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Maureen met Tony Wheeler on a park bench at Regent's Park in London, England and the two were married a year later. For their honeymoon, they decided to attempt what few people thought possible – journeying from England to Australia overland via Europe and Asia. Driving, hiking, and hitching it took them several months and all the money they could earn, beg, or borrow... but they made it. The pair arrived in Melbourne in 1972, with just 27 cents between them.
Too much of an amazing experience to keep to themselves and urged on by their friends, Maureen and Tony stayed up nights at their kitchen table writing. Maureen and Tony’s sole focus was to publish a book about their adventure including practical advice, casual observations, and tips of both legal and illegal nature. Finally, in 1973 the two put the finishing touches on typing and stapling their very first travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap. It consisted of 94 page and every one of the 1500 copies sold within a week. Lonely Planet had been born.
Following the success of the original booklet, Tony Wheeler returned to Asia with the deliberate intention of writing a second travel guide. Two years after the original publication, in a backstreet hotel in Singapore, in early 1975, Tony and Maureen wrote their second book, South-East Asia on a Shoestring. The book went on to become so wildly popular that it was christened "the backpackers' bible" – a title it has held to present day. - Adapted from Lonely Planet