After finishing up my review of the Cargo Ship Diaries, I had to hang my head in shame. There were, on my iPad, no fewer than four review copies of books I had received and never posted a review about! My apologies for the delay to those authors. Awesome readers, I hope you discover a book or two you’ll love.
Have you written a travel- or blogging-related book? Tell me about it. I may be interested in reviewing it in a future post.
Traveling in Sin – George and Lisa Rajna
What happens when an online romance turns into a trip around the world? For some, that might sound like the beginning of the next Hangover movie. For George and Lisa, the bloggers behind We Said Go Travel, this is exactly their story. It’s the sort of story that actually has a happy ending, and it takes its sweet time to get there. This is intended as a compliment – too many books about one’s adventures either end too soon or describe short adventures in wordy ways.
Both George’s and Lisa’s voices are heard throughout the book – Lisa’s words in italics, George’s in normal text – and as a result there is some duplication in areas. While the book mentions the ripoffs and setbacks most any traveler would face, it’s clear these two are meant for each other. I’d tell you how it ends, but like so many things in life and traveling, it’s the journey that matters more than the ending.
Watermelon is Life – Wes Weston
Subtitled “Invaluable Lessons From Teaching English Abroad”, this sequel to Happy Time Go Fast is dedicated to the school learners of Namibia. Wes opted to volunteer as a teacher in a Namibian public school for a year, which gave him more than enough stories to fill a book. Three of my favorites: getting schooled on how to slaughter chickens, being contacted by the Namibian president, and helping decide whether to give a goat or a washing machine for a bridal gift.
Teaching English in Asia puts a lot of Westerners in the minority, where their non-local skin color makes them stand out. Wes, however, notes he is an oshilumbu (white person). and explores the role as an outsider – and his efforts to fit in despite standing out in every way possible.
I wish there were more travel stories in the book. The author mentions the starry skies, the rides in the back of pick-up trucks, but those aren’t in the book. I will, however, be looking forward to his next book about life as a nomad – wherever it takes him.
The Red Rucksack – Ben West
Ben starts as a Tasmanian pharmacist – a burnt out one at that – and eventually chooses to begin a journey to start living life on his own terms. Fisticuffs with racist Mongolians lead to a return trip home, but his parents join him on a traveling leg that included Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. And then there’s the tale of Jette, an “attractively Nordic lawyer from Denmark” – she and Ben spend a fair bit of time together, going snorkeling and otherwise conversing..
After his parents return home, however, Ben finds himself in Quito without a plan. All the same, he meets up with some interesting characters, wrestles a midget, climbs a mountain without any trails to reach a perfectly circular crater 3 kilometers wide, and deals with testosterone-driven tour guides.
For a more condensed (and free) read, check out a free book of tips Ben has gleaned from his travels. It’s called “What The Travel Guides Won’t Tell You”, and it’s available on his website. It’s more like a booklet at 20 pages, but it reads almost like a bonus chapter worth taking in after reading the Rucksack.
Hammocks and Hard Drives – Dave Dean
For all the upcoming digital nomads that picture their lives like the picture on the cover, Dave is about to destroy some pre-conceived notions. “Working in a hammock for more than a few minutes will make your neck and wrists ache,” he says in the introduction. Being a digital nomad isn’t easy – especially when your livelihood become reliant on finding power or a decent internet connection. There’s also the real-world dangers of insecure internet connection, theft, and the unsexy aspects of backing up important data.
Whatever your project may be, there’s a very good chance it’s covered here. Technology is a means to an end, whatever your expertise may be, and Dave helps you get (and use) the best tech out there.
While the book was released earlier this month (April 2014), the tech world moves faster than space shuttle. The principles are the same, though, even if the models change. Look for an updated version if you’re reading this post in 2015 or later.
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