I noticed that the book signings and book store seems to be expanding at South by Southwest (SXSW), the exceedingly large conference I embark upon every year in Austin Texas. Check out the We Blog the World Austin Events section to get an idea of just how extensive it is as you’ll see from our dozens of write-ups on various films, musicians we discovered on and off the streets and Interactive panels and parties on topics that range from startup culture in Africa and South America and how to make video social to happiness, sustainability and gadgets. Al Gore was one of the keynotes but not far down the hall, science fiction geeks shared notes.
I had the opportunity to meet data guru, Stephen Wolfram, who is the genius behind the seminal math software Mathematica, the book A New Kind of Science, and the search engine Wolfram Alpha. To get an idea on the varied topics and authors, Jeff Gothelf signed copies of his book “Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience ” and C.C. Chapman showed up to talk about his latest: Amazing Things Will Happen, which is more about attitude towards life than life itself. A little gratitude will take you a long way.
Since my worlds often collide between my one hat (technology) and my other (travel), I’m always intrigued to find others in this galaxy who have made similar choices. Entrepreneur and writer Andrew Hyde and I had connected in the online world before, including email, but never actually met face-to-face until the latest SXSW. To be precise, it was on kick off night at Scott Beale’s annual Laughing Squid shindig. He describes himself as a minimalist, writer, bootstrapper, designer, user interface builder, user experience creator, thought leader buzzword originator, blogger, politico, biker, runner, backpacker and nice guy.
And like most prolific travelers, he has a few random quirky albeit amusing things about his aspirations and accomplishments. For an example, he has hit a double eagle in golf, can apparently ride a unicycle as well as fixie backwards (huh?), is an Eagle Scout and a Vigil Honor member whatever on earth that is, has rafted the Grand Canyon, build a cabin in Alaska (how cool is that?), dreams of being on This American Life, did an Ironman 70.3 twice, among others. So, when I saw that he was pimping his book This Book is About Travel, how could I not poke my head in and be a bother of sorts?
The book, which I’ve yet to dive into, but is now sitting on the bedside table, covers a two year journey on the road across 15 countries. Stories are shared from Nepal, Colombia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Kenya, Qatar, UAE, Panama and more. The book is about the days, people, stories, ethics and philosophy that bridged his trip. He asks: What is modern travel? Why are you not on the road?