My name is Timothy Tye. I am a web publisher also known as Tim the Traveler in the travel world, because of the many travel websites that I create. Writing the web is the best job in the world that started out as a hobby. I enjoy it so much that I now write full time for the web. It allows me to indulge in my passion and satisfy my curiosity about the world.
I write my websites for two main purposes. Firstly, I want to create a place where people can find information about the whole world, made easy to read and illustrated with some of the most beautiful photographs. Secondly, I want to bring God's Good News to all countries of the world. By describing the whole world, I hope to be able to do just that.
It all started with my passion for traveling and photography. With that came writing travelogues. There was a time when I traveled furiously. Since then, I have become more and more an armchair explorer, writing and researching from the comfort of my desk. I need to make it clear to many readers, that I have not visited nor am I intending to visit many of the places appearing on my websites. Doing what I do now allows me to travel the world without leaving my desk, and armchair explorers who read my websites can do exactly the same thing. Home is tiny but very comfortable, and it's so nice that I hardly come out!
Most of my websites are related to travel. I live in Penang, Malaysia, but I my websites describe the whole world. I am Chinese. My mother is Hokkien, my father is Sin Leng, a subgroup of Cantonese. Nevertheless, I am glad that I can make myself understood in English.
Although I have been playing with the web and building websites on free hosting as early as 1996, the first serious website that I created for myself was AsiaExplorers, started back in 2003. At that time, I was still holding a job (marketing communications manager for a computer company whose name rhymes with "sell"). Today AsiaExplorers is still my biggest website, with over four thousand travel articles, but I've expanded to describing not just Asia, but the entire world. To make sense of the world and everything in it, I created many more websites, some centering on particular cities, such as the Travel Tips Series, and some on whole countries, such as My Travel Guide Series.
Nothing escapes my pen (or should I say, my keyboard), and my own hometown is described in microscopic detail in Penang Travel Tips while the country I live in is described in Exploring Malaysia.
The look-and-feel of my websites have come a long way since AsiaExplorers in 2003. Back then, every country has a different look. It required much effort to herd them all in a single direction, so that today, all my travel websites share the same look-and-feel, and they link so seamlessly together that you hardly realise you are moving from one website to the next.
Two websites not related to travel that I happily author include Happy Jobless Guy and The Flowering Garden. Happy Jobless Guy is a website that celebrates my state of unemployment. Although I do not regularly update it, it is one of the websites that have touched many lives, especially those who were made redundant by unfavorable economic situations. Happy Jobless Guy is not a website about earning a living without working. I am still working, and very hard at it too, but I now work for myself. And people who follow my advise in Happy Jobless Guy will be working for themselves as well. The Flowering Garden is a website that I started with my wife, because we both love flowers, but do not care to do any gardening. So, the next best thing is to place our garden on the web, where we can enjoy flowers that continue to bloom 365 days of the year!
The photographs appearing on my websites are either shot by me, or attributed to photographers under licensing terms as captioned. My own photographs - those that do not bear an attribution to someone else are mine - are all copyrighted. Some have been licensed to appear in a variety of media, including guidebooks, magazines, calendars and other websites for advertising, editorial, promotional and other uses . If you need to use any of my photographs, just write me a mail, letting me know the purpose and duration, and in the case of magazines, your circulation size. I will advise you the fee involved.
Tim in northern Thailand
Most of my time is now spent in writing and updating my websites, if not travelling. Back in 2003, when I started AsiaExplorers, I used to organise tours, taking groups of travel enthusiasts to interesting destinations. I've toned down on organising such tours. I just don't have the time nor, quite honestly, the inclination. On the other hand, I now co-own a travel business that takes people on vacations, without my having to physically do it myself. I know it's not the same, but I work hard to help the people running the business to give it the best quality it can provide.
Now I can spend my time doing my writing as well as on my personal travels, and the more time I have on my hand allows me to do my research in greater depth. I work from home and I absolutely enjoy it. I live with my wife in our small apartment (small is good, I am neat, but housekeeping is not my forte), where I have a custom-designed study room. The room is very small but cosy. It has a wall of dark-wood cabinets filled with my books. I love books, but a lot of my research is done on the web nowadays. Still, I enjoy a visit to the bookstore every now and then to look up the latest titles, though lately I have to depend on Amazon as the local bookstore is too limited.
All my articles are written at a workstation, with three monitor screens side by side, two back-up notebook computers and, when I travel, a digital album, several camera bodies, lens and tripod. It is impossible for me to travel light. Even a trip to a neighbouring town feels like I am moving house. (Oh, I have cut down tremendously since then. When travelling locally, I often bring only just a small compact camera, especially if I have no intention of getting a creative shot. And I smile to see the people around me with their DSLRs.)
Tim in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
I have come a long way since the time I wrote for fun. Well, I still do write for fun - I definitely would not be able to face having to write yet another travel article if I do not - but now I also earn money from it, sufficiently that I never have to go out to work again. And that doubles the fun! But what I love most, apart from this passion for writing and discovery, is that I am able to earn a comfortable living without having to suck up to bosses or please customers. I only answer to the man in the mirror, and he's real easy to please.
When I write, I embark on a mind trip of exploring and discovering. But more than just writing for fun, I now do it with a consciousness that what I write should not only entertain me, it should also provide the information that people are looking for, information that will help them as they follow in my wake.
Some of my articles are the result of spending much time hunting for information, asking questions, interviewing people, talking to the locals, searching for that hard-to-find document, and all the while trying to make sense of this wonderful world that continues to intrigue and amuse. Often the information does not come when I am right in front of an obscure building; it is the result of lots of research done afterwards, far removed from the building itself. These are the things I enjoy, to hunt for information, to assemble them, and then to present the results to a worldwide audience in articles which, I hope, make the entire process appear effortless.
I love hearing from you. If you care to write, you'd be surprise that I do reply, to as many email as I can possibly manage. Once again, thank you for reading. I am most grateful.
I have plenty of websites covering every topic that interest me. The following are just some of those that I write. The size (by number of pages) is as of August, 2010. The full list of my websites are shown in the list on the right column.
AsiaExplorers My oldest and biggest website, now with over 4,700 pages of travel articles, and still growing. AsiaExplorers is a budget travel guide covering all the countries in Asia.
My World Travel Guides This is my new flagship website, created on 1 January, 2011, to be my main travel website. This website describes all the places in the world. It presently has about 850 pages and growing.
Exploring America As the name suggests, this website takes you on an online tour of the United States of America, from the comfort of home. It presently has about 650 pages.
Penang Travel Tips A website to descronomg everything to do with Penang, my hometown. Penang Travel Tips is today one of the biggest websites about Penang, with over 2,100 pages.
London Travel Tips On this site, I describe the places of interest in London. It presently has about 850 pages and growing.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites This is a spin-off from my World Greatest Sites website. This website concentrates only on describing sites that are World Heritage Sites, and eventually those on the tentative list as well. There are close to 1,000 pages presently.
The Flowering Garden A beautiful website celebrating flowers and plants, The Flowering Garden is a joint effort between my wife and me. It now has close to 1,000 pages.
Happy Jobless Guy This is a website about how to earn a living without holding a job - exactly what I am doing. It has over 150 pages of articles.