Travelphan is a non-fiction travel journal that tells Ryan Astaphan’s life story. In January of 2011 Ryan set off on a trip with an itinerary that would take him to India, Thailand, and China. To understand why the trip meant so much to him, you would have to know all the events that led Ryan to quit his job and travel through Asia.
In Travelphan, you will find out about Ryan’s chaotic childhood and turbulent mind. Very early in life Ryan became deeply depressed; that depression had lasting effects on him that you will see followed him all the way to Asia. An escape from that depression was found in sports, which instantly became Ryan’s greatest love (other than people, of course).
Outside of sports, Ryan was a lost soul. The son of two medical professionals, Ryan had no love for education and no idea what direction his life was going in. Outside of sports, Ryan got into drugs, especially while in college. It was during those years in college that Ryan suffered devastating knee injuries, which had doctors saying he would never play sports again.
A drastic event in Ryan’s life made him reconsider everything. It was then that he decided that life is too fleeting to be unhappy. Laying in bed one night, Ryan recalled a dream of his from childhood. He wished to learn kung fu in China. When he closed his eyes he could see himself training in an orange jumpsuit atop a foggy mountain. At 26 years old, Ryan realized there was nothing stopping him from living out his dream. As he planned his trip, he figured that if he would be going all the way to China that it would be worth stopping in some other countries.
Ryan always had a fascination with India; it always seemed so mystical, dreamy, and different. Ryan’s plan was to visit an ashram to meditate and heal his soul. As you will find out, things did not go as planned.
After a month in India, Ryan would spend two in Thailand. There he would learn Thai kickboxing. Ryan figured that if he could survive the brutal competition, that he would no longer have to worry about his past knee problems, the ones that kept him out of sports for five years. Once again, things did not go as Ryan planned.
If Ryan could make his way past India and Thailand, he would be off to live out a dream in China.