Publisher: Waldorf Publishing (July 1, 2018)
Category: Essays, Travelogues , Travel, Adventure
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2018
Available in Print and ebook, 140 pages
This collection of near-death (and a few almost-near-death) stories take you on adventures in Africa, South America, Nepal, Japan and Thailand. Close Encounters with an angry snake, the edge of an abyss, an unfriendly African tribe, a fake guide or two, a mean Dutch man, a magic whirlpool, a nasty case of Typhoid and a severe case of mountain stupidity are told with the confidence of a traveler who has discovered that no matter what happens, everything works out in the end.
Amanda Jayne never wanted to live a normal life, which she has achieved with resounding success so far. She realized books were magic and could take you to other places, times and universes when she was very young and wanted to become an author immediately. However, she waited several decades so she could do other things first.
Her love for travel began with a six month South Africa trip at age 18 and continued with short jaunts in Eastern Europe during the years she worked in the mental health field.
As soon as she realized offices, rules and regulations were not her thing, she left her job and her native England to find out more about the world and the amazing array of people living in it. She spent 10 years living and travelling in various countries and finally returned to the UK in 2009 after gaining a masters in Spiritual Psychology in the USA and walking 1,200 km around the 88 temples pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan.
These days she teaches Jikiden Reiki, makes websites and writes books. She’s sometimes quite busy. Some of the things she loves are trees, art, being with friends, making up stories for her nephews, karaoke, cats and dark chocolate, not necessarily in that order. She lives in a quiet corner of Kent in the UK and tries, but usually fails, to stay there for long periods of time.
I know people from South America and Thailand, so I was eager to read Amanda Jayne's experiences in those countries, among others.
The stories from Bolivia, three of them to be exact, warns the traveler to be wary of eating street food and to watch out for unreliable tourist guides, of making sure you see a qualified doctor if you ever get something like typhoid or stomach problems, and being extra careful when biking or riding down the Road of Death, a narrow winding mountain road with fabulous views of the jungle but a harrowing ride if the road is crowded with trucks and/or other vehicles.
The Thailand rafting experience on a small river in the north could be exquisite, a communion with nature, unless a rafting guide decides to hit a snake out of its resting place in a tree overhanging said river. In Jayne's experience, the snake tried to get out of the water and climb onto their raft, causing panic among the raft riders.
There are other interesting survival stories: climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan with the wrong schedule, white water rafting in the Himalayas, getting on the wrong bus and landing up in the wrong place in Lesotho, Africa.
None of the narrow escapes made me want to avoid most of these countries. In fact, the stories could whet the appetite of travelers who would swear they would be able to avoid the pitfalls Jayne experienced.
You can read the short essays in any order, which I did. It was fun, enlightening, and great even for armchair travelers.
It had all been worth it despite the guide who wasn't a guide. Meme:The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice.