A Quest For Culture, Cuisine and Connection.
The campaign is over but you can still get in touch with me here:
It's an adventure story, a photo-book, and a cookbook: with inspired travel writing, amazing personalities, beautifully revealing photography, and tasty recipes from all over the world.
Think of it as combining the best of Anthony Bourdain with Paul Theroux and National Geographic Adventure in a full-color, high-quality book that will bring the splendor of the world into your home and on your table.
I'm Allan Karl, adventurer, photographer, and author. I'm also WorldRider. I spent three years riding around the world alone—on a motorcycle.
I hope you'll join me.
I’ve invested the last three years of my life and nearly everything I own in writing and producing this book. Now it’s time to share it with everyone.
As I prepared for my journey many warned me not to go. My friends and family were convinced I would get sick, hurt, ripped off, kidnapped, or killed.
I thought differently. I imagined a world of friendly people as eager as I am to learn, share, and connect. My quest was to explore: to discover the beauty of our world and its humanity. To uncover truths about them both and to find and learn more about myself.
Through the pages of this book, I share not only incredible adventures, I share the powerful gift of human connection—often made over good food and drink. Readers can experience the world as I did by traveling through each country, meeting the people and their unique cultures, and tasting their food.
The Big Idea.
I never set out to write about food or a cookbook. Yet, when I returned home, I struggled to find the best way to share my journey with others. It finally hit me over a dinner with friends: I thought about the connections I made with new friends and the meals and stories we had shared—together.
As I traveled it occurred to me how important is the ritual of sharing food and how much we learn when we take the time to connect and share a meal with strangers or good friends alike.
So, I invited friends over to my place and prepared meals from recipes I collected on my journey—Brazil, Syria, Ethiopia and more.
While digging our forks into these delicious dishes, I told stories and shared photographs of those places. My friends were fascinated and wanted to hear, see, and taste more. This is the essence and beauty of sharing—together.
I cooked for more friends on other nights, and the more meals and adventures I shared, the more the word got out and the more friends wanted to join me for dinner. Soon it became a regular event.
This is it. This is the best way to share and experience the world—just as I did again and again during my journey—spending moments and making memories with good friends over real food and conversation.
When speaking to audiences around the country, I told these stories and incorporated photos into my talks. Audiences were inspired and asked questions. They were moved by the stories. They responded well to the lessons I had learned and shared.
Of the many lessons I learned over the three years of my travels, perhaps the most important is that, even though I set off on this journey alone, I was never alone. Whenever I found myself lost, lonely, or hungry, I would just turn around and find somebody was always there. I’m amazed at our capacity to connect with people—with humanity. That’s where truth shines.
There are no strangers in the world, only friends you haven’t met.
The Struggle To Find A Publisher
For more than two years I’ve tried to convince traditional publishers and literary agents to support this project, share this message, and publish my book. Many of them were interested but unwilling to take a chance. They told me the project was too unique, too different, something they had never seen before. It didn't fit neatly into age-old publishing categories.
Instead, they urged me to change the book to something more familiar. One suggested I write a traditional adventure travelog or memoir. Another told me to forget the food—a traditional book would be easier to produce and publish. I’ve never been one who plays it safe or takes the easy route. I decided to accept the risk, take a chance, and tell my story the way it should be told.
The Kickstarter Potential & Possibilities.
I know that Kickstarter fans can see this book’s potential. I’m confident each of you would love a copy or know someone for whom it will be the perfect gift—family and friends who you love to cook for and share meals with.
Support, share, and spread the word about this project. The time is right to tell these stories, prepare these meals, and share these people, cultures, and foods. Together we can bring positive messages about the world we live in.
This book will appeal to most anyone at any age. That’s why it makes a perfect gift for yourself and your family, friends, and colleagues. I have many rewards that include multiple copies of this book. Here are some of the types of people who will love and appreciate this book:
How Kickstarter Funds Will Be Used & Why We Need To Exceed Our Funding Goal
Printing. The funding goal represents the minimum amount I need to print the minimum quantity (2,000 copies) of first-run books.
