About this project
FINAL UPDATE: Time to ride and write!
What People Are Saying:
"he's the real deal - Hemingway would smile" - Jay Chubb, Nest Coworking
"A story of adventure and escape, just what the soul needs after a long weekend." - Mark Reimer
"Forget horses, this is all about a man and his motorbike... three years of travel across the globe alongside his two-wheeler girlfriend of a bike, also known as Farlap....this is a biker's exhibition if there ever was one." - Time Out Melbourne
"All about the excitement of adventure." - Ewen McRae, Melbourne Times
"We are inspired (and) look forward to reading the book!" - Bella, JetStar Airlines
"Highlights include recieving a Masai cloth from a Warrior King (to) being rescued from the Sahara Desert...Jurassic Park for real." - Tessa Hoffman, Herald Sun Leader
"If you’ve ever considered what’d it’d be like to ditch the 9-to-5, hop on your motorcycle, ride beyond the edge of society and live off the kindness of strangers, here’s a chance to review one heck of a case study." - Cory Wilkinson, Good Spark Garage
What Makes This Story So Awesome?
I just finished riding and walking 60,000km solo across the world. I trekked deep into the Balkan Mountains with a horse, rolled along the banks of the Nile River by motorcycle, and rode head-on into Africa - imagine riding a motorcycle through Africa - dirt roads with truck-swallowing potholes, Monsoon rain, jungle rebels and real life-and-death adventure. It was awesome.
To survive I found work as a stable boy, lived with monks and warriors, slept rough, hunted for my dinner, stealth camped near lions and got back in touch with the real, important things in life. I became a hunter, farrier, fisherman and a great storyteller. Five years after leaving my middle-class suburban upbringing in the dust, I've returned.
It's time to write the book.
So what happens in the adventure?
When I was twenty one, I was like most other young people I knew. I got up late, made a business of chasing girls and studied business at University. I was a misfit but it was cool to be different. And like most people I knew, I was struggling against the confines of society, and frustrated at the pressure of success and money. The aim of making more money seemed empty and most of all boring. Like most of the people I knew, I wanted to break free. This is considered normal for the age.
Two years later I disappeared. My mother put out a search for me on the "missing persons register" because she had not heard from me in a year.
I had run away.
I had gone walkabout. I had left on the back of a motorcycle. With a few belongings and very little money, I had gone to find out what was on the other side of the safe, comfortable life I knew. No luxury; cold showers, no bed, sleeping in the rain, no back up, alone and completely free to protect myself. I wanted to ride my motorcycle around the world. Europe. Africa. America. Asia. I dreamed of feeling free and good and real. I wanted to know what it would be like to be in a fight for my life, to face death, to find love and to let go of everything and really be free.
You, dear reader, may have dreams of being some kind of adventure hero just as I did when I was a boy. But I am no hero. This is not some grand odyssey, oblivious to reality. This is just what happens when you run away. It is like an account of "the other side." It is what I brought back. I feel it will be relevant to people who sometimes wonder what it would be like to be free, if for only some time.
The first chain-driven single-cylinder motorcycle ever made by BMW, the F650 Funduro classic was originally designed for women. Farlap was named after Australia's wonderhorse "Phar Lap" which refers to the Thai world meaning "lighting flash," but that doesn't mean she's fast. The fact is she runs like a tractor, she leaks oil, has a malfunctioning rear suspension and doesn't like river crossings, blind corners or wet roads.
Spook is an old, short, black, fat, grumpy Greek rig. The doctor somehow missed a testicle when trying to castrate him, which makes him part stallion, and he's blind in his left eye. He was born on the mountains of Epirus, at the edge of the Vikos Gorge, land of the "black departers." His mother was a red mare who was killed by a pack of savage wolves when Spook was just a baby foal. He survived and was originally named "Karas" which means "Black" in Ancient Greek. He enjoys apples, he snores, kicks while sleeping and loves a new pair of shoes.
