My new book Famles: Fables and Fairytales for Men

Posted on by Neil Skywalker in Uncategorized 2 Comments

My new book Famles: Fables and Fairytales for Men

Hey guys,

Here’s another blog post from the world’s most irregular blogger. I made the same joke in my last post in 2013 so you can see I’m not lying :)

So why didn’t I write anything for so long? Well, for starters because I only want to post when I have something special to tell. There are enough blogs on the internet as it is. Everyone’s interesting these days or so they do seem to think. I have made a few trips since the last time I posted (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Transnistria and Ukraine) but nothing really out of the ordinary happened there.  No stabbings, no robberies or very dangerous situations (If you don’t count traveling in minivans in civil war Ukraine as dangerous). A couple of new flags though. 

I just published my second book and it’s the first in a hopefully long series. It’s titled Famles: Fables and Fairytales for Men.

A 116 page book with 10 short stories. Most are adaptations from known fables or fairytales written with unusual twist or plots. Others are original stories by me. Needless to say. It’s a book for men.

As an introduction to this bookseries I’m giving it away for free on Amazon Kindle on Saturday the 21th of March and Sunday the 22st of March.  There might be more free days in the future but until then you has to whip out a whopping 2.99 for the Kindle version. 

As a bonus I’m giving away the Kindle version of Around the world in 80 Girls too. Limited only to Saturday the 21st.

Until next time.

Book Famles: Fables and Fairytales for Men

Book Famles: Fables and Fairytales for Men


My USA trip – Part one (Los Angeles and San Diego)

Posted on by Neil Skywalker in Travel stories 4 Comments

Since there are already tons of travel blogs with lots of stories about these cities, i’m just going to stick to posting a few pictures.

Los Angeles

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 GIRLS – THE MOVIE?

Posted on by Neil Skywalker in Uncategorized 11 Comments

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 GIRLS – THE MOVIE?

Here’s an update from the world’s most irregular blogger. I had some trouble with a website plugin which prevented me from logging in so it’s really been a while.

I receive a lot of emails from people asking me what I’ve been up since I went home after my round the world trip. Well, after writing and publishing my book AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 GIRLS – THE EPIC THREE YEAR TRIP OF A BACKPACKING CASANOVA, I felt it was time to try to fulfill my lifelong dream of being in the movie biz. I decided to write a screenplay. All I needed was a great story. Well, that I have.

Around November last year I started reading books about screenwriting and in December I put my first words to the paper. I finished the first draft on the 21th of February 2013. The last day of writing I banged out fifteen pages in a coffee fueled writing frenzy while suppressing the urge to beat up my noisy upstairs neighbor. Although I finally figured out the screenplay formatting rules, it still wasn’t much to look at, and any experienced screenwriter would cringe reading it but at least the first draft was ready. To be honest, any English reader would probably cringe since English is not my native language. Now the dreaded re-writing began, and a month later I finished a better second draft. It was time to take the next step. I booked tickets to New York and Los Angeles/Hollywood. The next three months I kept rewriting and fine-tuning the screenplay.

In the last days before I left I sublet my ultra small studio in my hometown back in Holland, said goodbye to my family and friends, kissed a sweet girl goodbye and flew to New York. Only problem was that the script still wasn’t finished. It needed a hell of a lot more rewriting.

Before arriving in New York I had an eleven hour layover in Iceland. The airport was nearly abandoned and I used the sleepless night to write some more. I kept going in the hostel where I stayed in Brooklyn. Besides meeting up with a nice Latin girl who I met the last time I was in New York and picking up an old bad habit of mine, smoking, that was almost the only thing I did there. I wrote on the bus to Washington where I met up and went out on U Street with some friends.

I wrote on the bus to Philadelphia where I visited the Rocky statue and did the famous “Rocky runs up the stairs” routine. Sylvester Stallone was my child hood hero back in the days when kids kept a scrapbook with newspaper clippings. He still is actually. Would love to meet him one day. His own personal story is highly motivating and inspirational. The fact that he made his acting breakthrough with his own Rocky screenplay and the way how (which is a very inspiring story) made it almost a spiritual journey for me and I’m not embarrassed to say that a tear rolled down my cheek just for being at that place. Unlike what most people seem to think I’m quite an emotional person.

