A wandering bird's-eye overview of most things even vaguely related to travel, and an opportunity for writers, artists and photographers to contribute the historical, the hysterical, the quirky and quixotic... anything with heart.

3 years ago
Gurus and guides
Gurus and guides

Lifelines - `lonely planet'

The itinerant travelers' handbook.

Travelers Tony and Maureen Wheeler arrive in Sydney, Australia  on Boxing day 1972, financially broke after a 6-month trip from Europe.

In 1973 they begin work on Lonely Planet Publications, the story of their London-Australia trip `Across Asia on the Cheap'.

The Wheelers spend the following year in South East Asia, in preparation for their second guide book in 1975, and are well on their way to becoming the legends they've become.

In 1974 I leave home for Africa and Europe, eventually returning to Melbourne. In 1983 I buy my first Lonely Planet - a noble yellow-bound volume of a guide book with the title `South America on a Shoestring', at the cost of $12.95.

But I'm distracted by the South Pacific for over 10 years, wandering with the now mandatory Lonely Planets on board, finally traveling to Easter Island and the Americas in 1998, my original much-loved yellow travelers' bible now in tatters and out of date, but taken along for the ride.

Photo: Gurus and Guides - Melbourne, Australia _ Ian Cochrane


  1. aboreson4 

    I didn't know the Wheeler's story or what inspired Lonely Planet. You are smart to hold onto that old travelers' bible and reference it often. If all my dreams could be answered, they'd be in travel.


    1. lostboys 

      I do wonder how many in the US know that story.
      Those books really were bibles, especially for Australian travelers.


  2. mads2cents 

    Wonderful, Ian. In 1974 I traveled too but it was just from the East to the West Coast of the US, which was for me, traveling across country by myself, a big adventure and I loved it. Over the years, I’ve traveled to, and lived in, several US states and always meant to travel outside the US but so far it’s only been Canada and Mexico. When I do more traveling, I’ll be checking out those guide books. I was not aware of the story of Lonely Planet, thank you for sharing that.


    1. lostboys 

      Again we have something else in common Madilyn - 1974
      So glad you liked this one