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Archive for February 2010

Review: The Call of the World by Trent Newcomer

Nowadays, traveling is an essential part of life. It is a chance to explore new places, learn more about yourself and the culture of the place you are going to and is an adventure, in itself. A chance to know that you are just one tiny being in the huge world we are moving in.

Very few people do get a chance to travel, and very few people get an opportunity to take a few years off and just discover what's out there. In this book, Trent Newcomer decides to leave his corporate job and the safety of his routine life back at home and just backpack to different countries. He traveled for over a year and a half, and this book is his memoir, so to speak, of those travels: the places he visited, and the people he met along the way. With every new place, he did not have a set itinerary, only a goal: to continuously strive to expand the  boundaries of his comfort zone.

This book is biographical so I cannot comment much on characters, settings, and the like, so this review is also non-traditional in a sense. I admire Trent for having the guts to do this. I know it isn't easy to leave the comfort of your life back home, with a steady-paying job, your friends, and just go off on your own over yonder. I admire him for not having a steady itinerary and not jumping in to some of the tourist traps that the countries he had went to offered. As you read through the book, you'll have a feeling of wanting to go to the places he went as well. He described his adventures so vividly and provided information on the places he stayed in and areas that few travelers would ever think of going, which are hidden gems of the area, so to speak.  His feelings are clear in the book: there are no holds barred, like his fears of entering a mountain bike race when he is physically unprepared, and how customs officials may single you out for not exactly having the best appearance whilst on the border.

The book is an enjoyable read, it is informative for future travelers like me who intend to follow in the example that Trent has led. He and so many others have proven to the world, that yes, it can be done, and you just need to take the first step to reach the goals that you want. And well, yes, lots of planning beforehand [the places, how much it would cost, and maybe contact long-lost friends along the way]. However, I feel as if the chapters and the narratives on the countries he visited were a bit too short. I feel it left me hanging and gives me the thought "that's it??" Perhaps Trent should have presented the book by continent, to provide more information on what he did in a particular country, but that's just me. I know it must have been hard for him to trim down his memoirs from his 4000++ page journal into the 300+ page book that he has presented now. Fellow readers, please also keep an open mind as you read the book. Not all the situations Trent has found himself on his travels may happen to you, after all, it has been 15 years since he has embarked on this trip and things may have changed since then. And within those 15 years, we have been blessed with budget airlines, fast trains, mobile internet, GPS-enabled phones, so we have it easier right now compared to what he has encountered before.

This book is a light read, and will definitely inspire you to see more of the world and just step out of your comfort zone, however hard it may prove to be. All you need is to take that first step and you are on your way!

And so, on to the rating & information:
Published: 2009
Publisher:  iUniverse
Available from: Barnes & Noble and the iUniverse bookstore.
Final Rating:  4/5 [I liked it, it is very inspiring, as I have said again and again in my post above]
Read it if: You want to discover new places to go to and want to be inspired in people's travel stories.

**Many, many thanks to Trent Newcomer for sending this book over. **

In My Mailbox # 11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.  It features bought, borrowed, or received books as well as other cool stuff from the mail. Isn't it fun?

For this week, I've received quite a few parcels and bought a few books but I wasn't able to take photos of them so they'll be featured in the future installments of the In My Mailbox post! :)

I'm finally finally trying to catch up with the backlog now so I hope you guys don't mind! I don't have any planned events until the last week of February so I can breathe again! LOL.

So, what did I get in my Mailbox for this week?

- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief ---> In preparation for the movie that I'm scheduled to watch on February 20th! I'm currently on page 220 of this and it's got me hooked! I'm still deliberating whether I'll get the second book already or just borrow but it's pulling me to buy the second book already!!!

- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince --> Okay. I have a confession. I have six Harry Potter books [bought the first third and the fifth, and the fourth and seventh book were given to me as gifts]  but I never even bothered to get the sixth book. So here I am, trying to catch up with my TBR of Harry Potter goodness. I'm currently reading the fourth book [what a loser I am for still not reading all seven boks]. I took up a Harry Potter reading challenge so hopefully I'll get to finish reading all 7 books within this year :) And..... I cheated and got some nice audiobooks of the series too to help me out :P

For Review:
- The Girl Made of Cool by Alan Fox - This is a book composed of a new novel as well as some other stories by the author. It's loooove stories, so is quite good for this love month! Many many many thanks to Alan and his publisher, StoryFocus, for sending this book to me! I can't wait to read it :)

A synopsis of the book from Amazon.com:
Featuring a new novel and two other stories by Alan Fox. ---- Author ALAN FOX writes love stories, filled with a sense of awe and wonder, and set against a brutal world. "THE GIRL MADE OF COOL" is his vibrant new novel and the centerpiece of this collection. Here, Fox tells the story of a young man and woman who are falling in love with each other, but the young woman doesn't know it. She believes that she's falling in love with the man's far more handsome, more perfect friend. ... As the story unfolds and deepens, we see how these two highly talented young men must suffer, struggle, and wage battle to woo this young woman. This, as all the while, she grows into an ever greater beauty, a more charismatic personality, and an all-the-more alluring woman. ... This, as all the while, this young lady grows to become an elegant woman made of shining love and elusive cool. -- Also featured here in this collection, you will find: The Novel "HELL HAS BLUE SKIES" -- A love story about intense relationships in an office, whose unusual line of business is to train people to become 'world-class experts.' And the short story "THE LOVELY LADY AT THE LOVE MUSEUM" -- A colorful tale of romance and high-level maneuvering in the big city. ---- ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Alan Fox writes love stories about people looking for a sense of wonder in a brutal world, people pursuing beauty in the face of insanity. His previous novel, "The Seeker in Forever," is now available in a second revised edition.

Priorities, Priorities.

Hello! I've been currently out in the blogging world because my real life suddenly caught up with me recently and I have yet to catch up with a whole load of things to do. Month-end just finished at work, so I've got some more spare time, and do not do 10-14hour shifts at the office.

So, what's been keeping me busy from blogging aside from work? Let's see.
1) There's numerous concerts that kept me extremely busy! Jan 27th for Boys Like Girls and February 6th for the Musicfest!
2) Theatre - just seen RENT and it was awesome!
3) I'm planning a new blog to chronicle my fangirly moments. That's to differentiate this blog from the other one. Less cluttered that way.
4) I've just booked another theatre ticket for myself and mum this March and planning THREE trips to travel out for a holiday. Oh.My.Gosh.
5) I am now averaging less than 6hours of sleep everyday. I try to keep up with reading my books, the blogs, and tweets. Oh! Living in the digital age.

So, there. A brief apology and explanation of why I've been out for the past 2 weeks.
I was sooo busy I wasn't able to make my IMM post for 2 weeks too.

Need tips guys. How do you manage to cram all of your interests and necessities [sleep, work, travel time] in 24 hours a day? I wish I could re-enroll in my time management course at work! My to-do list on my organizer is now 2 pages long!!!

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