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The Cargo Ship Diaries: 2.5 years, 25 countries, 0 flights [Kindle Edition]

Niall Doherty
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Ever wonder what it would be like to spend a month at sea? To travel the world without flying? To have your life threatened in Nepal? To run out of money in the Middle East? To flirt with one hundred women in the Netherlands?

Written aboard a freighter while crossing the Pacific Ocean, The Cargo Ship Diaries is something of a memoir of Niall Doherty’s 2.5 years traveling around the world without flying, the highs and the lows and the lessons learned. We start off in Japan as he’s about to board the cargo ship, and throughout the book flash back to times spent in Amsterdam, Bucharest, Kathmandu, Bangkok and the likes.

“I wish I could have written a book this awesome.” – Jack Kerouac

Expect plenty of taboo topics, tales of dating misadventures, and honest takes on places like India and Iran. If you like the Momentos series on Niall’s blog, you’ll absolutely love this book.


Q. How long is the book?
A. 36,506 words on 133 pages. You can read through the whole thing in about three hours.

Q. What route did you take from Ireland to Peru?
A. Ireland > England > Netherlands > Germany > Switzerland > Austria > Hungary > Romania > Turkey > Iran > UAE > India > Nepal > India > Thailand > Cambodia > Laos > Vietnam > China > Hong Kong > China > Vietnam > Laos > Thailand > Laos > China > South Korea > Japan > Peru

Q. Is there a surprise ending?
A. Yes, but I’m going to ruin it for you right now: In the last chapter I reveal that I’ve never actually left Ireland, and have been fooling everyone with my photo and video editing skills for years. Suckers!

Q. Did Jack Kerouac really say that about your book?
A. Um, no. He died thirteen years before I was born. So I kinda lied. Sorry. I hope we can still be friends. Here’s a real testimonial to make amends…

“This shit be tight, yo!” – Marco Polo

Q. Is there an audio version of the book?
A. Yes. You can buy it via my website:

Q. Are there cargo ship sound effects to go with the audio version of the book?
A. I think you can hear a toilet flush at the end of chapter ten. That’s about as good as it gets.

Q. Why don't you fly? Sounds dumb.
A. It is pretty stupid, and I don't recommend it, but I explain my motivation in the book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 265 KB
  • Print Length: 133 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JDNAQ36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,313 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute page turner March 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In fact, I read it twice. As a fellow traveller I could relate to the stories and appreciated the challenges and difficulties encountered to accomplish the goal of traveling around the world without flying. Niall is an excellent author and has a knack for telling a great story. If you have ever dreamed of traveling the world, or a veteran traveller - this is a must read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure of a lifetime April 2, 2014
By Rico
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a delightful, honest, page-turner! I sat down to peruse one chapter and couldn't stop till I'd proverbially flipped that last page. From Amsterdam to Tehran to Kathmandu to the middle of the Pacific, the book is wickedly funny, full of suspense, and striking in the sense that rarely do people put all their cards on the table in the way that Niall does. Anyone who reads this book will end up feeling like they know the dude better than practically anyone else in their lives. Which is good because he's a pretty interesting chap to get to know.

I suspect this book will inspire many a folk to pack their bags and lace up their traveling shoes. But there's a stronger message here, one that people without the inclination or means to throw on a rucksack or fill up a suitcase can take away from the book. Implicit in the story is that the most profound adventure anyone can have -- anywhere on earth-- is the one where you break free of your limiting inhibitions. Niall does a good job at pushing his readers in that direction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Niall has been teasing the world with his Momentos for years. Posted on his blog, these short snippets of his adventures while traveling have always made it clear that he's a gifted writer. Now, he's expanded his Momentos into a full-length book and the result fulfills the promise of his Momentos.

The Cargo Ship Diaries is an excellent travel memoir and also a fine manifesto of Niall's philosophy of intentional living. Along the way, he paints some delightful pictures of people and places and dispenses some great advice for anyone considering a trip, however long, to the interesting places of this earth.

The most impressive part of Niall's writing is his honesty. He hides nothing and, in doing so, becomes supremely human and very likable.

