Doug Knell of Doug's Republic. He's amazing. Douglas Knell of Doug's Republic can furnish you with
free travel tips to all the banana pancake trail stops in Thailand and Australia. Just grab yourself
a backpack and a subscription to Compuserve, not the internet.
Travel States Within
"Travel is a wonderful way to
get in touch with what your own inner eye is seeing -- or, if not that,
to try to run away from all of your problems." Doug Knell,
In the East McDonnell Ranges, I was asked by two matronly Australian
females why I was traveling. They didn't want a detailed answer.
The answer was multiple choice, with just two possibilities: I was either
running towards something or running away.
Reflecting on the question several weeks afterwards, I realized I was doing
both. For years, living in overrated California, I had often felt like I
was running in place. Upon leaving that overglorified cosmetically- and
genetically- modified circus show, it would not be inaccurate to say I was running
away from or steering clear of a similar sort of meaningless existence down the
line. What I was running towards was a life of my own devising that I
could look back on later with pride, not just as time that had passed away on a
Doug's inner eye to world escapism
Travel gave me the option to assess my life and what I wanted out of it.
This sounds like something so elementary that anyone should be able to
do it between trips to the local Chinese take-out. It's not.
In your day-to-day existence, doing the same old thing month after
month, it's too easy to lose sight of what matters.
that mean that every traveler sporting a backpack and a round-the-world
trip ticket is the coming generation's Enlightened Buddha?
Afraid not. When I first strapped on a backpack in Europe in
1988, I never professed to have all, most, or even some of the answers.
I still don't. I played down whatever I did in an era that
pre-dated the internet, ubiquitous mobile phone usage, and daily travel
blog updates. It required some guts and a ton of uncertainty to
travel far afield then, in a time that seems like it may as well have
been fifty years ago for how fast things have changed since then.
Since the 2000's, travel has become more democratized, if you want to
call it that. Even in the poorer countries, such as Vietnam or
Cambodia, tours flit you from place to place, and innumerable
backpackers, who think they're blazing new trails but merely traveling
along ones ploughed with banana pancakes and Ovaltine, gather in front
of guesthouse television sets to watch re-runs of trendy television
shows they could just as easily
view on DVD or Blu-Ray back in their homelands. It's harder to do self discovery on
the travel route than it used to be. The world's just not as
large. You can't get lost.
no exaggeration when I say the world went through a major change
during my first big jaunt. During my three-year near
continuous trip through Asia and Africa between 1994-97, the world was
transformed from pre-internet to post-internet as I essentially faded
off one edge of the earth. To communicate, I had to make long
distance calls via expensive telephone bureaus or send faxes to tell the
receiving parties when and where to call me back. When I departed
in 1994, it was almost unheard of to have an e-mail address.
Occasionally, when exchanging details with other travelers, I'd give out
my father's Compuserve address -- a hard-to-remember detail like
firstname.lastname@example.org -- but I'm sure no one wrote it down. No
one else had an e-mail address at that time or knew what it was. A
German girl I romanced on the road thought me pretentious for giving out
an e-mail -- what the hell was it? Apart from no one having
an e-mail in those pre-Hotmail days, I had no way to access
e-mail apart from dialing into the Compuserve network directly.
By the time I returned to the United States, the internet was already
changing the way people interacted -- and traveled. I
attempted to communicate my travel knowledge (and computer and internet
knowledge) via an Innovative Pocket Guide series in the early
2000's. My Travel Budget Trimmer discussed all the things I'd learned from doing it the hard way
based on in-the-field experience, but using the power of the internet to increase
one's travel options and opportunities. But e-Books were an unknown
commodity in 2000. The book(s) didn't sell.
Travel Budget Trimmer
Computer Comprehensive Companion
Innovative Internet Secrets
Doug's Innovative Pocket Guide
series, circa 2000-01, all of which failed
to transform the universe
My life wasn't such a great sell either. All those years in
California were ones in which I felt stuck. My life after my
travel adventures had jumped the shark, to use a TV term. I needed
better 'writers' and 'supporting players' to get the show that is my
life back on track. And so in 2005, I packed what I needed into a
backpack, bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. Two months later, I
flew to Australia and spent a year there, initially expecting to stay
only four or five months. The original intention was to return to
Southeast Asia, visit Cambodia and Malaysia, and then work my way back
through Laos and into China.
than a decade ago, I began collecting flags from every country I'd ever
been to and had them stitched onto a showpiece shirt. Maybe it was
fifty or sixty countries. I don't really remember now,
much less care, and I've never counted since. There's one
blogger blazing popular web paths who's maintained that it's his goal to
visit every country in the world before his 35th birthday. A
great goal, but not mine. At this time in my life, if
traveling solo, when I can't spend significant time in a country after
making the effort to get there, I don't bother going.
On this site so far, I only profile Thailand and Australia in any great
factual depth, as these are the countries in which I have plenty of
recent memories and insights and possessed a digital camera to capture
movies and photographs of the experiences at the time they were
happening. Other countries could be added later if the demand is
there. If the demand could be there as long as sexual and
other explicit materials are added, please feel free
to let me know so that future content can
be accordingly perverted in line with the desires of my readers.
Boring and monotonous you've-seen-it-all-before travel blogs are left to
the wayside. What you'll get instead are travel stories,
mockeries, interpretations, and distortions, Doug Knell style.
The poet Robert Frost once famously said, "Two roads diverged in a wood
and I -- I took the one less traveled by." Those desirous of digital albums with thousands upon thousands of
pictures with no provided explanations, interspersed with a few shots of
some relation's baby's diaper-rashed bottom, can be considered
as taking the pathway mosttraveled by and would be best off
getting the hell out of my woods.
Doug Knell of Doug's Republic offers you travel tips. Douglas Knell of Doug's Republic
tells you how to travel on the banana pancake trail to Thailand and Australia
with a backpack and without using Compuserve, but the internet. How's that for travel tips?