This book is amazing. You will laugh, you will cry, you will remember your own misadventures. I have been reading lots of short stories lately, but this book is definitely being added to my permanent collection. It's the kind of book that you're reading to your friends and family members over the phone. It's the kind of book that you wish you had written, even though it's not actually possible, since it's a collection of short stories from all of today's best travel writers.
My absolute favorite was "The Worst Country in the World" by Simon Winchester. Any of us who have traveled much have probably had the same conversation that he and his friends had at a pub one evening that led to he and his travel photographer being sent on assignment to the country that they had decided had all the essential elements: a) no scenery b) awful food, c) dreadful people, d) a terrible regime, e) a wrecked economy, f) uncontrolled hordes of hostile and pestilential local fauna, and g) in all other senses no redeeming feautres whatsoever. I won't spoil it by telling you what actual country they decided upon, but it wasn't Iraq, or India, or Angola, or Canada. Or Libya, or cambadoia, or Albania, or North Korea, or east Germany, or Honduras. Suffice it to say there were many contenders in West Africa. The author and the photographer barely escape with their lives after nearly facing death in their visit to Nowhere.
I also loved The Living Museum of Nowhere and Everywhere by Rolf Potts, and not just because he's a fellow alumnus of George Fox University. He describes a weekend visit to his sister's in Minneapolis, Kansas that is just as much a journey as his two year sojourn to the remote corners of Myanmar, where he discovers a museum dedicated to George Washington Carver, the famed African American botanist.
But there wasn't a story in the book that isn't worth reading, and I invite you to pick up a copy and dream of going nowhere also.