"All Over the Map" by Laura Fraser
As her fortieth birthday nears, travel writer Laura Fraser faces the fact that her life didn't turn out exactly like she thought it would. Divorced and childless, she found the love she yearned for in a Frenchman she met in Italy, one who would forever be in her life but never be hers. This affair did one thing though, it re-ignited her passion for travel.
In All Over The Map, Fraser shares how she decided to take hold of her life and her independence at forty and take off travelling the world on assignment and on holiday. As she travels to places like Argentina, Naples, Paris, Mexico, Peru, Samoa and Rwanda she comes to terms with the fact that for her single life may be scary but it is something that she can face on her own terms.
This book is a combination of travel book and personal memoir and strong on both points. As you travel the world with Fraser, you are able to soak up the culture and discover these places right along with her. Anyone with a little bit of wanderlust will instantly be attracted to the book. But you will also find a lot of perspective on issues many women don't feel comfortable talking about. Fraser is refreshingly honest about her relationships and about a difficult, life-changing experience that she has on one of her trips.
I love a good travel memoir. I've had only a little taste of world travel and it ignited a spark in me that never died. But like many, picking up and taking off around the world just isn't in the cards for me (at least not right now.) Travel memoirs are the next best thing, going all over the world and seeing it through a personal lens. This book is not just a wonderful escape around the world but an interesting story to go along with it. Fraser experiences what many of us do, the realization that life doesn't always turn out the way we hope or plan.
Pretty much everyone who reads this book will think of Eat, Pray, Love and though I haven't read that book myself I can see why. I think this book deserves as much attention. The locations are exotic and beautiful and Fraser writes beautifully about her struggles and realizations, making this the right combination of travel and memoir. You'll find it difficult to not want to pack your bags and buy a plane ticket as soon as you put the book down.