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The Wander Year: One Couple's Journey Around the World [Kindle Edition]

Mike McIntyre
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Kindness of Strangers
Mike McIntyre and his longtime girlfriend, Andrea, are in their early 40s and itching for a break. So they rent out their San Diego home--dog, cat and furniture included--and embark on a yearlong journey around the world. "We're not out to find ourselves, or even to lose ourselves," McIntyre writes. "We're merely seeking a pause in our routines." But the couple is soon swept up in the adventure of a lifetime: trekking in the Himalayas, traversing the Sahara on camel, scrambling over the temples of Angkor, crossing the world's largest salt flat in South America, scaling a New Zealand glacier. The book recounts the odyssey in 48 dispatches from 22 countries. Among them: birdwatching in Indonesia, a haircut from Vietnam's oldest barber, touring a notorious prison in Bolivia, haggling over rugs in Morocco, on safari in Nepal. McIntyre taps his self-deprecating humor to convey the joys, perils and frustrations of prolonged travel. When the couple ventures into a cyclone in Fiji on a rubber raft, he writes, "The absence of life jackets and paddles meant more room for our lunacy." And during a ride across India with a hired car and driver, he notes, "His passing technique was so precise, I could see my horrified expression reflected in the chrome bumpers of onrushing trucks." He also writes eloquently of such poignant moments as sleeping under the stars in North Africa, flying kites with a poor boy in Bali, and the death of a female tour guide in China. By journey's end, he's shucked much of his journalist's cynicism, and he stands in awe of a staggeringly beautiful world and the resilient souls who fill it.

"A superb writer"--Los Angeles Times

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Look for the latest release by Mike McIntyre, The Distance Between: A Travel Memoir, which chronicles his three decades of wanderlust.

About the Author

Mike McIntyre's newest book is The Distance Between, a travel memoir that covers his three decades of wanderlust. His other travelogues include The Wander Year: One Couple's Journey Around the World and The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America, which was featured on Oprah. He is also the author of the crime novel The Scavenger's Daughter. He has worked as a theater columnist for the Washington Post and a travel columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He lives in San Diego.

Product Details

  • File Size: 788 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1495213811
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kite Press; 1 edition (January 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005BW2X52
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 142 people found the following review helpful
By JasonB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been addicted to travel books lately, partly because I'm subsconsciously planning for my next big trip and partly due to wishful thinking. The premise is very appealing - quit your job and travel around the world for a year. The author is an experienced writer, and it definitely shows. However, I found the book to be a pretty disappointing read. I was expecting it to be full of anecdotes of a traveler living among the locals and embracing their cultures by emulating their way of life. Instead, it reads like a bunch of reviews stringed together, and interactions were mostly with workers and members of the hospitality industry (hotel owners, clerks, porters, etc) and other western tourists, not with the locals. Tried to stay in a backpackers' hostel in New Zealand but got intimidated and left for a luxury hotel the next day? Frowning on India for being such a poor country and being so irritated that the author never wanted to come back again? $160 per night hotel rooms in Nepal, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world? Come on. That is not authentic travel at all. It reads what you'd expect of someone who's vacationed only on cruise ships were to suddenly get displaced in another country (yes, I know this is the same author who wrote "Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America").

If you're someone who's in your 30s or 40s and never really traveled abroad before, and would like to know what to expect, maybe this is a good book. But if you're a backpacker, or a regular visitor of hostels, or someone who travels not for the sake of checklisting countries visited but to embrace and learn new cultures, then this book is probably not for you - and like me, you'll probably find yourself shaking your head at the missed opportunities throughout the book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read for New Travellers February 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What with growing up in a low socio-economic country town, working my butt off to get through University and only just landing a graduate job I confess I am nowhere near as well travelled as I would like to be.

I found this book enjoyable for someone like me who has heard of these places, is considering travelling to a lot of them but has never been. The chapters are short and sweet and while its very obvious you are not getting a full blow by blow account of the entire journey its easy to pick up and put down as needed.

