Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Look Who Wrote On Our Lonely Planet South America On A Shoestring!

It has been a couple of weeks since TACA Airlines swooped us from Mexico City, Mexico and safely delivered us to Lima, Peru. Two weeks?! We can't believe it either. Cancun still feels like yesterday, and the aftertaste of taco al pastor still lingers on our tasted buds.

We are currently shacking in the cheapest hostal we found so far this round-the-world trip in Arequipa City, a 16 to 18-hour southbound bus ride from Lima (and more than 2,000 meters above sea level). As I lay on our dingy, seemingly unwashed sheets, I flip through the pages of our Lonely Planet South America On A Shoestring in search of economico accommodations in Puno where we're heading tomorrow.

Until this day, I am overwhelmed by the fact that we are actually using it as reference. You see, the hubby gave it as a wedding present to me. I remember feeling elated when I tore off its gift wrapper and found out what it was. But, I never assumed that we will actually explore South America someday. I just thought that it is, nonetheless, an awesome addition to my pile of dust-collecting paperbacks.

"A beat-up old car, a few dollars in the pocket, and a sense of adventure." Snapshot from Lonely Planet.

I guess you could say that I am quite obsessed with Lonely Planet's story (I became so after reading the autobiography). In case you don't know yet, the founders of this company is a married couple. Tony and Maureen Wheeler did an overland Europe-Asia-Australia trip (among the countries they crossed were Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan) for their honeymoon in 1972 to get rid of the travel bug before "settling down".

During the 1970s, as you could imagine, information was scant. After that epic trip, a light bulb moment led to the production of their very first guide, Across Asia On The Cheap (which by the way they typed and stapled themselves at that time). Its success brought forth the establishment of Lonely Planet Publishing (its name came from misheard Space Captain lyrics which should have been "lovely planet", but Tony thought it was "lonely planet"), and a second guidebook, Southeast Asia On A Shoestring. Currently, it's the largest travel guide book publisher in the world! I reckon we all know that.

"Shervin & Gay, Best wishes on your marriage and life journey together, I hope it's as colorful as Maureen's and mine had been!" - Tony Wheeler 2009.

Now let's go back to that guide book of mine. Hubby initially didn't plan to purchase that particular copy. Months prior our wedding, he contacted Lonely Planet's headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and asked for a message from either Tony or Maureen. Surprisingly they replied, and hubby was instructed to order one of the books so Tony could write a short note on it for me. South America On A Shoestring was sort of a random choice.

It was so fortunate that the staff was able to get hold of jet-setting Tony for a quick scribble. It may be a mere autograph for him, but for me, it's a lifelong inspiration.

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40 comments:

Eileen/ PossiblyPinay said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Oooh..... Noice!
Hopefully I can get my Under the Tuscan Sun signed both by Frances Mayes and Diane Lane - it's worth a shot!
It's so sweet that I actually verbalized an "awwww" while reading it! Kainis, kayo na ang may happily ever after!
Hasta luego!

The Looney Planeteer + said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:30 PM

such an inspiration! i saw anthony bourdain with his daughter in sanur, bali but was too shy to ask him for an autograph. lost opportunity. i should be braver now!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Eileen, worth the shot indeed! Haha! I'd like to see Diane Lane's autograph :)

DuNi said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I almost had an argument with my guest over their book. The guest was insisting on the boat price on the book published a couple of years earlier. It was pure nose bleed explaining why those prices weren't applicable anymore. It was good though she understood in the end, and she probably had a great time back then.

Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Ohhh sooo envious! I admire Tony and Maureen Wheeler so much too! They started out really humble, working out of their kitchen. Dream ko rin yan, to travel and write. Grats for getting their autographs!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:44 PM

RV, sayang!!! Hope you get the chance again... Maybe next time you'll see Anthony himself :)

Marky Ramone Go said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Theirs (Tony and Maureen) is a colorful life indeed. Just imagine the experiences they both had since the 70's...and I'm pretty sure (betting on my sando) that yours and Shervin + Luna's life as a traveling hippie family will definitely be as colorful.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Aleah, yeah! I remember a photo of Maureen on the kitchen table working on their draft :)

Journeys and Travels said...
January 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

awesome! So great to have received an autographed book and an inspiration indeed Gaye. Super liked this one post of yours.

