Every month or so, (deadlines are dusty), I review one book or article that captures the spirit of foreign existence. This month, I’m proud to share an author from my own backyard…
The Road of Dreams: A Two-Year Bicycling And Hiking Adventure Around the World –Bruce B. Junek, 1991:
Junek’s autograph scrawls across the inside cover of my library copy. Semi-celebrity status is quick coming when you return to a town as small as Spearfish, South Dakota (pop. 10,585 ) after a 26-month trip circumnavigating the globe on a pedal bike. Chances are, in a place this size, Junek will be forever famous to locals as “That crazy hippie who sold everything and quit his job so he could catch foreign diseases in Asia.”
Junek’s travels with his wife, Tess Thacker, are incredible because they started twenty years ago: before Kuta Beach, Bali became a second Australia. Before Yugoslavia broke into multiple countries on the map. Before long-term travel caught on as an acceptable lifestyle for a Midwest American.
“Be realistic,” a friend argues in the first chapter, as the two prepare to depart in October, 1984.
“If we were realistic we wouldn’t be going at all,” is Junek’s prompt reply.
Find the full opinion in This Month’s Reading Review.