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“He’s not slowing down!” I panic.

Once on the ground Steven says, “See?  Who needs bus stops?”

I do.

~an exchange in the book To Timbuktu.

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I recently received this book from amazon.com last Wednesday and finally finished reading it on Sunday!  It has been a while since I last rigorously read a book!  It also helps that there were fun illustrations included in the book by one of the authors.  The story was written by Casey Scieszka and illustrations by Steven Weinberg.

It was such a sweet story about, at the beginning, two college students studying abroad, meeting up by chance from a course they took together in Morocco all the way to their last adventures leading them to come back to Morocco.  Of course their journeys were more sporadic as they did half a year teaching English in China for half a year to pursue personal projects and fulfilling a research study in Mali.  Pretty diverse if you ask me.

All the while reading this book, I also listened on repeat Vienna Teng’s and Alex Wong’s latest song, The Breaking Light.  Buy it.  The proceeds go directly to aid to Japan!  I found the song fit in extremely well with the book.  When traveling, there are always lull periods or times when it is personally tough to get by because you miss the people and place you know so well.  In the book, there was a time when Casey started to yearn for her family and friends and she felt a bit lost.  I think Steven did as well…

The song:

watch the shadow lines fade away
brother you will return
let your lion heart cleave the waves
brother you will return
in the breaking light

leave the battlefield, leave her hand
brother you will return
we are a woven thread—find the strand
brother you will return
in the breaking light

so listen to the darkness, listen to the patterns
listen to the breathing sea
listen to the colors, carry them inside you
they will bring you back to me
in the breaking light

feel the ground beneath sweep and sway
brother we will return
feel the hollow dream slip away
brother we will return
in the breaking light

listen to the darkness, listen to the patterns
listen to the breathing sea
listen to the colors, carry them inside you
they will bring you back to me
listen to the sirens, listen to the heartbeat
listen to the turning tide
listen to the murmurs, carry them inside you
’til we’re on the other side
in the breaking light

Especially long adventures, with them away for nearly a year and some months, it is really easy to understand the feelings of missing friends and family.  As well as the impatience, irritability, and confusion when they had more dramatic events later in Mali.  And I should also add in the additional travelers that could create much more stress or fun to an adventure.  In fact, I couldn’t mentally allow myself to change the song on itunes because it was just so perfect to add to the experience of reading this book.

🙂

It is a fun and easy read and I suggest you give it a read to inspire yourself to take on an adventure!

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The little quote snippet above was taken from their stories in Vietnam.  Which.  It looks like I will be also sharing when I go over there in July.  What I know that I will need for when I go to Vietnam are several essentials:

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  1. Lots of ziplock bags for my camera
  2. pepto bismo or stomach medicine
  3. Replacement ponchos.

Late July and early August, is when the rain season commences.  And rain season in South East Asia is really torrential rain.  Hooray!  Plus it will be hot and humid- strip to your boxers temperature.  I think I can bare it, even though it was pretty tough in Thailand when it was the cooler months.  By cooler I mean 98 degrees.  Time to boil!

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I hope you have your own journeys!

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