That's me. I got given this name on the road and it has stuck. Well before I was Max, or ever dreamed of riding a motorcycle around the world, my two first teeth grew out right at the front, inspiring my father to affectionately refer to me as "ferret." By the time I am twelve I had been expelled from school for peeing in the holy water, beaten up for playing with the girls on the monkey bars, played guitar in my first rock band and scared my mum by having posters of the Hell's Angels and biker chicks from my dad's biker magazines all over my room. I was told to take them down, do my homework and stop listening to AC/DC.
New REWARD LEVEL!
If you Pledge $150 You will get A SPECIAL THANKS IN THE BOOK + HARD COPY + PDF + SPECIAL THANKS ON THE WEBSITE + THIS KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE FARLAP AND MAX T SHIRT Available in XS, S, M, L - 100% fitted cotton T-Shirt.Available in XS, S, M, L - 100% fitted cotton T-Shirt.
If you Pledge $10 or more. You get a Farlap & Max Kickstarter Exclusive LOGO PATCH + SPECIAL THANKS on the Farlap and Max website!
So why do I need to raise $11,000?
Well it's a start. When I came home, I started frantically writing everything, it was an obsession. It was kind of all I did, every morning at 5:30am I was up writing for ten hours a day until my journals were all typed up. I was so determined to self-publish. I was like "up yours big town publishers! I am Max, and I am going to write a book!"
Then I needed to take a day job milling lumber. Shorty after, I realized how difficult it was to self publish or get a serious book deal in the "real world." I was bushed from work and demoralized carrying this long Eeyore expression on my face.
It was almost over, it seemed that the 9-5 had finally won. But then I found Kickstarter, which changed everything. And I looked more like Frodo Baggins all full of hope and twinkly eyes.
Now, Lets stop there and sit down a minute and have a serious talk. The $11,000 I raise from Kickstarter will be all but gobbled up by print editing, typesetting, designing and final printing and shipping. Its a modest amount for a lot of hard work and professional input no?
But hell, my friend, If I have learned anything from my worldly adventures, living on the edge of society, by the kindness of strangers, it was that I could overcome anything by the sum of my hard work and the support of people and friends from around the world.
So, with a little less sleep, the $11,000 will mean that this book will get from my typewriter to your doorstep if just by the skin of my teeth. And hopefully without getting fired from my job. It's a matter of caffeine.
You can also help by doing any of the following:
1.) Share this project with your friends and family.
2.) Subscribe to my blog - farlapandmax.com/blog
3.) Follow @farlapandmax on twitter
4.) Like Farlap and Max on facebook
Risks and challenges
The real life-risk involved in longriding across the world's most dangerous continents is nightmarishly high, but the challenges involved in stitching together a reading experience that narrates the excitement of that journey itself requires a different kind of alchemy.
Obviously I have found my inner Indiana Jones and now it's a question of getting in touch with my inner Paulo Coehlo. No, I am not going for a million dollar best seller here. But the content of my storyline is fertile and rich for narrative development - and the more chiefly editors I can employ to guide me to success, the better chance I have that it will be an incredibly un-put-downable book.
Timescales may go overboard. Ahoy! But you will be the first to know in advance, these stories are golden and I won't be releasing a book that I wouldn't be happy to sit and read myself. I'm kind of obsessed with writing. It's like all I do. So I'm pretty confident this will be awesome.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, though you'll be surprised. This book will describe to you worlds that are currently beyond your imagination. It's both upsetting and upbeat and bumbles along at a fast pace. There's moments of unmistakable human intimacy, and vulnerability, then there's the story of my heartbroken family back home. A lot of the time I am writing in terror because I spent many scary nights sleeping in dark spooky woods. Some of it is so somber and beautiful it makes a fearless Samurai weep and so terrifying that it frightens the Boogieman.
