|Mark Johnson Show WDEV-AM/FM, Waterbury, VT||March 16|
|Dutch Treat Club||March 17|
|Lincoln Live KFOR-AM, Lincoln, NE||March 18|
|Lewis at Large KLWN-AM, Lawrence, KS||March 19|
|Podcast KnowledgeforMen||March 19|
|Corus Radio Network, Canada||March 19|
|KLWN - Lewis at Large||March 19|
|Travel with Hawkeye WBAP-AM, Dallas, TX||March 24|
|Marilu Henner Show Syndicated||March 25|
|WBAP Travels with Hawkeye||March 24|
|NPR The Authors Corner||March 24|
|Happenings Q&A WLIP-AM, Kenosha, WI||March 31|
|Cornell University, Ithaca, NY||April 15|
|Coal Miners Classic||July 16 - 18|
|Century Travelers Club||October|
Australia - Jane Bieger, inveterate traveler, writer, and owner of The Rock Shop in Brisbane. Bhutan - Sonam Peldan, tour guide. China - Alex Miller, teacher, social media entrepreneur, and husband of Yah. Colombia - Laura Hernandez, U.S. radio correspondent for Columbian Radio. Eastern Europe - Ralitsa Laleva, Bulgarian artist. Ethiopia - Peter Heinlein, fearless correspondent for The Voice of America Ghana, Benin, Togo. Mali, Burkina-Faso - Godfried Abnezour, head of Continent Explorer. Haiti - Johnathan Haggard, director of Beyond Borders, a charity focused on helping Haiti. Mongolia - Batdelgar (Enkhee) Enkhtsetseg, tour operator and guide. Nauru - Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet books. Russia - Nadezda Dukhina, journalist, recently relocated to U.S. Saudi Arabia - John Douglass, Middle East human resources specialist. Somalia - A brave person who runs a guest house in Mogadishu and asked for anonymity. Southeast Asia - Harold Stephens, who has lived there for the last 40 years. Uganda and East Africa - Miha Logar, who runs the Edrissa hotel in the Gorilla Highlanbds.
This is the best adventure-travel book written in this young century.
It’s a robust, rugged, insightful, humorous, raunchy, wise, thrilling, intensely readable saga of how my favorite travel buddy, Albert Podell, overcame tremendous odds and hardships to achieve an almost-impossible dream of visiting every country on earth.
Around the World in 50 Years has it all – adventures, disasters, survival, victories, wit, wisdom, intriguing facts, fascinating figures, perceptive observations, graphic descriptions, history, geography, culture, politics, revolution, war, intrigue, spies, sin, sex, snakes, and sharks, all conveyed in a smooth, engaging, page-turning style that makes you feel that you are right there beside Al as he gets into one jam after another. And out.
The book memorializes, and takes us along on, a unique human achievement. To my knowledge, there is no other book by, or about, anyone, living or dead, who achieved this remarkable feat of perseverance, resourcefulness, and quiet courage.
It is not a travel guide, yet there is much that Al did from which a traveler could take guidance. Nor is it a book of traditional explorations or corny claims; Al did not go to any place “where no man has ever gone before,” but he went everywhere with a brave heart, clear eyes, and an inquiring mind that made astute observations and discerned remarkable relationships, all told in a bright, vigorous, and eminently enjoyable style.
Al’s travels required 72 separate journeys that encompassed more than 50 years and close to a million arduous miles. He highlights the major troubles, accidents, wars, breakdowns, robberies, problems, hassles, dangers, detours, misunderstandings, nut cases and whack jobs he needed to overcome to survive to 196 countries. It describes only those travels and events that were particularly adventurous or engrossing and only those countries that were exotic or far from the tourist track, like Nauru and Lesotho, Benin and Tuvalu, Palau and East Timor, Saudi Arabia and Guinea, North Korea and Somalia, Congo and Rwanda and Yemen.
This fact-packed book is loaded with fascinating encounters with voodoo sacrifice rituals, king tides, tiger sharks, fruit-bat pie, the Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon, Cuban counterintelligence agents, Havana hookers, killer hippos, Zambezi River rafting, Kalahari sand-boarding, primitive bungee jumping, bizarre foods, the New Guinea wigmen, camel caravans, the slave trade, lovable lemurs, swimming with penguins, Islamic politics, the drowning nation, the Lord’s Resistance Army, how to greet a gorilla, hunting with nomads, Pure Blonde Naked Pale Ale, and much, much, much more, all recounted in a fresh, funny, and exuberantly rollicking manner. Although primarily an adventure tale, it provides a special background for understanding today’s world and its dangers, splendors, animosities, oddities, politics, problems, and people. .Al would be the first to admit that this is not a tale of exceptional heroism, because the many dangerous situations and hair-raising adventures in which he found himself did not spring from purposeful attempts to put himself in harm’s way, but were simply the result of ordinary ill luck, inadvertence, misplaced trust, foolish notions of invincibility, or just the way the cookie crumbled. Nor is it a book of miracles, because Al paid a high price for his many misadventures in injuries, illnesses, expenses, and girlfriends who gave up waiting for him to finish.
It’s a book about the dedication, persistence, and indomitable will of a guy who spent a good part of his life pursuing his goal on ancient Third World airplanes; leaky, overloaded foreign ferries; and broken-down, jam-packed bush taxis driven on rutted roads at 100 mph by wild kids who never passed a driving test. He unrolled his sleeping bag at border posts, campsites, roadsides, jungles, glaciers, airport floors, and in hostels, dahk bungalows, tents, trailers, trees, teepees, campers, cars, caravansaries, desert dugouts, and flea-bag motels; alternately sweating and freezing; dodging dengue- fever mosquitoes by day and malarial ones by night; lugging more than 130 pounds on some trips while trying to get by on others with a Speedo and sandals; en route to 203 countries (seven of which no longer exist) to reach the 196 officially recognized today.
text-align: right It’s a damn good read! One of the best of its kind since Marco Polo. We learn what this world is really like and come to understand how, by just showing up for the job, day after day; persevering in the face of myriad misadventures, year after year; and never giving up, decade after decade, you can achieve your impossible dream.
Harold Stephens is the author of more than twenty books of travel and adventure. He was, with Albert Podell, the co-leader of the Trans-World Record Expedition and helped Podell write Who Needs A Road, which is still in print after almost 50 years, and about 40 pages of which are used or adapted in chapters two to seven of this book.