When Sue Williams set out on a 10-year series of journeys around the world, she expected glamour, excitement, a leisurely education. She simply didn't bargain for disaster, spine-tingling terror, and the kind of mind-numbing embarrassment that confronted her at nearly every turn. In fact, if she'd known she would wake up naked inside a sleeping bag, with all her belongings vanished, on a patch of wasteland in Central African Republic; get lost on a dark mountain top in Malawi; be stalked by a wife-hungry politician in Mexico; hitch 1000 kilometers in the wrong direction in Argentina; and discover, too late, she'd just eaten dog stew in China, she would have never left home in the first place!
Getting There is the hilarious, terrifying and, most of all, inspiring account of Sue's travels across the globe over 20 years. It isn't about destinations or pleasant arrivals, but journeys and the battle to get there, fuelled by curiosity, faith in humanity, naivety, and even extraordinary ineptitude - the tales of the true traveler.
Sue Williams' stories of her travels were exciting, engaging, and quite funny. I found myself laughing out loud at times. I listened to the book while driving and I found myself wanting to continue listening once I got to my destination.
I love Amanda Hulme's (the reader's) accent and the emotion in her voice as she reads the book. It really seems as if the author herself is telling the story. She also does a great job of speaking in different voices and accents for the various characters in the stories.
The author gets herself into some crazy and scary situations. Sometimes it seems that her decisions were foolhardy but she always comes out alive in the end, and with an exciting story to tell. I was a little disappointed that the stories seemed to end just as the author reached her destinations but then I guess that's the whole premise of the book: that the journey itself is the best (or worst) part of travelling. I think this book would make a very entertaining movie.
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If you could sum up Getting There in three words, what would they be?
Courageous, curious, persistent.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Getting There?
Pretty well all of it.
Harrowing bus rides, questionable accommodation and food, and most of all the author's continuous necessity to fend off men determined to "protect' her in this "dangerous" place. The latter is something that couples or males do not have to deal with nearly as often. The author dealt with more as a rule than an exception and did it with grace and guile, I was truly impressed.
Which character – as performed by Amanda Hulme – was your favorite?
The author. She is to be admired as a truly intrepid traveller.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
My reaction was one of admiration for the single woman who travelled the world alone and yet never lost her sense of wonder, good humour and and always looking for the best part of people and places.
Any additional comments?
If you are a traveller you are bound to enjoy this book.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful