World Travel


Dec 07 2010

“All Over The Map” Book Review

Published by under Book Reviews

All Over the MapTold simply and beautifully, Laura Fraser’s memoir “All Over the Map” spans nearly ten years of her life and numerous trips around the globe.  Fraser experiences various forms of travel from leisurely food tasting trips in the Aeolian Islands to uncovering the lingering trauma of the Rwandan genocide.  Throughout it all, Fraser’s wanderlust guides her from one spectacular adventure to the next.  But when her post-divorce love tells her in Oaxaca that he intends to marry another, Fraser realizes that it may not be so easy to balance the thrills of travel with the need for companionship.

Single and over forty, she continues both exploring the world and searching for love.  When in Samoa, however, Fraser has a terrible experience that makes her fear one of her greatest passions in life: travel.  Only the comfort of family and friends and the passage of time helps rekindle Fraser’s desire to journey through foreign lands.  Gradually, she picks up where she left off, and soon her life is again full of exotic places and interesting encounters.

During the course of the book, Fraser is constantly learning more about herself, the world, and her own niche within it.  She adjusts her life accordingly, and at last finds the equilibrium she has sought all along.  It does not come from any external source or a new romance.  Instead, it comes from deep inside her, constructed out of the bits of wisdom Fraser has acquired over the years from people and places all over the map.

In reading this book it is possible to learn about fascinating cultures around the world and the universal experiences of the writer’s personal life.  Fraser does not attempt to be overly charming or amusing with funny travel tales and jokes.  Her tone is completely natural, and her story is real and thoughtfully rendered.  Recently, I have been reading a number of travel books by female authors, and so far this one is my favorite!

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Mar 09 2010

Hidden Treasures – Three Books About Living, Eating, and Traveling Green

Published by under Book Reviews

Living and traveling green doesn’t take great personal sacrifice, but not all of us know how to get started without giving up our habits and routines. “Green” may be a popular trend, but you don’t have to buy expensive “earth friendly” products, eat strictly vegan, or stop going places and retreat to a secluded cabin in the woods to practice eco-living. Allow me to present some Hidden Treasures that will prove it to you.

Wake Up And Smell The Planet, The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day edited by Brangien Davis with Katharine Wroth

“We bet we can guess what your morning routine looks like: You gently click off your solar-powered alarm clock, crawl out of your hemp sheets, don organic cotton slippers a recycled fleece robe, and shuffle across your bamboo floors to the bathroom where you bathe in rain water and botanicals harvested from your own garden.
Not quite? Good.” This is when you snicker and read on.

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Feb 07 2009

What to Do with Your Travel Loot

Travel Loot -- photo by Nicole

Travel Loot -- photo by Nicole

You’ve spent weeks, months, or even years planning your trip.  You’ve fantasized about lazy vacation days on a Caribbean beach, slathered in suntan oil instead of wrapped up in scarves.  You’ve spent long afternoons at work mulling over hotel deals and airfare to that remote South Pacific island where you can throw out your wool socks and throw on a sarong, all the while appearing, of course, to the eyes of prying bosses to be diligently at work.  Maybe you’ve elaborately mapped out a European museum spree, complete with pastry breaks and espresso stops.  Or perhaps you’ve spent your weekends training for a thrilling, perilous trek up a snow-capped Himalayan peak, interviewing sherpas and depriving yourself of oxygen.

But now you’re back.  You’ve taken several hundred pictures, sent off your postcards, lost your passport, gotten ripped off by taxi drivers and rickshaw wallahs, seen some pretty disgusting toilets, found your passport (hopefully not in the disgusting toilet), and managed to make it back home with several extra bags full of hard-earned, hopefully hard-bargained for, travel goodies.

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Oct 01 2008

A Book Of Trees…Made Of Trees

Published by under Book Reviews

Trees: A Visual Guide

Trees: A Visual Guide --by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stachouse

Trees can tell us a whole lot of things. They can tell you direction if you are lost. Some can provide water for you. They make the air you breathe, which is pretty cool. They also can tell us which way the prevailing wind in a specific area blows. Oh yeah, and they look amazing. Trees, A Visual Guide by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stachouse has come in to the store and the book is awesome. It has gorgeous pictures of all different types of trees from all over the world. It gives you all the information you need to have a general understanding of tree usage in our world and tree usage in the animal world. This book also lets you know how tall they are, where they grow, the types of flowers or fruits they produce, and much, much more. Anyway, I think it is an awesome book that tells you about some of the tallest and oldest living things on earth. Even if you don’t want the information, the pictures alone are worth it and are spectacular.

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Sep 23 2008

Paul Theroux Was Here.

Published by under News

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star --by Paul Theroux

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star --by Paul Theroux

Everyone who was working last night was very excited when Paul Theroux stopped by the store to autograph copies of his latest book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. I rarely get star struck, but this is the man that started my obsession with travel writing, beginning when I read The Great Railway Bazaar.

I am not sure if it was nerves or sleep deprivation, but I do remember babbling to him about taking The Pillars of Hercules to Croatia with me. He must have thought I was a bit crazy as I could only muster fragments of sentences, but later we kind of chatted pleasantly about traveling. I can’t believe that I was comparing flight prices with Paul Theroux.

We now have lots of signed copies of the author’s books, including The Great Railway Bazaar (Asia), Riding the Iron Rooster (China), The Pillars of Hercules (The Mediterranean), The Mosquito Coast (Honduras), The Happy Isles of Oceania (Pacific Islands), The Elephanta Suite (India), Dark Star Safari (Africa) and The Kingdom by the Sea (Great Britain) and the newest edition to my reading list…Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.

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Sep 21 2008

The Geography of Bliss: In Search of the Happiest Places in the World

Published by under Book Reviews

The Geography of Bliss -by Eric Weiner

The Geography of Bliss --by Eric Weiner

I should confess that this was the first book ever that made me feel something unusual towards the author. This time after finishing the last page I felt incredibly…grateful. The most unexpected feeling after putting down your read. The truth is I almost never take a book from a shelf just because I like the cover. This time the light-hearted picture of a paper plane made me open a copy; I immediately changed my mind about what I thought of the content a second before.

Measuring happiness, grasping the true meaning of it is definitely a tricky business. For example, we can’t even be sure that the word happiness means the same feeling, the same state of mind, in various cultures. We may think that there’s got to be a universal recipe for feeling good, but as it turns out every country has a slightly different approach toward defining bliss. I am very grateful for “the grump” who consulted the world’s happiness experts and then took the trouble to search for the happiest place, spinning out a whole new story of finding yourself. The discoveries along the way turned out to be quite unexpected, but invariably moving, funny, bizarre: they constantly made you reconsider your personal attitude toward happiness. This is a truly meaningful book.

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