Getting lost is part of the fun for serious travellers, though it could hurt their chances of romance
Sunday 21 February 1999
The dumbest thing I've ever done with a passport was once when I flew into Bangkok. I always carry two passports, one British, one Australian. I handed the immigration official what I thought were my passport and my wife's. In fact, I had given them my two passports.
The official stamped both my passports without looking at the photos. It didn't seem to matter much at the time, but it didn't look good when we tried to leave - because they couldn't find my wife's entry stamp. We had a lot of explaining to do.
People know me as a traveller but I don't get through that many passports. They usually survive their normal span of validity. I spend half the year travelling but a lot is for business, which eats up the miles but doesn't fill the passport with exotic stamps.
Of course, I'm proud of Lonely Planet. I wouldn't describe it as an "empire" but, yes, it is one of Australia's more visible exports. India is the Lonely Planet book I am most proud of. It was one of the first books and it was a real achievement. A good test of a travel writer is whether they get lost all the time. They should, because they're always looking for a new route from A to B.
If I listed all the reasons for arguments Maureen and I have had, "getting lost" would come tops. The day we met, I got us lost on a short cut from a Leicester Square cinema to the place she was staying near Tottenham Court Road.
INTERVIEW BY JEREMY ATIYAH
Tony and Maureen Wheeler are the co-founders of Lonely Planet, publisher of guide books for independent travellers.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
The 50 Best spas
Thailand tourism video Love En Route criticised for featuring Instagram stalker
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Chief executive of Malaysia Airlines: The toughest job in travel?
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
£12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...
£23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...
£26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...
£18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...