If you've ever been at a point where you sense things are changing and it's time to move onwards but you just don't know how you'll find that you'll connect with my book. I have always dreamed of running away from the dread of mindless work (call me young and disrespectful, but actually I imagined never having to go to work in a factory like my father) and just leaving all that society system codswallop behind and following my heart. But somehow I did it, I took to reading books on motorcycle maintenance like they where edible, and I can show you how I came to finally get my motor running and head out on the highway. How I got the audacity to send a helmet-sized wrecking-ball into my superficial reality and change everything. It's not my aim to be prescriptive, but there is a way, to "do exactly what you should be doing in order to utilize the best years of your life" as someone's boss put it.
Even if you find the whole world boring, and you don't believe in fairytales coming true, and just think I must be some kind of fairly wealthy stupid lucky kid and there is really no place for carefree and rebellious, free-spirited adventures anymore, you won't hate this book. Honestly. As much as it is about rebels, causes and being without them, underlying all that is a minor-key tone of deep spiritual searching, not just aimless wondering around the world without aim. And no, I'm not some teenage millionaire. My parents never earned more than fifty thousand a year combined, I grew up on the streets. This is not some simple and prosaic "I left home, I went here, saw that thing, it was awesome, now I am back home, end of story. Happy." No. Not by a long shot.
Its a molecular connection to the road. It catalogs my journey as an example of how real long-term searching brings anyone illumination, no matter how average their intellect. I worked my way up from sleeping in horse stables to sleeping in bear caves, to coming home after work to routinely find a family White Rhinoceros blocking my front door. I guess it all started because frankly, I couldn't afford the comfort of a Hilton Hotel.
Are you comfortable? Well for the last three years my butt has been hurting like hell! I have been sitting astride a jack-hammering Thumper for hours, days, years, sweet-baby-Jesus it feels like forever. Riding was my life, motorcycles, horses, camels, bulls, you name it. I can almost still hear the sound of rolling thunder in my ears when it's quiet. But it's not so quite these days, I'm back here in a noisy city.
So why did I leave all this metropolitan white noise? Well, while I could have just been sitting there all inherently lazy in a comfortable chair at university learning just about nothing, hanging around town with my loser friends at nightclubs, I chose instead to sacrifice safety, certainty and boredom to be decidedly uncomfy for the entirety of the last three years so I could have an awesome adventure and now write this awesome book.
Book? Well, truthfully I never planned to write a book, I just wanted to write everything down so if I saw my family again one day, we could all sit around and have a giggle and a cry, so they could understand. Family? Later. But I did so much of it, writing that is, and my fiance thinks I'm real talented. Fiance huh? I said, later. So I guess maybe now we can all have a giggle it together when this book gets printed.
Everything I've written is completely honest and as it was, no embellishments, no over exaggerations. It was very surreal, sort of like living on the edge of the universe, with reality as a sort of play thing. All at once mind-blowing. Like, Boom. Living constantly outside my puny Western comfort-zone, and I don't mean just my seating arrangements. Well, I guess I just needed to write it all down, just to keep myself sane I suppose, so I could somehow digest what was happening to my life. I mean, at one stage I went into Africa - like, sick people, crying children, starvation, death, suffering all that stuff we say we understand but we don't really want to see. Yes. Uncomfortable real world stuff. And then there was the lions, and I was on a motorbike. Alone. Nightmare-making stuff. Oh god.
But be cool, I obviously got to keep my life. And I made it home to Mum after the fray of attempts on my life. You could say it was sort like a new blend of The Jungle Book and Jumanji in a book with more blood and dirt. And now, because of kickstarter coming to Australia I will (maybe) get to print the book, because it's awesome. You should read it.
If you like love and adventure, and you like motorbikes (even if you've only ever ridden a bicycle, even only your sister's bicycle for that matter) then my friend, this is for you. They say that four wheels moves the body, two wheels moves the soul. And I think it's true. Even if you don't like motorcycles and you don't like the tattooed rebels that ride them, you will still like this moving, honest story. Really.
