I just love this cover - that little red and yellow micro bus just calls out 'Get in and let's go find an adventure'!
When younger, more adventurous or those seeking a different agenda for their trip come into the library looking for travel books, I try to put a "Rough Guide" in their hands. Why?
From editor James Smart:
"When we started writing Rough Guides we wanted to share the kind of travel we had been doing ourselves. We wanted to push travel a bit further, inspiring our readers to get away from the established routes, even if that meant getting lost occasionally, and seek something that little bit more special and authentic - in short, to settle for nothing less than an ultimate travel experience."
Well, Make the Most of Your Time on Earth has detailed 1000 of those unique travel experiences. Thirty years of Rough Guide writers' personal recommendations are included, with 200 new additions in this 2nd edition. And indeed, the world is covered!
I've been reading this book off and on for a couple of months now. The fold out front cover has a colour coded legend to the geographical areas. The bottom right corner of the pages have that same colour block, allowing you to flip quickly to a certain section. A map begins every section (I must admit, I read in no particular order, I just jumped to whatever grabbed my interest.) Full colour photographs punctuate the descriptions. The writing style is informal and breezy, reflecting the overall tone of the book. Each chapter ends with a Need to Know page that includes phone numbers and web addresses for the attractions listed. A Good to Know page includes general facts about that particular region, as well as interesting notes about etiquette, quotes and odd facts. (There's only one country in the world with a three dollar bill - answer at the end of the post!)
The focus of each experience can vary greatly. Sometimes it's the scenery, the culture, wildlife, nightlife, festivals, sport, food, adventures and the unusual. Booklovers might want to visit Hay-on-Wye in Wales where the ratio of bookstores to humans is 40:1! It's been estimated that there are over a million books in this tiny town. I discovered countries I had not heard of before. The smallest nation in Africa is Sao Tome and Principe - home to some of the best chocolate (coca beans) the world produces. I was thrilled to see that I had done many of the things listed in the Canadian section - I've skated on the Rideau Canal, been to the Calgary Stampede, cruised Georgian Bay, seen Niagara Falls many times and a few more. I'm hoping to travel to the East Coast this year and there were lots of suggestions for that side of the country.
There was just so much to see and read about. Our world truly is amazing. Make the Most of Your Time on Earth does a fantastic job of showcasing 1000 things to see and do. Great reading for the avid traveller - armchair or otherwise.
(That three dollar bill? Found only in Roratonga!)