- Paperback: 268 pages
- Publisher: Rick Steves; 2nd edition (December 27, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566912431
- ISBN-13: 978-1566912433
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,158,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World Awaits: How to Travel Far and Well Paperback – December 27, 2000
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"Experienced globetrotter Paul Otteson provides all the details needed to plan a fulfilling journey, traveling only with what can fit in the pack on your back, teaching you how to do it yourself." -- Midwest Book Review"
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In a friendly tone, albeit occasionally repetitive, Otteson offers real, valuable, practical advice (how to bargain, what to pack, how to deal with bribery, etc). Some of this stuff you'll find tucked away in Lonely Planet guidebooks, but Otteson's editorial sense makes his advice easier to find, and it applies globally. Backpacker networks abound with "how to's" for various scenarios. It can be overwhelming. But Otteson has gleaned the gentlest, most useful, and most intelligent tips.
The newest concept Otteson brings to the table is HOW to make a journey. This was very useful to me. He gets the reader to really think about what is important... do you want destinations only (sleep on trains as you go?) or do you want to get a feel for the whole of a region, and travel only in daylight hours (what he calls threading). You may opt for a combination of the two styles, but he makes an excellent argument for the latter.
Within the pages are wonderful glimmers of enthusiasm for travel itself; reader will be bitten by the travel bug... So if you are not really sure you should get off your duff or if you are trying to convince a homebody to join you on a trip, this book will whet the appetite for the adventure of the open road.
Now, more than ever, does the world need to see the face of the American traveler.
This book clearly describes multiple methods of travel
and why you might decide to choose the method which he calls "threading." A method of travelling that many backpackers who have taken multi-week trips or longer might already be familiar with, but clearly outlined and compared with other methods.
The author also describes route planning, and living on the road. While I have not read these latter two sections yet, the quality of writing and advice in the 1st section is good enough for me to warrant giving this book 5 stars.
As an earlier reviewer stated, most will find many nuggets of information, save for the most seasoned of travelers. Even for those - it's nice to hear another voice. This book is how-to book, not what.
I read this book a few months before I packed up my life and hit the road to travel for a year (I thought). Up until this point in my life my wildest travels had been traveling around Europe with my parents, a package trip to Tahiti, and many drunken nights in Mexico. Not the seasoned independent traveler. This book motivated me, and gave me a philosophy that just felt right for me. When I finished reading this I was super excited to hit the road - something that had been waning as the date approached.
Well I left and my one year trip kept on getting extended. Almost five years and eighty countries later I finally arrived home again. And I still am a huge fan of this book. I carried the last chapter of the book (the ultra light guidebook) with me the entire time. I still have the mutilated original first edition sitting proudly on my book shelf (just last week I had to wrestle with my wife over my need to keep it.) I am eagerly waiting for the third edition when I will gladly re-read The World Awaits. Perhaps from the position of experience I will be disappointed, but I don't think so.
In short if you have not traveled much (or have not traveled much in the developing world) and think that you might someday want to go on a trip - this book is for you. If you have no desire in traveling, and don't understand why anyone would want to put on a backpack and see what is out there - this book is also for you.
If you have hitch-hiked through West Africa; gone to an airport to get on the next plane going someplace interesting; or keep your travel immunizations and passport up to date "just in case" - this book might not be for you, you've probably already developed your own philosophy and probably do not need to be encouraged to leave your house. But this book might still be a pleasant reminder that there are kindred souls out there...
Peace and safe travels