At age 26, Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to a remote South Pacific island. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. But he should have known better.
After two grueling years on the island of Tarawa, Troost was in no hurry to return to the South Pacific until he began to feel remarkably out of place in modern America. He knew it was time to set off again for parts unknown. Here he tells the story of his time on Vanuatu, a cluster of islands where he struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes but finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders.
"My new favorite author!"
When the travel bug bit, J. Maarten Troost took on the world's most populous and intriguing nation. As Troost relates his gonzo adventure - dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai, eating yak in Tibet, deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as cattle penis with garlic), and visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead) - he reveals a vast, complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think.
"Funny but harsh with some underlying truth."
Entertainment Weekly calls acclaimed author and essayist J. Maarten Troost a "funny, candid, and down-to-earth travel companion". Both witty and poignant, Headhunters on My Doorstep follows Troost as he retraces Robert Louis Stevenson’s path through the South Pacific. Somewhere between AA meetings in Tahiti and discovering how the Island of Merrymaking got its name, Troost reconnects with himself, his family, and the beauty of life.
"Despite being a fan... Beware"