The practice of selling everything I own after packing a few essentials in a case and heading out the door to see the world has been a dream of mine for a long time. Based on another life I like to lead I’m not sure it’s exactly practical, but I do envy those that can live the life like Caine from Kung Fu. One of those that lives such a life is Elliott Hester, and he’s written a book that’s called Adventures of a Continental Drifter: An Around-the-World Excursion into Weirdness, Danger, Lust, and the Perils of Street Food.
That’s not exactly a title that rolls of the tongue when you throw in the subtitle, but it’s one hell of a book nonetheless. I’ve read it a couple of times now and get a good laugh each time I do, especially as he encounters Delhi Belly in India. I can’t say I envy anyone with that affliction, but as I’m on this side of the book it certainly does put a smile on my face as I feel his pain, having my own first hand travel experience.
In Continental Drifter Hester travels across six continents, all save Antarctica, after quitting his job as an airline flight attendant. The job was hunky dory for flight attendants following September 11th as passengers were attempting to be polite and accomodating for the employees. But, as the cynicism and impatience seeped back in, things changed on both sides of the aisle and it was obviously time for Hester to pack up and explore the world. This book is a hilarious account of his first around-the-world trip, which took more than a year, as he essentially spreads his wings.
Since the book Elliott Hester has kept up posting about his travels on his website. I’m disappointed that he hasn’t posted anything for 2009 as I’m not sure what’s happened to him. I’ve checked back periodically on his site, but as the year is now coming to a close I’ve seriously started to wonder what’s happened as I haven’t seen a single post of his. I was hoping for a follow up book too, but I haven’t seen anything from my good friends as Amazon either (link to the right to purchase this book).
Regardless though, Continental Drifter is one good book and a read worthy of any traveler. The stories are ones that all of us can relate to, particularly if we’ve traveled internationally, and related in such a fashion that it can make you feel as though you’re there with him. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a good travel story or a better laugh about someone’s adventures across the globe. It’s definitely worth the ticket price you’ll pay; as well as any other service charges, baggage fees, security taxes, smile stipends, phone fees…