Lonely Planet Publications was born in 1973 when the Wheelers self-published a quirky travel guide, Across Asia on the Cheap. This was quickly followed by what soon became the backpackers's bible, Southeast Asia on a Shoestring. Going
boldly where no other travel publisher had ventured, they catered to a
new generation of independent, budget-conscious travelers long before
the advent of mass tourism.
The Lonely Planet Story is a unique mix of autobiography,
business history and travel book. It traces Tony and Maureen Wheeler's
personal story as well as the often bumpy evolution of their travel
guide business into the world's largest independent travel publishing
company. Above all, their memoir reveals the spirit of adventure that
has made them, according to the New York Daily News, "the specialists in guiding weird folks to weird places".