Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Post: Author Tom McLaughlin (Borneo Tom)

Today I welcome Tom McLaughlin, author of Borneo Tom with his guest post.  Tomorrow I will also have a review of Borneo Tom so stay tuned for that as well.

Throwing all Away by Tom McLaughlin

Ever wanted to throw it all away and move to an island in Southeast Asia? Oh come on! You must have thought about it once or twice! Well, I packed it up, rented the house and had the mail forwarded.

My book, Borneo Tom, includes my travels and adventures by a retired science teacher. How did I afford that? Air Asia, Malaysia’s discount airline, offers super cheap air fares and sometimes I travelled for less than $8.00 per flight.  An ad would appear in the newspaper and for a destination and I would run and book the ticket over the Internet. It didn’t matter where the plane was going. I just got on and went.

These mini adventures brought me to exotic places where I danced naked during an earthquake, got lost wandering in former Japanese occupied caves, strolled around the rim of a live volcano, panned for diamonds and other experiences, some very foolish!

Borneo attracts some of the greatest minds in biology and I was privileged to meet some of them and my
experiences includes frog watching at night, meeting the top panda guy, learning about orang-utans and many other critters. I became a rabid fan of Alfred Wallace, the adventurer who devised the Theory of Natural Selection. Andyou thought it was Darwin.

And of course love intervened. Many kinds of love appeared including a changed and beautiful relationship with my daughters as they travelled part of the way with me. Then, there is my marriage to a local girl where I participated in a kampung wedding that has ended with a wonderful unexpected surprise.

The people and their customs are all there seen from the point of view of this wide eyed American with humour and sensitivity. The book hold sixty essays coupled with a sketch by local artist Niki who some of you may know from his work on the Kuching waterfront. Come share my adventures as I walk, run, fly and swim through the enchanted lands of Southeast Asia.

Tom McLaughlin is a biology, English and Literature in English teacher at the Lodge School in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo where he lives with his wife and six month old son. Formerly a science teacher from the Washington D.C. area, he has written numerous articles for regional newspapers and magazines. He writes every Wednesday for and has a science related blog on



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