Liz Clark and Lynne Atkins sold their home in Darwin, Australia, and took the money to spend a year backpacking around the world. Now, they have written about their travel.
The book "Global Wanderings & Inane Wonderings: A Midlife Gap Year" covers the year's worth of adventures by Clark and Atkins. They went through more than 50 countries and all seven continents with full backpacks, cameras and a sense of humor.
The book is a combination of historical information, hysterical information, moments of panic, and soul-affirming observations. Pictures add more life to the words.
"This was, literally, a trip of a lifetime. We sold pretty much everything we had, including our cars, and packed backpacks. Then we left," said Ms. Atkins, a native Australian now living in Florida. "The most harrowing experience was in Bolivia when we were nearly kidnapped. That took a little while to get over. The best part of the journey, well, it was the journey. That's why we wrote this book."
Ms. Clark, an American, said she hopes people read the book and use it as a stepping stone to launch their own grand adventure. "We couldn't do this in our 20s, but when the chance came up, we jumped and did it. We had no obligations to keep us in Darwin, Australia, except our jobs, which we quit," she said. "We stepped out into the unknown to see what was there. What we found was better than anything we could have imagined. We put it into words so you can relive the journey with us."
Reviews are very positive. One said, "I described this guide to someone who immediately said it sounded like 'Eat, Pray, Love', which was also one of my first thoughts. I think this manuscript is much more fun to read, though."
With only a rough idea of where to go and how to get there, Clark and Atkins visit the wonders of the world and some places that most people have never heard of. With a solid injection of humor regularly, the book is definitely not a travel guide, but does have maps and travel tips. "We wanted to show people where we went and how we got there," Ms. Clark said.
As one Amazon reviewer says, "I felt like I was right there with them on their travels as they told me all about their experiences – some amazing, some downright awful -- just like hanging out with your best girlfriends."
"Global Wanderings" is available on Amazon at http://bit.ly/GW-IW on the Kindle platform and as a paperback.
For more information or to read their blog, email or visit www.globalwanderings.us/ .
Elizabeth J Clark (Liz) and Lynne Atkins
(828) 273 4634