Thomas Tye grew up in a small town in Ohio. After high school, he traveled for several years, studying in Japan and spending time in Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska, as well. Upon returning to the Continental United States, he enrolled in the University of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in Asian studies. While completing his coursework, Thomas studied writing in England and backpacked through East Africa - where he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at 23-years-old. To work his way through university, Thomas worked part-time as a bartender, landscaper, caterer, remodeler, and English teacher for non-native speakers.