If I exceed the funding goal, which I hope I will, the additional funds will be used as follows:
- To hire a publicist so that I can get this message out to more people and the book on more tables (est. $6,000-$9,000)
- To print more books. If we can print more, the per-book cost is much less—we can double the quantity for just est. $8,000 additional
- To plan and coordinate a national book launch tour ($2500-$3500; maybe I’ll come to your city or town)
STRETCH GOAL #1: done
STRETCH GOAL #2: done
We reached all of our stretch goals, the additional funds will be used to:
- expanded publicity and book tour more copies of the book will be printed for wider distribution and a lower unit cost I'm giving you the Jacket Off My Back…
- I will tear up the jacket I wore around the world and stitch a piece of it to custom designed bookmarks and give each backer who pledged for a book, one of these limited edition bookmarks.
UPDATE—NEW REWARDS—GREETING CARDS: SEE HERE
What Is The Status With The Project? --What Else Needs To Be Done?
More than 85% of the work is done. I just need to print and launch. That's where you can help!
More About Author & Photographer Allan Karl
Allan is a professional keynote speaker, adventurer, photographer, author, digital-marketing and branding strategist and business and life coach.
As he did when he first set out to travel the world alone on his motorcycle, Allan has focused all of his time, energy, and money on bringing this project to life. He has traveled to more than sixty countries and has made it his mission to share the truth and beauty of the world through books, photographs, and personal appearances and public speaking.
Allan has put together an incredible design, photography, and production team by recruiting help from both friends and associates he’s worked with for more than twenty years and new friends who’ve volunteered because they believe in this project and want to bring it to life.
All but two of the rewards include a copy of the book. Many of the rewards include multiple copies of the book. That’s because this book is meant to be shared and makes a perfect gift.
Most of the rewards are self-explanatory, but here are further details of a few of the unique features in some of the rewards.
- This is a set of five (5) oversized (6 x 9”) full-color offset printed cards on 12-pt coated paper with a gloss UV protective coating on the front.
- One side of the postcard features a full-color photo (there is a multiple photo option) and the reverse side is a full-bleed single color, without coating making it suitable for mailing—though I think you’ll want to keep and display these.
- The infamous Bolivia Llama Transport Vehicle will be included in the set, but the other four images that will be decided on based on popular choice determined by a simple e-mail poll I will send you after this project is funded.
You will receive a signed copy of the first-edition of FORKS. A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection.
- 200+ pages
- Hardcover, case binding
- 500+ photographs
- 35+ unique world recipes
- 9.25 inches by 10.375 inches, landscape
- Depending on reward level chosen, you will get one or more of these books.
- Your choice of at least seven different photos - photos will be posted for your selection after successfully finishing Kickstarter campaign.
- Prints are printed by a professional photo lab on Kodak ENDURA Metallic paper, a glossy finish, and slight metallic appearance that yields bright, rich, vibrant colors and offers 100-year protection from fading.
- There are two options for mounted Photos
- Sleek Standout Mounting is made from lightweight foam with a black edge and includes holes on the backside, making it ready the print ready to hang as soon as it arrives. If no preference is indicated, I will mount the prints this way.
- Bevel Mounting is a heavyweight board, giving the print substantial thickness to stand on its own, making it perfect for displaying on an easel, a shelf, or a wall; it is also suitable for framing.
The Iconic Bolivian Llama Transport Vehicle
- Included in a special reward: this is printed on the same Kodak ENDURA Metallic Paper, but is bevel mounted onto a heavweight board.
- This gives the print substantial thickness to stand on its own, making it perfect for displaying on an easel, a shelf or to a wall, it is also suitable for framing.
Telephone Consultation & Conversation (travel, camera, motorcycle)
- Several of my rewards include one or more of either a half or full-hour telephone consultations and conversations via Skype, FaceTime, or other available methods.
