information alone is reason enough to buy this book!
After saving up for years and years, the Travis’ finally left their home outside of Phoenix, Arizona and headed south toward the Mexican border. Like many Americans, the Travis’ didn’t know much about Mexico or its neighboring countries to the south, but quickly found out that Mexico and its people were not what they had been led to believe.
Slowly making their way through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama by bike, the Travis’ are taken in by local farmers, fed by native grandmothers, and gain the approval of thousands of individuals in poverty stricken corners of these Central American countries.
While the good times were plenty, there were several hardships as well. While traveling by bike through Central America, the Travis’ were forced to ride in blazing hot humidity, climb hills that gave their legs a thrashing on the uphill and wore their brake pads down to the metal on the descent. They became ill at times, were frightened for their lives at others, struggled with bike maintenance and were constantly on the lookout for a safe place to sleep. At the border crossings they were often times forced to bribe border officials; They were attacked by an airplane spraying pesticides in Guatemala; And throughout their travels they were on the constant lookout for pickpockets looking to steal the few possessions they had with them.
Most interestingly, by the end of the book, the Travis’ gain a new understanding of what it means to be an American. Their experiences in Central America (the extreme poverty, the politics, the simple way of living) make them realize once and for all that Americans don’t have everything figured out and that there certain things in life that you don’t need in order to be happy. Travel changes your way of thinking and looking at the world, and after reading this book, I think you too may reconsider how it is that you go about your life and view the outside world.
The Road That Never Ends is a 312 pages of easy, enjoyable reading mixed with a plethora of amateurish black and while photos from the road. The book is so simple and so down to earth, however, I often times thought it may have been written for a small child or possibly an elderly grandparent. That is not to say the book is poorly written. Not at all. All I’m saying is that for more advanced readers, this book may be a wee-bit elementary. That said, I have a feeling the writing style here was done on purpose, so as to allow anyone from anywhere in the world the possibility of reading and understanding this book. If that’s the case, then it’s a smart move on Tim Travis’ part, because it opens up the story to those who might not otherwise read it… and it gives them the tools to not only comprehend the concepts and stories, but also the understanding needed to mentally join the Travis’ on their journey.
Tim and Cindie’s story is a unique one and it is hard to ignore the hard work they have put in in order to make their lifestyle possible. The Road That Has No End is a good book for the first-time bicycle traveler… or anyone interested in leading a more extraordinary life.
Like many good books, you are sad when the story does finally come to an end. But what’s most exciting here is that this is only the first part of the Travis’ adventures and there is so much more to come. There are currently two more books that you can order about the bicycle touring adventures of Tim and Cindie Travis… and I’m sure there will be more to come in the future.
In the meantime, you can purchase a copy of The Road That Has No End through this link… or you can pick up a copy of the book in audio format for easy listening on your computer or your favorite MP3 device.
More information about Tim and Cindie Travis’ bicycle touring adventures can be found at downtheroad.org.