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  • By Mark Goudy
    Oct 5, 2009
    A good account of exactly what backpackers get upto; from the fantastic drunken tubing in Loas, walking (not running) across rush hour roads Vietnamese style (a daring feat in itself), typically never failing to buy suits and sending them home through to the inevitable Caipriniha wave of drunkeness in Rio. Good read.
  • By Shannon Yarbrough
    Dec 22, 2008
    "30 by Mark Callaghan" There are two types of dreams: those so bizarre and imaginative, and so out of reach that we think of them as nothing more but dreams. These sleep stories can be a buffet for a writer. Then, there are those dreams that are within our grasp, but often we are too busy to consider reaching for them. Maybe we choose to write about them as well instead of actually attempting to achieve them. Not Mark Callaghan. This is a book about one man’s longing for adventure at a time in his life when he is weeks away from saying good-bye to his twenties and realizes he’s already punched too much time on the clock for someone else. So in 2005 while sitting on the toilet and playing video games on his cell phone, Mark has an epiphany. In celebration of his 30th birthday, he’ll travel the world and see 30 countries - one for each year of his life. After selling everything he can on Ebay and maxing his credit cards to fund the trip, Mark isn’t even on his first flight... More > when he gets a call from his travel agent telling him his “around-the-world” ticket has been canceled. He’s able to book another flight, but things aren’t looking up for him so far. But that doesn’t stop him from grabbing Clive the backpack (Mark gives names to his inanimate belongings - there’s a cute 1/2 chapter that talks about this) and gets on a plane! First stop - Estonia where Mark offers an in-depth look at hostel living - vying for the bottom bunk, living in communal quarters and meeting others, and “talking on the porcelain telephone” (the only toilet in the place, mind you.) In Sooma, Mark stays in a hut-like community center swarming with unattended children (Think Children of the Corn, he says) only to find out that he is the only one staying there. The entire place is empty. Mark’s off-the-wall commentary and quirky details are what make this type of book so much fun to read. We’ve all sat through Gramp’s vacation slides to the Rocky’s or a coworker’s photo albums from their honeymoon cruise, but nothing beats the minute details that stick out in our minds above all else like DJ Tomas, the Lithuanian bus driver taking accordion music requests on the way to Warsaw, or Mark’s bus trip to Auschwitz with a group of frat boys. Some of my favorites from the book were a toe nail clipping episode in a hostel in front of a scantily clad American girl, the train of terror, and some ‘massage, lady, boom-boom’ in Siem Reap. Mark pushes you through each country quite quickly, often leaving out details when you might have wanted more of them, but he doesn’t bore you with philosophical self discoveries while out on the mountain tops. You know Mark’s purpose for the journey right from the start, so there are no hidden meanings to life to be uncovered in his travels although I’m sure he experienced plenty. I would have enjoyed pictures to accompany each country. But overall this is a great book for anyone who ever received Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You”ll Go as a graduation gift, for the would-be tourist, or simply for anyone stuck behind a desk all day and too busy dreaming about what they’d really like to do in life. It will motivate you to take chances and enjoy the journey along the way. One of the best, and most inspiring, books I’ve read all year! Read the full review at The Lulu Book Review< Less
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Product Details

Mark Callaghan
November 12, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.81 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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