An Innocent Abroad: Life-Changing Trips from 35 Great Writers

When writing about their travel adventures, great authors invariably include details and descriptions that might be overlooked by the average person. Some short, some long, these personal essays by 35 authors--including Pico Iyer, Torre DeRoche and Cheryl Strayed--deliver exceptional value in a small package. More than just travelogues, the essays in An Innocent Abroad cover a multitude of emotions: the exhilaration of finally visiting a famous literary location; the abject terror of being chased by drug sellers in a truck on a road in Morocco; the frustration of attempting to fight sickness and injury with Western medicine and the relief when local healing methods actually work; and the inexplicable desire to have an "adventure" (like diving into rock-strewn, shark-infested waters off the coast of Australia) that is almost certainly a bad idea.

Vivid images bring these international experiences to life--boating on the canals in Venice, hiking through the mountains in Thailand, jumping from ice floes off the coast of Greenland, strolling the seaside boardwalk in Havana. Many of these journeys took place before 9/11, a time when traveling anywhere in the world was so much easier, which is reflected in the oftentimes simple and trusting nature with which the authors approach their fellow travelers, the foreigners they meet and their surroundings. Although each author's experience is distinctly different, readers will gain the sense of transformation that comes with travel just by reading these stirring accounts. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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