I know that your Latin American jaunt is a great one, where I can find snippets of inspirations

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Marky, your sando?! Hahaha! Thanks dude.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Thanks too Doc Wends!

belladonna said...
January 25, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I really had a great time reading your blog. This is such a very informative one.

paul | walkflypinoy said...
January 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

this is waaaaay beyond cool! ang galing! i love the lonely planet story, too. they paved the way for a whole generation of travelers! at tayo yun! haha.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Haha! True Paul :)

violy vallester said...
January 25, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Wow galing naman! Super sweet naman ng hubby mo.. Kakilig!!! ;-) I love the story of MAureen and Tony too, and you got an autographed copy pa, galing! ;-)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Yeah, best gift ever :) He rarely gives gifts, so this one really shocked me!

michi said...
January 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM

your hubby is so sweet and supportive. i agree you best gift ever. =)

Tin | The Average Jane said...
January 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

It was a premonition of things to come. =)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Michi, cheesy at times, yes :)

Tin, yup. Guess we could say that. Hihi.

elaine said...
January 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Inspiration indeed! Thanks for sharing. A new fan here:)

yols said...
January 27, 2012 at 2:33 AM

That's so sweet! I got a Southeast Asia backpacking book for Christmas. I hope it means I'll be doing that soon, too!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 27, 2012 at 5:48 AM

Yey Yols! Premonition na yan :)

Lawstude said...
January 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Wow, that was a great story. I only have 1 LP and that is about dear old Pinas. Baka kailangan magkaroon din ako for other places para mainspire to go out and explore more. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I got LP Philippines too Oman :) Yeah, maybe you should get LP Southeast Asia on a Shoestring next? Someone gave that to me as a present many years ago... And it did inspire me to do more backpacking.

walksofkulot said...
January 27, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Who knows? you might be the next Maureen and Tony! :) Happy Travels! -from an avid follower

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 27, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Hihi, that would be a long, long (near impossible) shot. But we're already happy just having the chance to travel the world :)

Edmar Gu-Quibb said...
January 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Ang sweet naman ayyyeeeeeeee!!! Excited akong malaman kung anu ang next surprise ni hubby. Please do inform us again if it is not too much to ask, hehe. :)

Ian | Going Places said...
January 28, 2012 at 3:35 AM

Mexico then, now in Peru! Inggit much! Gusto ko din pumunta dyan. Dream ko din makita ang Arequipa at Machu Picchu... you already! Haha... Enjoy your South American travel - Tenga un gran viaje en Sudamérica!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 28, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Thanks Ian! We were in Arequipa for just a couple of nights. Sad we weren't able to explore it much.

Red Nomad OZ said...
January 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Fantastic story!! Just goes to show dreams CAN come true - even if you didn't realise it even WAS a dream at first!!

Your adventures are awesome! Look forward to many more!!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 29, 2012 at 4:51 AM

Dreams DO come true :) Thanks for dropping by!

joan | the backpack chronicles said...
January 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Tony and Maureen are really an inspiration to many. They've been to so many destinations some of us could only dream of.

Super sweet ng hubby mo that he even manage to get a signed copy from Tony himself! That is sooooo cool!!! Maybe your destined to write your own guide books as well some day!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Joan, hihi. I'm already happy writing for the blog :)

flipnomad said...
January 31, 2012 at 7:37 AM

huwaw!!! i've read their story too and its really inspirational... collectors item na yang LP mo Gay ;-) ingat sa byahe sa South Am :-)

Relentless Karla said...
January 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Ang sweet sweet naman ni Shervin! Mark and I prefers LP din. Travel bible talaga! We've started collecting the LP Magazines PH edition too! =)

Maybe you can write for LP babe! Sayang, dapat nag pa autograph na pala ako sayo when I last saw you! For sure matagal na naman bago tayo magkita!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
January 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Hahaha! Pressure to write for LP mag. Oks nako sa blog, gurl :)

dong ho said...
February 1, 2012 at 11:03 PM

call me envy. astig Gay. sobrang inggit kami. i once saw this book on sale. i regret not buying it.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Aww... Antay ng next sale Dom :)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:24 AM

I've read their story too and I'd be star-struck in their presence - they are both a legend already!

Enjoy Peru - my favorite South American country!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 6, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Thanks Dennis! OMG, dunno what I'll do if I see one of them in person. LOL.

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