Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Editor: Janna Graber
Publisher: World Traveler Press
This diverse collection of travel tales from around the world is fascinating in the breadth of its scope, with each of the 24 adventures described being unique in their own way. In each case, the authors’ views and focus are centered on varying aspects of the human and physical landscape, each in such a way that they grab the reader’s attention from start to finish. Adventures in the colder parts of North America are covered in Peter Mandel’s “Safari on Ice” (set in Manitoba, Canada) and Michael Engelhard’s “Honeymoon for Three” (set in Alaska, USA). From Peru in South America come two pieces focused on the remains of the ancient Inca Empire, Claire Ibarra’s “In Ruins” and Erin Byrne’s “Healing Heights of Machu Picchu”, while the Pacific Ocean and surrounding areas are approached in Bruce Northam’s “The Naked Truth” (set in New Guinea), Asia Nichols’ “Monkey Wrench” (set in Indonesia), Gina Kremer’s “Paradise Lost” (set in Hawaii, USA), and Maggie Cooper’s “Sailing Down Under” (set in Australia). The rugged feel of the bush comes across in the pieces on Africa: Kimberley Lovato’s “Feeling Tanzania”, Peter Mandel’s “Walks on the Wild Side” (set in Uganda) and James Michael Dorsey’s “Of Nomads and Whales” (set in Mali). One is given tantalizing glimpses of the multicultural and historic aspects of Europe in the editor’s, Janna Graber’s, “Filling in the Holes” (set in Latvia), as well as in Todd Pitock’s “Letters from the Countryside” (set in the Czech Republic), Mim Swartz’s “Last Trip to Venice” (set in Italy) and David Richard Teece’s “Farewell Tour” (set in Turkey). The spirituality and sometimes alienating difference of the East comes across in the pieces from Asia: Richard McCulloch’s “Deserted in the Gobi” (set in China); Peter Mandel’s “Hiking the Ancient Nakasendo Way”; Mariusz Stankiewicz’s “Fear in Srinagar” (set in the Kashmir), Aaron Paulson’s “The Day the Earth Moved” (set in Japan) and Nayanna Chakrbarty’s “Pilgrimage to Mount Kailash” (set in Tibet). From the frozen regions of the world come Mim Swartz’s “Stepping up to the Challenge” (set in Iceland) and Robert N. Jenkins’ “Dream at the End of the World” (set in Antarctica). Lastly, a maritime adventure around the world on a cut-costing cruise is described by Dan Leeth in “Girding the Globe”. A brief overview of each contributor’s body of work is given at the end of each piece, so that readers wishing to read more of it can do so.
No matter the setting and perspective, all writers whose work is featured in this anthology are clearly fascinated by the experience of travel, and by the many wondrous discoveries that they have made along the way. That, in each case, the travelers’ experiences have had a profound impact on their life, and on the way in which they choose to move forward to embark on still further adventures, is apparent. The paths taken by these intrepid explorers is inspiring, and motivates one to wish to advance on a course of discovery in one’s own life. The way in which each of the authors reveals both the highlights and uplifting moments, as well as the dangers and the risks, that all travelers experience, in various forms, in a search for what is new and novel in the world around them is invigorating and life-enhancing.
By the time that one comes to the end of the book, one feels that not only has one stood on many a foreign field, and swum in many a foreign sea, but that one has also broadened one’s horizons spiritually, by sharing in the heartfelt emotions of the contributors involved. A truly enlightening read, that is bound to both edify and delight, Adventures of a Lifetime is a must read for anyone who recognizes the importance of exposing oneself to other cultures and lands.