From there I flew on to Los Angeles through St Louis.  The plane left too late from New York because of the weather and I was stuck in St Louis for another night in the airport. It was the second full night in an airport in ten days and I was pissed off about it. After a lot of verbal clashing with the employees of American Airlines (you suck AA) about getting a free hotel room for the night instead of paying 65 dollar, I used that build up anger for another re-writing frenzy and at the end of the night the fourth draft was done. At least I would arrive in Los Angeles with a finished screenplay. Or so I thought.

In Los Angeles I checked into the Banana Bungalow hostel at Hollywood Boulevard and took a few days off to party and to visit a couple of places around town. A few days turned into a full week. The free beer at the hostel wasn’t helping.  It was time to get back to action and I hired three online professional screenplay readers to go over my script. Draining my small budget of 320 dollar. In short, they really liked the concept but the writing was under par and I needed to change the beginning of the story. No need to say I had to write a final fifth draft.

I was not happy with this of course since I had already lost so much time but did it anyway. I put in the hours and the result was actually a lot better. In the meanwhile I had changed hostels and was known as the guy who lay in his bed all day typing on his laptop. It was time to try to sell the damn thing. This is where hard part starts. Or at least so I thought.

It turned out to be a lot easier to break into Hollywood as a totally unknown writer then predicted by all the books and screenwriting websites I had read over the past nine months. With over two hundred thousand screenwriters present in Los Angeles and no connections whatsoever, it seemed like a mission impossible.  The next part is probably going to piss off a lot of struggling screenwriters who email, call and pitch their asses off.

On the 1st of August I started emailing production companies and management agencies. After two days I got my first screenplay request from a well known A-list company from one of their big shot presidents herself. I jumped in the air of happiness. In the next days I got fourteen more requests and one reasonable offer.  On day twelve I received an email that made my day. The second serious offer. Three days of (brutal) negotiating later, I signed a very lucrative option contract for the screenplay, the book rights and my life story rights.

For those not familiar with options contracts, it means that the production company has the single right to buy my screenplay, book rights and life story rights for a limited amount of time. Once the production company finds the investors (it’s a high budget movie) and the movie is greenlit, the production starts. I will not share any details on the financial part of the contract but what I can say is that IF the movie is produced i’m in it too. 

This movie has the potential to become a truly iconic movie about backpacking and romance.

The announcement was made in Variety. Hollywood’s leading movie entertainment magazine.

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/devils-knot-producer-takes-on-around-the-world-in-80-girls-exclusive-1200582993/

No need to say that I’m very proud of myself. Just four years ago I was wasting my time in a dull office and since then I have traveled around the world for three years through 42 countries, grew incredibly as a person, picked up a lot of lovely ladies, had many good (and bad) adventures, published a well selling book and have an A-list company interested in making a movie about my life. Not bad for a guy with only a minor high school diploma. I tell you, I’m looking forward to the next five years.

Where am I right now? In the next few weeks I will do a short trip through California, Nevada and Colorado. I will visit Santa Barbara tomorrow, and then head out to San Francisco, Yosemite Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas and of course the majestic Grand Canyon before returning to Holland for a while.

Hey, wait a minute Skywalker. No girls in this post?

Well alright, I won’t go into the Holland part this time but despite spending 95% of my time in Los Angeles working on my screenplay mission, I managed to capture one new flag there: Lithuania.

Any more screenplays planned? – I have another idea loosely based on my time in Holland after I came back from my trip which I will explore once I’m back there.

Until next time….

Neil Skywalker

©Around the world in 80 girls


Laos – Vang Vieng March 2010

Posted on by Neil Skywalker in Travel stories 5 Comments

EDIT – MAY 2013 – I decided to put back a few of my older unedited stories which didn’t make into the book or only a very small part of it, so yes, they can be a bit boring. If you want to read the exciting and adventurous stuff I suggest you buy my book. It is packed with some of the most outrageous travel stories you’ll ever read.  

