Beyond the Borders
It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going!
One book that provided an interesting insight into what it's like to be an American working abroad was That Bear Ate My Pants! by Tony James Slater. Tony worked as a volunteer at the Santa Martha Animal Rescue Centre in Ecuador, South America. It does talk about the culture of where he is living and what happens when he falls in love with a local woman as well as what his interactions are like on a day to day basis. It's interesting and humorous. I remember thinking he was either terribly brave or terribly foolish to take on a job like that so far from his home in the UK.
Another book that provided a good armchair adventure is Dancing with the Witchdoctor - One Woman's Adventures in Africa by Kelly James. Kelly is an international private investigator. The book tells about 4 of her cases that she investigated in Africa. The title comes from the last case detailed in the book. You not only get a taste of what it's like to be in her shoes, but you get a picture of what the cultures are like that she is dealing with.
I've only read a few of the entries in this book, A Woman's World - True Stories of Life on the Road edited by Marybeth Bond, but they are fascinating. My favorite so far is "A Typical Japanese Woman" by Cathy N. Davidson. It talks about going to a traditional Japanese bath and meeting some old women there and what it was like. The old women made me smile.
A book doesn't have to be about a different country to transport you to another culture. There are other cultures within the United States. Small town Alaska for instance is different from big city California. Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: a Family Field Trip to the Arctic's Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-marshmallows by Zac Unger is an example of that sort of shift as well as being about Polar Bears.
No matter what kind of travel adventure you read, I hope you enjoy it. What's your favorite place to visit via books?