11 Worldwide Travel Experiences To Read From Your Armchair #TuesdayBookBlog

Over my years of reviewing I have enjoyed travelling across the world with several authors, while most of us are re-thinking our holiday options, I thought I’d take another look at a selection of my favourite travelogues.

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Salt Water and Spear Tips by Thor F. Jensen. Thor’s world-record circumnavigation of the island of New Guinea in a traditional sailing canoe. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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The Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills by Patrick Rogers. Patrick goes to Northeast Indian in search of the people who grow living bridges from the roots of trees. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Hit the road Jac!: Seven years, twenty countries, no plan by Jacqui Furneaux. On her fiftieth birthday Jacquie took off travelling the world on an Enfield motorbike. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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In Foreign Fields: How Not To Move To France by Susie Kelly. Susie and her husband hoped to find paradise in the French countryside. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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A Visit to Gansu Province for the Chinese New Year by Helen Wallimann. Helen visited rural China and the man-made cave dwellings known as yaodong. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Fifty Miles Wide by Julian Sayarer. Julian cycled through Israel and Palestine meeting people from both sides of a troubled region. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Among Friends: Travels in Cuba by Heather Murray. An interesting look at Cuba from the author’s multiple trips which began in 2009. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Immersed in West Africa: A Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau by Terry Lister. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Adventure by Chicken Bus by Janet Losole is the memoir of a family who spent three years backpacking through central America. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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Toubab Tales: The Joys and Trials of Expat Life in Africa by Rob Baker is set in Mali. Rob tours the country in search of its music and musical instruments. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

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From A Wonky Path To An Open Road: A short book about a long journey join Janey de Nordwall, her cat and her 1970s VW campervan as they journey around Scotland. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.

Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Travelogue TOUBAB TALES: The Joys And Trials Of Expat Life In Africa by Rob Baker #TuesdayBookBlog

Toubab Tales: The Joys and Trials of Expat Life in AfricaToubab Tales: The Joys and Trials of Expat Life in Africa by Rob Baker

4 stars

Toubab Tales is a travelogue set in Mali between 2009 to 2012. Musician Rob Baker and his family lived in Bamako, Mali’s capital city. Rob studied Mali’s musical traditions as an ethnomusicologist, while his wife taught international children in a school.

The reader gets to ‘see’ Mali through Rob’s eyes as he travels around the country investigating local music, instruments and songs. It offered an unusual theme to a travel style book. Through Rob’s work we get to learn about everyday living in the city of Bamako and about travelling to more remote places. Rob is offered a free flight to Timbuktu where he discovers a music festival in the desert.  He travels by leaking boat to another remote area to study local music and takes a long train journey to Kayes, where the high temperatures bake everything. Other times Rob drives his Toyota Hilux along sand tracks which are full of pot holes, journeys for hours on the back of a motorbike and accepts that taxis often have just one working headlight, broken wing mirrors, no seatbelts and holes in their floors.

Toubab means ‘white man’ in the local Bambara language and Rob was constantly greeted this way. Local people never saw it as racist or impolite; to them it was a word which stated the obvious. Learning about how the people lived and what they thought of their own country were parts which interested me the most in this book. I wished Rob and his family could have stayed in Mali longer, however, a coup forced them to leave when it became dangerous for foreigners to remain in the country. An interesting book and one which had me reaching for an atlas to understand more about Mali and its neighbouring countries.

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Book description

“Go to Mali,” they said. “The music is amazing,” they said. “And you get ten hours of sunshine every day.” So I did, and this is the story of my three years in a poor yet incredibly rich West African country; a story of hope, warmth and positivity in the face of adversity. As a Toubab (Westerner) in Mali, I acquired many new skills: how to deal with persistent street sellers, how to use a ‘long drop’ toilet, surviving malaria and dysentery, enduring a climate constantly hotter than my own body, breaking down hours from anywhere, and making a 17-hour river journey on the roof of an oversized canoe. And all in the aid of ethnomusicology: the science of music in culture. My story closes amidst machine-gun fire, curfews and sudden farewells as the country spirals into chaos following a military coup; not the best weeks my life, but certainly among the most interesting.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #Travelogue IMMERSED IN WEST AFRICA by Terry Lister

Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau (Kindle) (Travels With Terry Book 1)Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau (Kindle) by Terry Lister

4 stars

Immersed In West Africa is a travelogue written by Bermudan solo traveller Terry Lister. Terry chose to visit some of the lesser known places and countries of Africa and he hopes that he might encourage some of the readers of his book to visit them too.

This books covers Terry’s route during 2017 through Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. He chose to use local transportation as much as possible and these included mini vans, sept-place cars (7-seater cars)  and motorbikes.

As a seasoned traveller Terry had completed a lot of research before he went; he also understood the need to arrive at pick up points early to get the best seat. I was impressed with how calmly he dealt with the constant requests for bribes at border crossings and with all the different currencies, especially when exchange rates and cash-only payments meant that he had to carry large sums of local money; I was relieved that he was never robbed.

Some of my favourite descriptions were when Terry went to see waterfalls and into the jungle or national parks. The book has lots of beautiful pictures from Terry’s travels, so this book would be an ideal read in paperback.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

It’s Africa!

Immersed in West Africa is NOT one of those cookie-cutter guide books. This is the powerful on-the-ground diary of one man’s solo journey through West Africa. For roughly 60 days, Terry Lister traveled across Senegal, Mauritania, the Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. What he experienced touched both his spirit and his soul. The ups and downs of travel, the people, the transport, the weather, the food, the haggling…he welcomed it all.

From harrowing experiences with border police, to day-long travel on crowded mini-buses, Lister’s accounts of daily life shed light on the real side of Africa, and are sure to both entertain and educate you.

Travel is the best educator and Lister shows us that while Africa is still the brunt of many jokes and misconceptions, it is more than worth the visit. If you are someone who’s been a bit afraid to travel into Africa beyond the big tours, this book will inspire you to step out with courage and faith. While your experience will be your own, it is one guaranteed to inspire and motivate you to be the best version of yourself.

So let’s step into this adventure together!

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