A travel journal intermixed with the story of how travel affects relationships written by a member of the 80’s brat pack. That’s an odd combination, but it made Andrew McCarthy’s The Longest Way Home an entertaining read.
This is a video put together by the publisher that gives a humorous introduction to the book and follows some of the themes of the narrative. The author has a strong ongoing urge to travel, but he also feels pulled to settle down and end his long engagement and make the commitment to wed the mother of his young child.
Andrew McCarthy became famous for his movie roles in the 1980s and 90s, but lately has done more work behind the camera, plus another career as a travel writer. He is currently an Editor-at-Large for National Geographic Traveler.
This book discusses some of his (mostly) solo travels as he is in the process of planning his wedding. He shares his love of travel with his concerns about settling down and his fear of commitment. The story begins with a brief description of his childhood in suburban New Jersey and how this affected his later life. There are vivid descriptions of hikes in Patagonia and a boat trip through the Amazon. He goes off the grid in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, and has some more familiar stops in Baltimore, Vienna and Dublin. His telling of the climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is intriguing. All along, he shares his emotions and internal struggles with the desire to travel, and the need to be there for his family.
I haven’t personally visited many of the places he discusses, but I’m certainly intrigued by the destinations and his storytelling. Personally I can relate to his commentary as a solo traveler plus his concerns about how his absence during travel may be affecting his family back at home.
Although I am fortunate to have a wonderful travel partner in my wife, I do a fair amount of solo travel, much of it for work. Maybe it is because I am an only child, but being alone even in a foreign country doesn’t really bother me, and I sometimes feel that need to get away.
If you are looking for a little escapism or a pleasant read about travel, I would recommend you pick up The Longest Way Home. I’ve done a few book reviews before, and I may continue to share travel related books that I enjoy and think others would too. I don’t seem to have time to read as much as I would like, but am always on the lookout for entertaining reads, which don’t have to be travel related. Please share your recommendations in the comments below.
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