Title: Notes of a Naïve Traveler
Author: Jennifer S.Alderson
Category: Memoir/Travel Guide
My Rating: 4 Star
Travelling is something I love to do and would enjoy doing more often if time and funds allowed. When I spotted Notes of a Naïve Traveler by Jennifer Alderson on the RBRT review list, I knew it was the book for me.
I love how this story is told in a diary/email format as it brings the adventure to life. Alderson throws herself into her travels embracing the cultures, highs and lows of family life, and opportunities presented to her by the Nepali people before moving on to Thailand. She spends Christmas and New Year away from her family but doesn’t deny herself the occasional present.
There is plenty of humour as Alderson’s bubbly personality shines through. She writes in such a way that you feel connected to her and her journey.
While going to Durbar Square – I never made it – a young Nepali named Khamel started chatting me up while I was freaking out over a miniature stupa covered in the most ornate ceramic tile mosaic. He ended up being my guide for the day and took me to places I never would have been or understood
I’m sitting in a pub that The Book (Lonely Planet Thailand) recommends, sipping whiskey and coke, staring at a gigantic Christmas tree, and listening to U2 and Radiohead. A frail Thai man selling Santa Claus hats with flashing battery-operated balls dangling off them walks up and down the street in front of me, displaying his wares and a toothless grin to all potential customers.
Part memoir and part travel guide, Notes of a Naïve Traveler, includes all the necessary ingredients for anyone hoping to visit Nepal or Thailand. The inclusion of photographs helps the reader to engage with what Alderson is experiencing.
Thoroughly enjoyable read. I look forward to more from this author.
“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.’”
I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.
Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.
Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.
Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.