Cengiz and I saw the end of college approaching and didn’t know what to do. He was working as a freelance photographer and concert videographer and I took a job teaching summer school English at Universities in Ohio and W.V. We were in the Midwest, making little money, and not thrilled with our jobs. The answer? Well, we didn’t know, so like any true debauched adventurers, we set off for the “Far East.”Cengiz had studied in Beijing during college and I got a travel itch and fascination for cultures while studying in Europe. He enjoyed the mystery and discomfort of Asia and I was happy to see how far and wide I could travel, hoping to find a place to defeat my adventurism. The product- teaching ESL. The profession has now been long heralded as a great way to travel the so we did some research (not much) and though neither of us was looking forward to babysitting little Asians, it would get us here and immerse us in culture. Cengiz couldn’t rationalize completely taking a couple years off, so he conceived the concept of documenting the experience- a portfolio filler for film school. The title, well, isn’t an obvious and great pun? We will be buying motorcycles and cruising Asia until the US Economy rebounds enough to rationalize a return home to job searching.

Now, we are Bourdain junkies, love “Madventures,” and don’t miss an episode of “Locked up Abroad;” but, while they are great, we think there is still a niche to be filled in the world of travel writing. What happens if you take two guys, interested in and respectful (usually) of foreign cultures with an insatiable thirst for experience (particularly of the sublime variety) and give them a video camera and no plumbing? Well in South East Asia you get experimentation with explosives, the allure of Cambodian firing ranges, dysentery, motorcycles, jungle treks, Muay Thai, lots of explicit soundtrack, and plenty of hilarity.

Hopefully this blog gets people interested in the area. Hopefully it provides some educational value- whether that be historical facts, accurate descriptions, or just great stories. Hopefully it entertains friends: new and old. Hell, hopefully we can even become blog legends in the burgeoning travel junkie community. But mostly, hopefully this is a fantastic way to look back in 20 years. Enjoy.

Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”

-Rita Mae Brown

UPDATE: Uh oh… it’s time to bring this thing back. Cengiz took off for Syria to photograph children amidst a civil war and Tony couldn’t sit still any longer. Hopefully we will get some stuff in from Syria when (if?) Cengiz ever finds wifi. In the meantime, I have been taking my ridiculously untraveled friends abroad and hilarity has obviously ensued. Hopefully we can do it justice here on ROTE.