2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review: Turning Left Around the World by David C. Moore

I was contacted directly by the author on this one, and am so glad I was! I really enjoy memoirs, particularly about travel or repatriation or the experience of living (even if only for a specified duration) somewhere “other”. I am not a terribly adventurous traveler myself. I am fond of my mod-cons, my things, and my rules of engagement – and unusual or adventurous travel is not terribly compatible with those things. But I am FASCINATED by other cultures and lands where things operate under entirely different social, political, and economic parameters than my usual (admittedly rather small) world does.

Enter David Moore.

Upon retirement, David and his wife embarked on an epic adventure that I cannot even imagine undertaking. They traveled for nearly a year – continuous travel, with rarely more than a week (and often quite less) spent in a single location for TEN MONTHS. Ten months! To me that sounds like a dream and a nightmare wrapped up in one, doesn’t it? Logistically alone it would be a jumble of details… How does one pack for the better part of a year, covering tropical and sub-zero mountainous terrain? How do you maneuver local customs and travel requirements? What about language? What if you get sick or have an emergency? What if you encounter travel delays (seemingly omnipresent these days) when you’re on such a schedule? Well, fortunately David and his wife Helene are NOT me, because they navigated all of these issues not only with (relative) ease but also with aplomb, and the result is this utterly delightful memoir of their experiences around the world.

Apparently, the key to such a trip is logistics – and for that they were wise enough to use a service that dedicates itself to arranging unusual journeys. With that off their plates, they were free to move on to the exciting bits – deciding where to go. They decided early on that they were going to new places that neither had ever visited – and they were quite well-traveled prior to this trip, so that means that the resultant itinerary took them to a host of destinations that were exceptionally fascinating to read about and view through their eyes.

In a lovely engaging voice, David describes the ups and downs of their trip and you feel as though you are right there with the intrepid pair through the good, the bad and the ugly of their odyssey. It’s a remarkable adventure and makes for glorious reading. I enjoyed it in bursts, which enabled me to take in the details provided (including many pictures!) and then do a bit of my own behind-the-scenes research on their locales. That’s one of my favorite things about non-fiction – the ability to do follow-up work for more detail – and a travel book offers tremendous opportunities for that. With hilarity, touching detail, and a truly lovely series of revelations about themselves, their relationship to each other and to the world, and to life itself, the pair not only survived their journey but reveled in it. You will too, reading about their exploits.

My review copy was graciously provided by the author. And I’m pleased to report he is as delightful to “talk” with as he is to “travel” with in his book!

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