Vang Vieng

It was time to visit the big backpacker trap named Vang Vieng, a place where every backpacker in South East Asia will end up at some point. When I walked of the bus I saw two English speaking white guys walking bare feet. I don’t know what their plan was, maybe a book named “Around the world barefeet” it looked disgusting.

The biggest reason backpackers go to Vang Vieng is the tubing down the river.  It’s a debauchery of 21 year old drunk and drugged up backpackers. During the day people go tubing and get drunk at one of the many bars on the side of the river. The river and its bars have a sort of Mad Max look and when you’re there for the first time its fun to do. When you’re on the inner tube, Laotian guys will throw ropes and pull you into the bar area where lot of people get drunk on cheap cocktails. There were slides, ziplines and every one had paint on their body saying they were sluts or take it up the ass.  I felt old and not at ease here. It was clearly not my scene. Girls would climb up the rocks, get to the bar and scream wooohooo !! every two minutes. 

At night, all the bars were open and people got drunk in the many drinking games or rounds of free drinks.  I tried to pick up some girls but since I had no verbally strong game yet and the girls there has an attention span of a minute until the next woohooo, I didn’t bother too much with it. Most of them were fat backpacker girls anyway. When the bars closed people moved to the riverside bars and drank buckets of Vodka red bull. I go drunk here a few times but usually not too much because I hate hangovers. Sleeping was not too great because many times there were loud ceremonies in the Buddhist temple next to my hotel.

A guy who is a party animal with game and can get let go of all shame would kill it here with the girls. I’m not that guy and am way too self conscious for this kind of things.

I paid only 3 dollar for a hotel room with a small bathroom. It was a hotel where a lot of Japanese tourists would go. I talked to them quite a few times but somehow conversation went slow. There were shitloads of restaurants in Vang Vieng all playing the same television shows. It was either Family guy or Friends. I’m more of a Friends person so I usually sat down in the same place. One day I had a lot of eye contact with a cute girl but she left soon after with her girlfriends. The next time I saw her again she was wearing a long dress but when she sat down her dress moved up and showed some disgustingly hairy legs. I lost my appetite immediately and gave her an obvious dirty look. She should learn to behave like a woman and not like an unshaved feminist.  It only convinced me more how white backpacker girls are not for me. Most of them dress bad and don’t take care of them selves. Still they walk around thinking like they’re the main prize. I ran into a similar situation in Bolivia a year later.

I found a massage salon with a very young  and hot girl working there. A massage would cost around 3.5 dollar for one hour and the girl would sit on you in a short hotpants. Talking to her was difficult because her English vocabulary didn’t go beyond 10 words. I killed my time with reading some pick up info and watching movies at daytime and by going out at night. Some people were really fucked up on drugs and acted crazy and made complete fools of themselves in front of everyone. I took it easy with the mushroom shakes and smoked some opium instead. Prices of the drugs were complete rip offs and I guess half was fake.

I can’t believe I stayed 10 days here but I did, like I said before I didn’t feel at ease in this scene and decided to go back to Cambodia where I would be a somebody again. Dara and Nina had both been emailing me asking when I returned. I had to go to Bangkok first, to cross the Thai/Cambodian border in the east. It was not possible to go from Laos to Cambodia with a Cambodian visa form the embassy. The other way around is possible as you have read in the beginning of this story. After this I took one of the worst bus rides of my trip.

2013 update: According to Wikipedia there’s no more tubing and getting drunk along the river side as of the third quarter of 2012. At least 22 tourists died in 2011 while tubing down the river. No need to say that the majority of people that drowned were probably very drunk and/or stoned. Safety measures were non-existent and personally I wouldn’t go down that river with more than a couple of beers in me. The river has some rapids down the river ( not in pictures) and I can imagine that on a windy or stormy day those mild rapids can turn into something more dangerous.

