A Learning Curve takes readers on an interesting series of adventures through Southeast Asia. With a carefully selected amalgam of different travel stories from the author's own amusing expeditions to tales of ancient history, famous travellers and legends that can be followed easily - giving A Learning Curve a treasure map quality with Asia being the prize.
Traveller, writer, foodie and everything in between, Paul Raftery has spent over seven years muddling his way through five of Southeast Asia's countries in pursuit of knowledge; while attempting to follow in the footsteps of some of history's most successful travellers.
Following his personal journey, he entertains with humorous stories and funny situations when trying to make sense of it all; while he takes an interesting look at how trade has shaped the world, and how port towns rose up along the shorelines of many trade routes that still exist today.
While discovering a world that some may find surprising, even shocking, he shows how knowledge of a place can open up a window into a spellbinding world that has long since passed, which can really make a place come alive.
His personal travels not only entertain but also follow an exciting path that many wood-be travellers, visiting Asia, can see for themselves. From his interest in learning a little about religion, culture and customs, his investigations into historical locations uncover some interesting facts and near miss events - like how Britain, Europe and possibly even America avoided becoming a predominantly Islamic continent, as the religion spread across the globe, over 700 years ago.
This story is one of legends, bizarre encounters and one of the greatest travellers' tales ever told. While discovering the perils of not making proper provisions; he also tells of a journey of Western influence, conflict, torture, conspiracy and personal tragedy.
All of these chance events, meetings and more put him on a path, which finally led him to a point on the map where it all fell into place, and he realised he had gone full circle. During his adventures, he visited Thailand, Malaysia, China, India and Japan. Here is what he saw; here he what he learnt; here is what he left behind ...
"It is the exchange of ideas that is of greatest profit to humanity"
"It's got everything, it's funny, educational, informative and well written. Can't wait for the next instalment!"
"Captivating from the start this refreshingly honest and down to earth book really fires the appetite for travel"
"A coming of age tale and great read that conveys the writers personal, emotional and educational journey through Asia."
"It's Michael Palin meets an Idiot Abroad"