And it's perfect if you're an armchair traveller. Never left your house? Or your room? Hikikomori? Well at the beginning of the story, I am probably just like you, if you stepped outside your bubble. I was a normal guy with a 9-5 job, had a house, car, and new-age sensibilities.
So for now, you get to sit there comfortably and see what it's like, out on the often perilous road, every mile illuminated in pages filled with majestic scenery and free-thinking wildness (remember to play the Easy Rider soundtrack while reading some sections) along with the good humor and quirky observations of your narrator (me). I will show you how it's done, and just maybe you will start to become convinced that there is a whole wonderful world out there worth seeing for yourself, no?
And if you are a parent of a wild banshee child yourself, this book might be of the the greatest value to you. It might help you understand, especially if your Young One has not called home for a while. It doesn't always end in a derelict bus in Alaska.
Not everyone can afford the time to go on such adventures, people get rooted deep into stuff like marriages and mortgages that ties them to one place for a long time. And if you have children, a family, or there is someone sick in your family, that you're caring for, it's near impossible to get away, I understand. This book, for more than anyone, is for your entertainment and respite. Much of the character developments in the protagonist Max does not come from just pretty scenery. He could have been cooped up in a jail cell, because it is his inner world that is so full and glorious. Keep this book by your side, read it aloud, and you will see that true adventure is a mindset, and the beauty is in the way we see it. But I do not in any way endorse putting your baby on the back of a motorcycle, that is dangerous and stupid, even by my standards. If you want to get a rush, it is awesome enough just to get up really quickly whilst reading my book.
So yeah, my motorcycle farlap. My motorcycle was named after the awesome Australian wonder horse, Pharlap. But get this, the unbelievable red terrible (can't say terror these days without people thinking your talking about you know who and I don't mean Puff Daddy) That big red firetruck of a horse is like a legend to me, and the rest of us I suppose, growing up in crummy old Dandenong. Sort of like a ghost or a myth, the name conjures up heaps of emotional stuff.
But the thing about the horse's name is that they spelt it WRONG! The real name comes from Thailand, and it means lightning bolt or lightning flash, big flash, boom! But telford the cheeky artist put a "ph" infront of it and in true HIP HOP fashion turned it into not only a two-word name but a lucky 7 letter name. I can understand the homeboy. He wanted to make it PHAT. In rap talk, taking a name changing the wording to make a new name is called "flipping" so, technically Telford was a OOG Homie who flipped a name, and got mad props. WHACK! And it worked too, as soon Phar was Lapping all the competition. From behind to the front, he took all the prizes and Australia was happy, like a happy dog. Wag wag.
Well I decided to battle Telford in a way and take PHAR LAP and turn it back around and flip it to make FARLAP the actual correct wording of the meaning, meaning lightning bolt, flash (like the Marvel character) lighting. So cool, I got it right - I even called it Astraki in Greece, Moppotu in Africa and Katara in Argentina, which all the the same thing. Double boom. It's the perfect name for my BIG RED motorcycle and it's paralleling with a veritable HORSE GOD, which has to be cool if your riding it. I suppose my story, racing Farlap around the globe is sort of like a parallel nothing-to-something story like the one of the horse, except mine is less big yet. In time i think my story will win the heart of a nation just like the story of the horse. For me, it's like Pharlap is one of the few things that actually unites this country. Funny that the horse is from New Zealand huh?
Beside everything that starts with an F is better than things that don't start with it. Like 'fabulous' and 'fantastic' and fumble, fecund, flamingo!" See! All the most awesome national-geographic big words start with the letter F. Fuck!