I agree with other reviews that this would not appeal to a very well travelled person - but if you are just starting to dip your toes into the world you could do a lot worse than this book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Journey April 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. While it read similar to a series of newspaper columns, that's what I expected based on the book introduction. I really enjoyed the sections on Nepal, China, and Chile. They gave me a feel for the people, the culture, and several potential travel ideas. The Jenny Xu story was touching. It was fun to be a third traveler on this journey.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I apologize for this negative review, but after reading 11% of this book I am going to have to call it for what it is. HORRIBLE. The writing is not bad but the opinion of the author is as narrow minded as I have read regarding international travel.

First of all the couple plans to stay in low class facilities and then complains or makes fun of them as though this is the norm. You get what you pay for.

This book is a classic example of undereducated, under-founded Americans getting out of their sparsely populated country and calling the rest of the world inadequate.

I hope the author doesn't try to print his opinion again.

If you paid for this book, please contact Amazon to see if a refund is available.

If you want to read travel memoirs, check with Lonely Planet.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow and disappointing November 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Since discovering Paul Theroux several years ago, I have been reading every travel book that I find. This one was very disappointing in that the travelers didn't seem to appreciate the places they visited, were preoccupied with their creature comforts, and did not represent the TRUE travelers I have known. Tourists, maybe. I would only recommend this book to those who have not traveled much themselves, or those who aren't much interested in more than a very cursory glimpse at the places along the route taken.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just loved every bit of it. October 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is about what it says in its title - a wander year. One couples journey around the world. It gripped me from the start. As I told Mike himself; while waiting in a queue in Paris to fly home to Ireland, I read the end and all I did was laugh. It was a brilliant tale, account, full of anecdotes and happenings, told of adventure and excitement and did what I expect a travel book to do - Make me want to go to those places. Its stored on my kindle because I will read it again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly interesting potboiler February 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A tale of two people going to far-flung places: Read about our hair-raising trip by rickshaw during and Indian rush hour, and so on. The book is rather mechanical: first we did this, and then we did that.

I read it because of the author's other book, "The kindness of strangers," a report of his travels from coast to coast without a penny in his pocket. That was real, interesting, and thoughtful. I shall re-read it.

This book on the other hand is rather like a movie sequel; just doesn't have the spark, originality, or interest of the first book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great travel book
Loved it. I love traveling
Published 10 days ago by Super picky
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
The trip was in 2000. The book came out in 2011.
Published 1 month ago by Melissa C. Dare
4.0 out of 5 stars travel itch scratched
Although the world of 2000 in which they traveled is long gone, Mike paints a beautiful photo of his and Andrea's adventures. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TravellingCari
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
I liked the writing style very much
It made me wish I had done this when i was younger
Lucky both of you
Published 1 month ago by A Gail Brannan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a good personal account of the various places they went.
Published 3 months ago by G. Begin
3.0 out of 5 stars Articles, Not a Book
This is not written as a book, rather it is a collection of newspaper articles the author wrote while he was traveling. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars what an adventure
I enjoyed every page of this book. It is a gift to be able to learn about so many other cultures. I appreciate that the author really respected others' way of life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sharon F
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
As I will never be lucky enough to experience your traveling experiences I must say I lived them through your book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Wander With Me
These two made their trek around the world something for us all to strive for. I learned of places that I didn't even know existed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joan E. Leblanc
5.0 out of 5 stars this book will give you a good taste of the world
This is a very interesting, well written book. If you can't travel, this book will give you a good taste of the world.
Published 5 months ago by Patricia Voetberg
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More About the Author

Mike McIntyre bounced around a lot as a child. As an adult, nothing's changed. He's lived, worked and traveled in eighty countries. His newest book is The Distance Between, a travel memoir about his three decades of wanderlust. His other travelogues are The Wander Year and The Kindness of Strangers, which was featured on Oprah. He's also the author of the crime novel The Scavenger's Daughter. After earning degrees from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Michigan, he turned to journalism, writing for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He's a frequent visitor to Scotland, where he indulges his passion for links golf. When not traveling, he lives in San Diego with his wife and cat.

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