For some reason it has taken me a great deal of time to post a review of Reckless Traveler by Walter Rhein. I mean, after all, I read it in a few days right after I received it. Sure a lot has been going on in my life creatively but this book was fun, so well written and...........why don't I just copy the review here so you can see for yourself?
I had stumbled across Walter Rhein’s blog, Streets Of Lima,
several years ago in a search for something related to American expats living
in Peru, which I wished could happen with me. Why? I am married to a Peruvian
and although at the time I had only visited Peru once I was quite taken with
the country and the people and I felt drawn there. Streets Of Lima was a fun
and interesting destination for me where I could at least see someone living
where and as I wished I could. My wife doesn’t wish to return to live in Peru
or else I think it would have already happened. Fast forward a few years and
now I find that Rhein has written a memoir of his time spent living in Peru.
The book is full of what I would expect would be normal
experiences for a person living in not just a foreign country but also a
foreign way of life. For Rhein it went beyond the normal way of learning a new
culture, a new way of life, as he didn’t try to just live it. He attacked it
recklessly, full speed ahead without giving thought to the consequences. With
too much thought or planning I think he wouldn’t have actually been in the
moment and experiencing life. I don’t know if I could have been as brave as he
was given my penchant for sticking to the same old same old. Well, at least I
used to be that way.
So what is Reckless Traveler about you may ask? If you want
stories about embarrassing language gaffes you will find it in this book. If
you want stories about being bullheaded about modern medicine and absolutely
knowing that traditional ways are useless it’s in this book. If you want
stories of devilishly allowing others believe you are a typical gringo who
doesn’t even take the time to learn to speak the local language it’s in this
book. If you want stories about letting go of the rigid way of thinking life is
as you’ve learned and accepting another place based on what it is instead of
what it isn’t you will find it in this book. If you want stories of reckless
travel to see places and things of incredible beauty you will find it in this
book. All told with great humor in a natural way that always left me wanting to
read a few pages more, just a few more. That’s the sign of a great book to me.
I’m sure Walter Rhein could have told even more stories and
this book could have swelled to two or three times its size but as it is it’s
pretty perfect. It left me wanting more, just a little more. I even found
myself seeking out my wife to read to her from the pages more than once and she
enjoyed the stories as well. Perhaps in a few years there will be a sequel, a
volume two. After all, the Walter Rhein still travels to Peru and I believe he
is there now as I write this, lucky dog that he is. Books like this make life a
lot more enjoyable for me and inspire me to make my dreams come true. Now if
only I can figure out a way to make that happen. Buy this book, it’s worth the
money, it’s worth the time spent reading it. It’s worth that and much more.
Written and Published by Don Leach.
May not be used without permission from the author.