Some pictures of Vang Vieng river chaos

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Laos – 4000 islands of Don Deth, February 2010

Posted on by Neil Skywalker in Travel stories 1 Comment

EDIT – APRIL 2013 – I decided to put back a few of my older unedited stories which didn’t make into the book or only a very small part of it, so yes, they can be a bit boring. If you want to read the exciting and adventurous stuff I suggest you buy my book. It is packed with some of the most outrageous travel stories you’ll ever read.  

Laos – 4000 islands of Don Deth, February 2010

The pick up point for my bus ride to Laos was close to the guesthouse at Lakeside, Cambodia.  I met a German girl there named Nikola and we went to the border together. It was a long bumpy bus ride to the border. I was reading a book for the first time in ages. The book, advised by any people to me was The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Although it was an interesting read I expected more from it. It was not a life changer as many people had told me. Well, the real life changing happened in the weeks before where I went from a regular backpacker to a womanizing bastard.

Don Deth of the 4000 islands

Several websites and the Lonely planet book were saying that it was impossible to get a Laos visa at the border but when we arrived there it was not impossible at all, the visa at the border was even 5 dollar cheaper and didn’t take 3 days and 2 motorbike rides to the embassy to get it. The border crossing was very primitive, a couple of wooden shacks and one guard on both sides. A little bit further we were dropped of by the side of the road, there were some other backpackers waiting. After some half hour another minibus came and brought us to the Mekong River where we had to negotiate a fare for a small motorized canoe to take us to Don Deth one of the 4000 islands, a famous place for backpackers to hang out. It was already getting dark and we had no reservations so we still had to walk around the small island and find a place to sleep. The west side of the island was covered with mosquitoes; massive clouds of mosquitoes were hanging around the patios and bedrooms.  I didn’t like the look of this island at all.

We found a path to the east side of the island where there were no mosquitoes around for some reason but most of the places were full so I proposed to share a room together and she agreed. The room had only one big bed and she didn’t mind. I don’t know the name of the island anymore; the island lay in the dirt green Mekong river and was a bit of hippy haven. The two German guys in the hut next to me were serious stoners with long dirty Rasta hair and beards. They were nice guys tough. One thing I wanted to change on my trip is the fact that I’m very judgemental. I have an opinion on everything and anyone. Those two German guys were nice and even shared there weed with me, they both saved up for their trip and worked blue collar jobs like I used to do. The one thing I couldn’t stand about them was their constant complaining about the prices on the island. They had lived on an ultra low budget in India for six months and ate only vegetarian food. Of course on a small tourist island the prices go up but it was still in Laos, one of the cheapest countries in Asia.

The “bungalow”  Nikola and I were staying was made of 4 bamboo walls with a straw grass roof and the bed was the only furniture. We talked a lot that night about her job as a social worker in Germany and later went to bed. She wasn’t the best looking girl but still bangable and made a move on her at night but she didn’t want. A strange thing because in the last weeks a no girl had refused me. She had a cold and passed it on to me; I had a runny nose for at least two weeks after. The problem when traveling is that it’s hard to stay in good health. A simple cold takes two to three weeks to clear where it normally takes me 4 days.

Nikola went to another island the next day where she was going to meet a friend. I stayed and did nothing for the next 4 days. Most of my time I spend on doing some reading, laying on my bed and watching movies on my laptop. I watched the whole John Carpenter collection, a director most famous for his horror movies. There is absolutely nothing to do on the island, a few restaurants sell beer at rip off prices and that was it. You could count the bangable girls on one hand. One day I took a swim across the river with the German hippy dude and I thought I smelled terrible from the dirty water.  I took a shower and still stank. The hippy guy told me that the water from the shower was river water too and that explained a lot. It’s not for someone who wishes a lot of comfort. There was no ATM on the island and I had to leave as my money was running out. I regret been a lazy bastard and not walking around the other islands.

The only thing I remember from the overnight bus ride to Vientiane is that there were four Israeli girls on board and one had an amazing pair of knockers. A talked to them a bit but they said goodbye somewhere along the road. 

Next up – Laos Vientiane and the crazy tubing in Vang Vieng (backpacker heaven for the young, wild and annoying)

 

Neil Skywalker

© Around the world in 80 Girls



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