I highly recommend this book for the traveller, the armchair traveller, and anyone looking for inspiration.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Big fan of Niall's writing already, but this one was too good to pass up. He's already spent over 2 years traveling around the world without setting foot on a plane, so I had to hear what his time crossing the Pacific as the only paying passenger aboard a cargo ship.

Most of us didn't even know that was something you could do!

While there was a good bit of information about the experience of the cargo ship itself, Niall goes deep into some of his more powerful experiences while on his travels.

A shy guy with seemingly insurmountable social fears taking action and challenging himself to overcome them by going out of his way to start conversations when his fear-brains are screaming at him to just walk away.

Quite a lot of unexpected experiences described as you journey through this quick read. I read it the other morning all at once, and was more impressed than I was expecting. his writing just keeps getting better. It seems these exercises to move past those fears we all suffer have something to them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent travel story May 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Niall Doherty does an excellent job of summing up what it means to travel slowly: the joys, the things you discover that no one else does, and the stress and difficulty. "Cargo Ship Diaries" is his reflection on two years of travel across Europe, the Middle East and Asia as he makes his way at long last across the Pacific to the Americas.

Many of Niall's reflections focus on three things: the insecurities he's had to overcome, the wonderful (and not so wonderful) people he's met, and his pursuit of women. For readers who don't want to read about attempts at romantic misadventures, this is not the book for you. For everyone else, you will love it.

The style was surprisingly informal and blog-like; for me that was the only thing that dinged the score, while for other readers it will be a plus. Either way, "Cargo Ship Diaries" is well worth reading and highly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down April 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
As a fellow traveler, adventure seeker, and location independent entrepreneur, I loved Niall's latest book. I really appreciate his raw authenticity and willingness to be "radically honest" and vulnerable in his writing. I really got caught up in each of the stories and experiences he described, and his perspective of what he learned each time.

If you have any interest in long term solo travel, I highly recommend picking up this book, but even if you just want to hear about someone living a really cool and interesting life with the ups and downs of traveling the world without flying, give The Cargo Ship Diaries a read.

I'm looking forward to his next book about South America and beyond!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive book April 2, 2014
By Jub
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been a big fan of Niall's writing so buying the book was a easy decision. The book was captivating, the perfect length to sit down for a few hours and read. The book is honestly written in a way that I think the vast majority of the worlds population can relate too. There were plenty of times I though s*** that sounds like a scenario I was in.

Going forward I will be monitoring my thoughts with writing as it appears that Niall benefits from it greatly.

Buy this book, you will be better for it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, couldn't stop reading. Buy it Now!
What a great read!
Niall has definitely got a gift for telling a story, and such a fantastic sense of humor. It's an easy, funny, self-deprecating and personal, read. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Thomas Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cargo Ship Diaries
What a wonderful story this is. How many of us would have the courage to undertake such a journey, with such discipline and dedication? Read more
Published 3 days ago by Peter Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars The wrong kind of book
I’ll be generous and give this offering 3 stars; had I shelled out $10 I probably wouldn’t feel quite so generous. Read more
Published 3 days ago by MasterBates
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Story.
What can I say, absolutely loved this book! I opted for the audio version which I feel was the right choice. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good travellogue.
A very good travellogue. Thoughtful. Original. Charming. I just wish it had been longer.
Published 2 months ago by Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thought it was a good book, preferred listening to Niall reading it on the Audio Verson
Published 2 months ago by J Clermont
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting glimpse into the perspective of a unique traveler
I think this review is a little biased, because I've known Niall for a few years now. Not biased towards the author, but against, since knowing his usual writing made me more... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jorge Osuna Diaz
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cover to Cover Classic
Having had the pleasure of working with Niall and reading his blog since he was in Europe, I didn't think that there was much more I was going to find out in this book than I had... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terry O'Connor
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story!
A book about a journey.
The story keeps you guessing, makes you turn page after page to keep reading what's next, what's the next flashback, the next adventure... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maria Ortega
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read !
Almost like sitting in a pub or coffee shop listening to a tale of mundane adventures. The author dispenses many nuggets of wisdom whilst rambling on through his story; reminded me... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dennis Reasinger
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