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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
In 1972, in a famous moment in the history of books on travel, newlyweds Tony and Maureen Wheeler set out from London on their honeymoon on a year-long trip through Asia and around the world. After numerous requests for advice on travel to the places they visited, they self-published their first book, Across Asia on the Cheap, the start of a phenomenon called Lonely Planet, the largest independent travel publishing business in the world. This book is their story, and the full history of the creation of this now global business. Most of the book is written by Tony, but Maureen chimes in with her own observations. Part memoir, part entrepreneurial story, and part travelogue, The Lonely Planet Story: Once While Travelling shares the couple's decision to start publishing, the practicalities of writing guidebooks, the trials and tribulations of struggling to stay afloat while expanding, a ton of stories around trips across the globe, and the whole story of how they built an amazing brand. Most of all, the story revolves around a true love of exploration and adventure as their driving passion. Note that the book was originally called Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story, but it was updated and republished in 2010 to include the sale of the company to the BBC.
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OTHER TRAVEL WRITING FROM LONELY PLANET
Lonely Planet is of course best known as the world's most successful producer of travel guides, but the company also publishes a number of other books dedicated to the excitement and inspiration that come from travel. We particularly like both the adult's version and kid's version of The Travel Book, a look into every country in the world. These are definitely nice little gifts for avid travelers and those simply interested in learning more about the world.
"Lonely Planet has been our life - we've lived it, breathed it, and loved it - and while it hasn't always been easy or fun, it has never been boring. We've learned many lessons about business, about working and living together, about taking risks, working hard and what can happen if you throw yourself at the world with open arms and a lot of curiosity. So our story encompasses all of that: travel, work and relationships."
- Maureen Wheeler, The Lonely Planet Story: Once While Travelling
WHERE DID THE NAME "LONELY PLANET" COME FROM?
The name "Lonely Planet" actually came from Joe Cocker's song Space Captain. Tony heard 'lonely planet' instead of "lovely planet", and the name stuck.
Once while travelling across the sky
This lovely planet caught my eye
And being curious I flew close by
And now I'm caught here
Until I die...
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