Fifty-eight real stories from young travelers abroad offer the budget, independent, and youth traveler vivid first-person accounts of the countries and experiences of backpackers, students, and sojourners. Offering more than just traveling facts, this guide actually invites readers to see, taste, and experience European adventures-from sneaking into Rome's Coliseum to running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. These backpackers relate experiences that people with suitcases and reservations wouldn't necessarily experience, including sleeping in streets and hostels, 24 hours of clubbing on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and train-travel debacles. The stories offer dozens of glimpses of the most worthwhile destinations in 11 of Europe's most well-traveled countries, not to mention lesser-known lands revealed in the "Off the Beaten Path" section. This collection of youthful adventures will keep aspiring travelers laughing, wondering, and walking with the storytellers who take them inside Europe's must-see places. Countries explored include Amsterdam, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Pearson and Westerman's anthology of short essays by young travelers confirms every stereotype about American college students studying and traveling abroad: they are naive, determined to party and reckless. Given the ubiquity of these themes within these 58 pieces, the book's main readership would appear to be any 20-something with wanderlust and a propensity for nightlife. Recent grad Pearson and University of Washington lecturer Westerman organize the often colorful narratives (by novice travel journalists and former students) by country, allowing readers to explore Germany's club life, France's bar world and other social scenes. Tyler Toby, writing of his wild time in Majorca, sums up the tone of many of these tales: "Our mission was to booze up on the way there and dance all night with women from all over Europe. The music was fantastic and the good times were there for the taking." Some pieces, however, offer more cultural and historical meat, with important lessons about travel safety and strategies that will enrich soon-to-be young travelers' ideas of what to expect, including how to best enjoy the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and tips for artists on capturing offbeat Paris on canvas. And the book fills a void in the study-abroad genre, as it isn't a guide book or a how-to. For the thousands of students who make the trek across the ocean in search of adventures, this collection will foreshadow much of what is in store and, when they return, echo their experiences. Maps. (Apr.) Forecast: Roughly 150,000 Americans study abroad each year, suggesting a healthy readership for this anthology. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Pearson Venture Group
March 31, 2004
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