extract, how Tom persuaded Alice to go travelling

Find out how the idea to travel came about

with an extract from book 1, beginning.

What you need to know beforehand

Alice Adler convinced the US billionaire Tom Holbon to join her in developing a town experiment.

A few days after their first meeting, Alice and Tom set up seven project teams. A week later, the teams start to compile a first draft for the town experiment. For this initial phase of the project, they use Tom’s estate near New York.

Seven weeks later, the teams introduce the Easy Town Project to a wider public at The First Easy Town Conference in New York. During the conference, a preliminary version of the Hub, an internet within the internet, is launched and causes panic among tech giants.
More big players in business and politics are nervous about the town project, and Alice and Tom meet with some of them, including businessmen, US senators, a cardinal and a Chinese ambassador.
The Chinese ambassador invites Tom and Alice to China.

The following extract starts directly after the meeting with the Chinese ambassador.

They are in a private hotel lounge.

How Tom persuaded Alice to go travelling

extract from book 1, beginning, at the conference


After the meeting with the ambassador, Alice and Tom refuelled with a light snack. Moments of quiet chewing passed, before Alice said: ‘So we are going to China? Really?’
‘I promised. And we shouldn’t break this promise. China is too powerful. Besides, we could use the trip to visit a few other countries too.’
Alice looked puzzled.
‘I was thinking, we should set up international teams in various countries for additional input. And we could visit some of them. It’s important that we are open and inclusive.’
‘Tom, I know and I agree. But now? We are about to move to London. Wouldn’t it be better if we travelled next year when we actually know how we want to run the experiment?’
‘Alice, don’t underestimate those who will try to bring us down. The more allies from different parts of the world we have, the better.’
Alice furrowed her eyebrows.
‘Look, Alice, will you hear me out?’
Alice nodded.
‘You and I have time. We won’t be needed in London before September. We can easily travel for two or three months.’
‘Hear me out?’
‘We can achieve a lot by officially meeting with people from all around the world. We will make the project know. We will build trust. We will build a network of allies. And we already agreed to set up some Easy Town businesses globally, like dot.international. Let’s be in touch with the locations of our project. And this way, we will have a personal connection to some of the Hub Stations, which will play an essential role in the whole project. Also, by travelling in person, we will stress how much the project means to us personally. And people love travelling. If we have Easy Towns worldwide, there could even be international job shaking. Actually, exchange of people: students, labourers, artists. Have a base in one town and work your way around the world.’
Alice stared at Tom. ‘Did you just jump from a chat about travelling to suggesting that we should build a network of Easy Towns?’
Tom cleared his throat and said: ‘You’re right. We have to start with a single town, with a single experiment. But we could build additional towns to research other issues, other sets of rules.’
Alice shook her head doubtfully.
‘All right,’ Tom said. ‘Not now. But we should go travelling. How about this? We each pick seven countries, China brings the number up to fifteen. And one of our destinations should be here in the United States to reassure the senators.’
Alice sighed and pondered this for a moment. Then she said: ‘Devery and Javiera could travel with us for the Hub. And we could take Tess and Hachiro for dot.international and Ethan or Audry for the town planners and one of the business people. Oh, hang on, that would be you. All right. All right. I’m not fully convinced. But since we have some time to spare this summer … Only, let’s try something around six weeks.’
‘Good,’ Tom said. ‘I will hand the organisation to Leo?’
‘It might also be good to invite all the new international teams to London in September.’
‘Now there is an idea I like,’ Alice said. ‘I might ask Andy to come travelling too. It will feel less like a waste of time if we keep working on the simulation.’
‘OK. Andy on the travelling team is a good idea. We can take my plane and set up a programming space for him.’
Alice had to laugh. ‘Look Tom, I can appreciate travelling on a private plane, but I’m not impressed.’
‘I didn’t think you would be.’
They both smiled.
‘Just so we are on the same page,’ Alice said. ‘We will go on this journey to get a shiny reputation, to meet some of our not yet existing international teams, to see some Hub Stations and to get a better idea of what we have gotten ourselves into?’
‘Yes, that’s us. And in between, we will visit China.’
‘Do you think we will get a chance to see the wall in China?’
‘We could fly over it if you like.’
‘Now I am impressed.’
‘Despite yourself?’
‘Of course.’

book 1, beginning, at the conference

Where to find this part of the story:

book 1, beginning, or drafting a town experiment, by Charlie Alice Raya

book 1, beginning

Alice Adler sets out to convince Tom Holbon to build a town experiment.
The aim of the experiment is to rethink — well, everything.