Not really. Sure I love motorbikes, but I don't ride with lots of bearded dudes with tattoos and I haven't yet started a revolution, or have I? This book isn't really so much about speeding around the globe, watching the scenery fly-by as it a festival of slow and lively images and ideas that will, given water and Sun, enliven and make flexible the reader so they can hopefully endure their own existence. Oh, and it's about being young, rebellious, stupid and free. Which is to say it makes the reader wiser, more understanding, intelligent and popular. So if you're tired of just reading about a bunch of horny grey nomads with lots of money and fancy kit riding their wrinkly bums around the world on expensive superbikes, this is definitely a massive breath of fresh rebel air.
I've read that a fully-planned adventure with sufficient funds in no adventure at all. If so, the intoxicatingly humble adventures of our Maverick hero (me) the dirt poor looser kid (and I mean like 1920's depression poor) who finds his way through unspeakable adversity (Sshh!! Voldemort!) who fights evil dudes, and out-chances the 'Great Trickster-God of Fate' to find love and moonshine, will, I assure you, keep you stayin' alive Bee-Gees-style with this book. This is a farlap-heart racing book. Damn, I love that machine and you will come to love him too.
Yep, there is a whole lot to be scared of in this book. There are animals that will hunt you (and me) in the night, Hyenas that bite someone whole face off in one chomp! A man who got MMA tackled by a Lion and beat him in the wrestle! He told me the story himself!! And a dude who DIED because an ELEPHANT stomped his ass (he was old though) SO MANY DEATHS! Really, where I went guys, it was like the MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH TO GO. And I went alone, on a motorbike, great idea? Crazy!
There is a story of a duo of lions who eat like fifty men, then there are smaller versions of wild lions, sort of like big housecoats who crawl up on your leg in the night and disembowel you in a fast and ferocious death of screaming and blood! And don't forget the testicle eating piranha that bends it's reality to bring you some really cool questions?
Very, very crazy. From playboy to porper in like seconds, the first hundred words! It's crazy, really crazy. Inidana jones meets Pan in his war against Zues and Jesus. It's as self depreciating as I can manage, but still I keep it megalomaniacal as I can, at once gratifying the ego and destroying it in one ninja move. Even if you could fly over the sky and control the weather with weird gas, you couldn't control this!
Oh oooOO, and there's plenty of sexy time in the book. too (not for children then, sorry) on the road our main character found some incredible character to include the 'female perspective' on this whole thang. Lots of sexy misadventures really, accounts of bad game, fumbles of the worst kind, screw ups that make you cringe! and lots of tomfoolery. Not to mention a leading laid in full blooming real-life lovestory IN THE MAKING as we speak! Babies!
I know, sorry dude. But yep, this is a book not just for dudes but also dudettes. This is a love story too. Love and adventure may be like putting a square peg in a circle fitting. Impossible? No it's just a matter of dimension! Love and adventure go together like butter on a piece of toast thrown through a basketball ring. Gotta have it. Because it's fun, but don't be alarmed I constantly dip into the Ether to break this book up with some flow and rhythm, no rapine but, sorry. Just prose and cheeky stuff to keep you amused and keep the floor rolling in laughter. Tons of good stuff ahead.
This is anything but a dry text. It's not dry at all. It's WET! Think of it as an awesome unreal sort of jungle where everything is possible, everything is alive and everything is edible! Like all at the same time - do it NOW. It's like creating your own way reading this adventure like a chocolate version of real life.
From urban sprawling jungle to the real jungle, it;s a real slap happy and crazy sparkly journey, and also, you get to see Max get slapped around repeatedly by life. Hilarious!
How to avoid starvation - a recipe! How to carve a CHICKEN that is still MOVING! For real, how-to tie knows, and not hang yourself. All included.
Education is not exactly my area, or aim here, it's more to entertain and open eyes. WIDE! I am certainly not claiming to be some kind of expert. But I do aim to make the reader knowledgable, quick thinking and able to do almost anything…yep, fore shore. It's like the inside game rules for living the most awesome life, hidden inside the tale of a hairy biker world traveling solo.
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