Skip to content

Browsing the Shelves from Keely’s Couch

Since most of us are stuck inside for the time being, there’s no better time than now to peruse travel memoirs. If we can’t be outside doing terribly adventurous things, at least we can live vicariously through the people that have experienced some of the most extreme highs and lows of travelling (and gain some inspiration for our own future travel plans!).

Levison Wood has written a number of adventure travel books, with this latest being an insight into the daring hitchhiking trip he took at the age of 22. Starting from his home in England, Wood makes his way through Russia, the Middle East and India in an attempt to re-create the ancient Silk Road trading route. He apologizes early on in the book because he wrote most of the account many years ago and felt it may sound naive. However, he leaves most of the story as-is because it captures his mindset and outlook at the time. To me this breathes authenticity and charm into the tale, as he views things in a refreshingly honest way.

This man is fearless. His account is filled with plenty of extremely dangerous situations, sleeping rough in bus stops and on the streets, food poisoning, and quirky locals who help him along the way. Wood mentions cultural and historical facts with each place he comes across, whether it’s the cave city in Vardzia, Georgia, or the Golden Temple of Amritsar, but it never feels like you’re being subjected to a dry history lesson.

The ending felt a bit rushed, but this is definitely a great travelogue full of a unique sense of adventure.

Pick up this great book in person when our library doors are open again. Until then, read Wood’s fantastic Walking the Nile or An Arabian Journey through Overdrive. Both are definitely worth a read! (Or a listen, whichever you prefer!)

Why stop there? Did you know that the Gibsons and District Public Library website offers free access to the A to Z World Travel database? It currently has 202 world city travel guides with in-depth travel information covering city facts, embassies and consulates, immunization summaries, transportation, restaurants, national cuisine, recipes, climate, and languages. Just choose a city to explore, and away you go! All you need is your library card number (so much cheaper than a plane ticket!).

You may not be able to travel now, but it sure is nice to dream and plan ahead. Hopefully all of us at the Gibsons and District Public Library can help you access whatever information you may need for your future endeavours .

Stay safe and healthy!

~ Keely