Preview: It all began with a letter

Pages: 486 pages
Format: ePub
Price: €8.78 (incl. VAT)

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Where the journey takes the travelling team:

book 2/1, travelling, chapters 1-5

(1) San Francisco

The journey kicks off to a bumpy start: Alice slips up, something is brewing within the travelling team, the meeting with a property mogul leaves Alice in a bad mood, and eventually Alice and Tom take a decision which is greeted with a stonewall from the travelling team.

Pages: 92 pages, 24k words
Price: €2.25 (incl. VAT)

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(2) Rio de Janeiro

Twice in Rio, Alice has to confront dark memories. In one case, retelling a nightmare earns her some respect. In the other case, Devery is glad that no one else is listening to their conversation. Not that he disagrees, but some of Alice’s thoughts are rather dark.

Pages: 68 pages, 19k words
Price: €1.86 (incl. VAT)

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(3) Buenos Aires

At first, the travelling team get something of a breather ‘just talking, sharing ideas, pondering small and big questions.’ Then a tragedy gives them a punch in the stomach, Alice struggles with some news, others scheme to sabotage the project, and Jack receives a heavy blow.

Pages: 62 pages, 16k words
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(4) South Africa

The stay in Injaberg is marked by clashes, Alice’s jumble of thoughts on colonialism and racism, an unexpected mediator, and news that divide the travelling team. In the aftermath of an attempted coup within the travelling team, some struggle to find their footing again.

Pages: 150 pages, 41k words
Price: €3.48 (incl. VAT)

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(5) Australia

Jack recaps the first days in Sydney, and he concludes that things are looking up. The next day, he fights with a jelly cocoon, witnesses zoo talks at breakfast, Brexit talks at lunch, and a town excursion afterwards. His day ends with a lonely beer. The following day has to be better. It is – sort of.

Pages: 99 pages, 24k words
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book 2/2, travelling, chapters 6-10

(6) China

For Alice the visit in China starts with two secrets. One secret helps her to keep an open mind during some meetings. The other might help her to understand herself better. Meanwhile, the project’s adversaries come up with new plans, but it’s the assassins who get too close.

Pages: 151 pages
Price: €3.56 (incl. VAT)

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(7) Otaon

Otaon is a most remarkable chapter on the travelling team’s journey. It’s a feast with fairy tales, humour and wisdom, an unexpected adventure, a celebration of human ingenuity, an acknowledgement of human faults, a journey magic and a little tragic but overall uplifting.

Pages: 162 pages
Price: €3.67(incl. VAT)

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(8) Romania

Despite some drawbacks, Alice has a great time in Romania. Not everyone is happy about that, but when Alice and Bertok develop a new idea, almost everyone is enthused, and Alice spends a sleepless night to ponder a crucial question. Meanwhile, Jack is troubled in Italy.

Pages: 93 pages
Price: €2.30 (incl. VAT)

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(9) Russia

Filip and Natasha invite Alice to an exclusive ball. Thanks to the sex talk, Alice has a lot of fun. But then things start to go downhill, and after a warning, the travelling team goes into hiding. Disguised, Alice travels to meet the one person who might know what the heck is going on.

Pages: 176 pages
Price: €3.94 (incl. VAT)

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(10) Berlin

When Alice arrives in Berlin, she feels strange. Five months ago, she left with the idea for a town experiment. Now she returns as the head of the town project. It’s time to wrap up her old life. After two very different goodbyes, the launch of the new Hub takes centre stage, and the sex talk gets new input.

Pages: 143 pages
Price: €3.14 (incl. VAT)

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