by Brad Newsham
Wed 30 Sep 09
Having read Brad Newsham’s first book ‘All the right places’ and thoroughly enjoying it, I was delighted to discover he had written a second book about his travels in the Philippines, India, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa over the space of 100 days. This is a refreshingly different travel book however, as the author’s mission is to choose someone to visit him in America, at his expense, from the people he encounters on his trip.
His mission to take someone home with him is interwoven subtly into the book, rather than dominating his day to day travel experiences. The people he meets are described in detail and with sensitivity, and he takes time to talk to and get to know many of them. The book is packed with interesting descriptions about the places he visits, and he has the balance between humour and the serious issues just right. He is constantly observant and honest about the bad times that go with travelling, such as his realisation that India is not as great as he found it during his first visit: his journal is revealing as he glances over it and reflects on some of his more negative observations about the country. Similarly, he is aware that he shouldn’t take travelling for granted and that he must enjoy and remember the $2.50 rooms and the 50 cent beers.
Brad travels frugally and is not looking forward to getting back to the rat- race at home in America and also realises that he would love to travel for much longer if he had the financial means to do so, things that many travellers will be able to relate to. It would be hard not to warm to Brad and his generous, humble nature.
The writing style could have been better, but I was fascinated throughout by everywhere that Brad visits, and intrigued as to who would be the lucky person chosen to visit him in America. I think many readers would be able to relate to his insights along the way. The end of the book is heart- warming as he describes who he chose and their experiences together in America. Earlier editions of the book did not include this epilogue because Brad’s plans took several years to come to fruition; it would have been a less than fitting end to the book if the reader did not find out who was chosen. Overall, a compelling and enjoyable read.
You can find this book on Amazon: Take Me With You