- You can decide on the agenda, and I’ll be happy to help you with travel planning, ideas, or referrals. I’ve traveled to over sixty countries and have immense experience in visas, customs, and must-see locations and more. Just ask!
- It’s rare that I don’t have my camera with me. I shoot still and video and use much of the latest hardware and software. So, if you’re interested, I can also help you with your decision on photography, video, and technology.
- I can coach you on setting up a blog, social media, or digital marketing and more.
- This is your time, and you can pick my brain or just chat about adventure with me as you wish.
Private Dinner Party
- Food, photos, and stories in the comfort of your home or chosen location.
- I will come to your home and cook together with you and your guests. We will prepare one or more recipes from my book.
- This is for an intimate party of six guests. I will bring and sign personal copies of my book for each guest.
- I will bring my iPad or laptop and share photos and stories from my travels and otherwise spend the evening with you enjoying good food and conversation.
- I’ve included a $500 airfare credit, depending on where you live and airline rates at the time of booking. Any additional costs will be the responsibility of the backer, as is the cost of all food and recipe ingredients. I also request transportation to and from the airport and a bed, couch, or local motel for the evening.
Please contact me for more information, availability & scheduling regarding this reward.
California Route 1 Motorcycle Ride From Santa Barbara to Big Sur
Let's take a couple days together and explore my adopted home state of California by motorcycle. Meet me in Santa Barabara for coffee and we'll meet local motorcyclists before heading north through California's central coast including its great wine regions, historical missions and more. Depending on the season we'll make our way north stopping to see California's historical and national heritage sites such as Hearst Castle, elephant seal reserve, and onward to Big Sur. We can camp, stay in rustic cabins or enjoy the sustainable resorts of Ventana or Post Ranch Inn. Great local food awaits us and we'll plan our trip south the next day. All along I will share intimate knowledge of motorcycle travel, photography and we'll be documenting our experience together through photos and video. This is designed to be a one-on-one experience, however we can adjust the reward level if you want to incorporate fellow riders and friends. Contact me for details.
I am a professional keynote speaker and have delivered inspirational keynote speeches for a variety of companies including Apple, Google, Interplay, and many more.
- I’ve spoken to as little as twenty and to as many as 1,000 people. Meeting planners, attendees, and senior managers has provided me with many testimonials.
- My keynotes are designed to inspire people to face fear; overcome obstacles; and move beyond the borders and outside the comfort zone to compete, create, and innovate more successful businesses and lives. Usually I am booked by a national speakers bureau.
- I’m offering just three of the keynote speeches at this reward level. I will provide ten personally signed books included at this reward level.
- Included is a pre-keynote VIP meet and greet and a post-keynote Q&A.
- A $500 airfare credit is included—any amount over $500, plus transportation to and from the airport and accommodations for one or two nights (depending on speaking and event schedule) is not included and is the responsibility of the backer.
Please contact me for more information, availability & scheduling regarding this reward.
Book Launch Party
- We are planning possibly two book launch parties this winter, one in southern California and one on the East Coast in the New York metro or Washington, D.C. area.
- Travel to the launch party is the responsibility of the backer.
- Dates to be confirmed.
I haven't included the base $10 reward in the chart below, but this reward is as equally important as all of those listed.
I appreciate each and every backer and you will all have access to backer only updates and all backers will receive special gifts as the campaign continues and as all rewards are fulfilled. I will also post stretch goals as the campaign progresses. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
The great news is that this project is more than 85% completed. The book will be delivered to the printer this summer and should be available in the fall in time for the holidays.
The only risk could be delays in printing and fulfillment which could push back the delivery date.
I've invested more than 3 years and nearly all of my savings into producing this book. I'll go out of my way to keep my word and promise. No matter what: if you pledge for postcards, prints, copies of the book, dinner party or keynote, you will get it. I promise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)