Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust
She Writes Press (2021)
Reviewed by Verna Coy for Reader Views (07/2021)
“Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust” by Karen Gershowitz is a journal of travels that begins when the author was a very young child. The enjoyment of discovering new places became a treasured thing when she was small, and instead of fighting it, she began to travel, learn, and discover countries around the world. This book takes the reader on those travels in a way that keeps one turning the pages.
One of my favorite things about this author is her way with words. There were times I was smiling, and then I would read a sentence, then stop and re-read it, this time with my eyebrows raised. I don’t think I’ve smiled at a book more than I have this one.
For armchair travelers, this book is a keeper. It takes a reader around the world and describes fantastic destinations and the most amazing characters. What I loved most about the book is how each character shared in the tales is so well-developed and colorful. I felt like I knew them all.
I loved the personal touches shared in this novel. The worries and fears of travel make themselves felt, even in people who love to travel. This admission through the storyline by the author shows an openness to communicate with the reader that is unique and genuine. The fact that she found ways to overcome obstacles and travel to so many destinations will resonate with many readers.
From her early vacations as a small child with her family in New York and Canada, to her trips as a college student to places such as Japan, this author takes readers on a worldwide tour of cultures of every kind. I loved reading about the gardens and Japanese baths. The foods that are a distinct part of each culture’s identity around the world were incredibly interesting.
Although not a new and original type of subject matter, this book is a fun and entertaining read that will delight armchair travelers. It’s also an excellent choice for those who plan trips but know little about the countries they intend to visit. The insights into the details of many countries would prove helpful and make this a handy guide to carry on a long trip.
The book is exceptionally edited and without error. The cover depicts the many-faceted icons of travel and has a fun vibe, although I felt that, considering the types of places featured in this journal, the cover should have had more to offer than icons that seemed like cut and paste clip art strewn across a bland background.
All in all, I found this an enjoyable and entertaining journey. Despite the many wondrous and desirable places covered in this novel, there are also some less desirous elements. In one section, the author describes having sampled opium while in Thailand. Therefore, I cannot recommend this book to any but a mature audience. For these reasons, I am rating this book with 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to any adult who loves to read about new places nearby and far away.