A week does not go by without hearing the question, "How are you two funding this adventure?" The usual answer if we have the energy, takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 minutes. Of course we go through the usual explanation of the generosity of Stevinson Toyota, followed by the list of the rest of the sponsors who helped get this thing off the ground. At some point Bouey chimes in with the usual, "I cashed out my 401K," and the looks that follow have a myriad of faces.
Some look disgusted that we would take such a risk putting all of our savings on the line without guaranteed sponsorship. Others have a look like they don’t believe it and that the sponsors must have given us more. It is the facts, whether stupid or not, we put a lot on the line to get this going, and even more to keep this going. Over a year ago the two of us flew out to California and talked with some potential sponsors. After the business was over we made our way up to wine country near Sonoma, CA. In traditional TWBR style we chose the vineyard that was the most remote down a dirt road far off the main highway. By accident we even ended up taking the scenic route out there. The drive paid off as it wound through row after row of different types of exotic grape varieties lining the countryside with vivid color patterns. At the end of this long dirt road we found the Matanzas Creek Winery sitting on top of a hill in a quite picturesque setting with small mountains on both sides of the long valley.
After driving up the long driveway to the beautifully landscaped grounds of Matanzas Creek, we walked into the tasting room located at the end of a path making its way through gardens full of water features and lush greenery. A warm hello greeted the two of us. The man behind the tasting counter was a white-bearded mountain man looking character. His refined demeanor was welcoming as we started to talk with him and taste our first samples of wine for the day.
Tim, if I remember his name correctly asked, "What brings you gentleman all the way out here on a Friday?" As this was early on in our career of TWBR explanation, we were more than happy to give him the long of the short. He was overjoyed to have an interesting story to listen to as his days are slow during the week. As the only two customers the entire hour of our time with Tim, the long winded story was welcome. Upon finding out the crazy scheme we had planned, Tim commended our ambition and praised our coming up with the idea at all.
"You two are some of the most determined guys I have ever met."
"Thanks, hopefully the sponsors will feel the same way you do."
Tim laughed and replied, "One of the things I like most about the two of you is the way you talk about the adventure." At this point in time we did not actually have any sponsors, the trucks, or any of the gear we needed other than a few cameras.
He continued, "Most of the time people talk about an idea they have with a hopeful attitude, which is great, but the two of you speak like the adventure is going to happen even though you are just getting started."
Over the course of the two years, as bar conversations and random thoughts led to Steve and I teaming up, not once had this thought ever crossed my mind. It was just something that had been on my mind for many years, my best friend was in, and the time had come to actually follow through. Hearing his cheers at a time of doubt certainly helped to keep our spirits high at the beginning of such a huge task.
It is hard for us to believe sometimes that we have made it this far. We are ever so close to getting into China and have been on the road officially for 6 months. It has finally set in as real…our lives are lived out of two trucks on the opposite side of the world. The web stats keep on growing and we are gaining momentum with sponsors every day to help get funding to finish this adventure. However, another reality has set in as well–we need more financial support. Daily we work to get blogs up, find new team members, upload new photo galleries, deal with truck problems, get visas, and more. We continue to get helpful words of encouragement just like the ones at Matanzas creek. For that, we would like to offer a huge thanks. Keep the comments and emails coming, it certainly is a wonderful end to a day to get a complement on all of the work we are doing. The problem is that compliments don’t put fuel in the tanks.
Beyond the wonderful compliments, we also get a lot of questions and requests. Many of the requests are for more video content, others are for more photos. Truthfully, we love putting the content up and we certainly love producing it for all of you to enjoy. It does however cost a lot of money to produce it. There are fees for hosting, Internet connections, visas, hotels, gas…the list goes on and on. Let me get to the point:
We need your help. For the cost of a magazine each month, you can help two broke guys go around the world and keep the content coming for your enjoyment. A magazine comes just once a month. Our content is updated almost every day. With the help of PayPal, have setup plans to help you support us. The more support we get, the more likely you are to see even more content. If we did not have to spend so much of our day trying to figure out how to get more funding, we could spend it editing video, posting photos and writing stories.
So I will end with that. Click the link below to learn more about the myriad of ways you can help us out, and please take the initiative to follow through with some of them. We will be ever so grateful. Some of the subscription plans are automatic, so just get it started and you don’t have to worry about it any more. It’s actually quite easy…support us and the content will get even better and more frequent.
Thanks again to everyone for everything.