Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged travel


What does one do when far away from home? What if you never had a real home to begin with? Feelings of homesickness, uprooting one's life, and moving to a new location is considered one of the most stressful events a person can endure. Settling in another country where people speak a different language and abide by the parameters of a culture one is not accustomed to is just icing on an already challenging cake.

Eat Pray Love

Pretty Woman meets Ugly American in Eat Pray Love, a gender reversal romp in which the woman, for a change, instead of the womanizing man, gets to be the one with commitment issues. And while this female free spirit fling junkie cruise around the planet for high carb self-fulfillment is clearly likewise cruising in search of the chick flick demographic, the misguided message seems to be that hedonism is the new feminism.

All Over the Map

Author Laura Fraser has just celebrated her fortieth birthday and is attending a college reunion. While observing the range of accomplishments that have been accumulated over the years by her former classmates—and mentally comparing herself with them—a friend shares with Laura the idea of a Manhattan trifecta: you can, over the course of your life, have the perfect relationship, the perfect job, and the perfect apartment. Just not all at once.

Braking News: 1 Bus, 2 Girls, 15 Thousand Kilometers, 715 Million Votes

Sunetra Choudhury’s Braking News takes the reader on a trip across India to find the elusive Indian voter in both cities and villages. As an anchor and TV news reporter, Choudhury was asked to cover the elections for NDTV on a bus. The election bus planned to travel fifty kilometers each day for sixty days covering 3,000 kilometers. Two teams aboard the bus were scheduled to produce a half-hour show every weekday prior to the May 2009 elections.

Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop but Never Get Off

Good travel writing is hard to come by because it requires a convergence of several elements: a catchy hook, entertaining prose, historical context in just the right doses, and a keen eye for what is interesting about people and places visited. The ability to impeccably execute these essential components is what separates the sacred from the profane.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Genealogy has never been so entertaining. Making its debut this evening, Who Do You Think You Are? explores the family history of a celebrity who travels about to find missing information and reconnect with their ancestors by seeing for themselves the location of their family’s historical events. Sponsored by Ancestry.com, the celebrities, of course, use the website as a primary source of their research.

My Estonia: Passport Forgery, Meat Jelly Eaters, and Other Stories

Long Island native Justin Petrone, like many young people, wanted to shake up his life after graduating from college. He wasn’t sure how, but he managed to do it in a big way. My Estonia tells his true story of a life-altering year of love and timeliness. “Finland really was my last hope.

A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

Here’s the thing about reading a book that’s set in the place you live: it obliges you to scrutinize the setting, the authenticity of the dialogue, and the accuracy of the story in a way you may not have done otherwise. This effect becomes magnified when the place in which you live is not the place you are from, and when your own situated existence in that un-rooted place resembles that of the author’s.

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage

Since I am apparently one of the only women between the ages of twenty-five and seventy-five who hasn’t read Eat, Pray, Love, I was delightfully surprised by Elizabeth Gilbert's latest work, Committed. Gilbert's engaging prose and witty, se

Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story

Traveling With Pomegranates tells the two parallel stories of its authors, a mother and daughter. The two women learn about themselves while abroad in Greece and France, as well as in their respective homes in South Carolina. Ann comes to terms with her disappointment in receiving a rejection letter from the only affordable school offering a Master's degree in Greek history.

Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing

Something to Declare is a wonderful collection of travel stories written to share a unique experience, traveling while lesbian. These stories bring a solid voice to the forefront for queer travel writing, showing the world that travel is indeed colored by the lens of being a lesbian.

India Exposed: The Subcontinent A-Z

The dust jacket of the enigmatic picture book India Exposed displays row upon row of bright blue Kali figures prepared for a festival. Nude goddesses sticking out their intense pink tongues, each statue garlanded with human heads (all male, as far as I can tell), dwarf the lone craftsman at work among them.

Travel Queeries

I perform a comedy show with my partner at Ladyfest Berlin every year. One of the vague memories I have of our first performance was of a U.S. filmmaker named Elliat politely introducing herself at some of the shows and workshops, then asking permission to film parts of the festival for a documentary she was making. She was warm and welcoming, and people were happy to oblige.

It Was Great, But I Was Ready To Come Home

The mythical tropical vacation: surfing, tequila, half-naked beauties, sunsets, dancing, delicious food, and life-changing vistas. It Was Great, But I Was Ready To Come Home strips the glorified ideal of self-discovery down to its reality: bugs, dodgy tacos, heat, dodgy people, heat, dodgy beds, and heat. I watched this film with a half dozen expatriate women living in Mexico City. All of us are travelers; we've backpacked and we have our own stories that could fill up the big screen. So why would this movie be worth watching?

The 2010 Lonely Planet Calendar

There’s something about getting a new calendar that brings out my inner geek, the part of me that revels in stationery supplies and finds the smell of pencils and paper somewhat intoxicating. As a student, the beginning of fall—my favorite season—was always exciting not just for the crisp sunny days and technicolored leaves. I was equally thrilled to have fresh, new school supplies, and to this day, I get a charge when replenishing my office supplies or choosing a new journal. I also carefully select an agenda book and a wall calendar each year.

Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways

The fifth edition of Road Trip USA comes at an opportune time. Gas per gallon is down more than a dollar from last year, and in looking at a line graph projecting the U.S. unemployment rate, if it doesn’t trigger a desire to go on an uphill hike in the Colorado mountains, it exposes that there are plenty of people out there with newly found time on their hands.

Brainscan #23

This second printing of Brainscan #23 was released in September 2008, but don’t worry about it being outdated. While the events in this zine happened between 1995 and 2003, none of Alex Wrekk’s narratives has an expiration date. Wrekk’s travel-themed vignettes are entertaining stories, told the way a friend would talk about the wild things that have happened to her. Not only is this zine an amusing way to kill some time while riding public transit or sitting in a waiting room, it also allows the reader to experience bits of one woman’s life.

Roaming Kyrgyzstan: Beyond the Tourist Track

As American foreign travel is concerned, we are more likely to head to Cancun for spring break, or across the border in Canada for some duty-free shopping—not to Kyrgyzstan.

30 Days in Sydney: A Wildly Distorted Account

Peter Carey’s 30 Days in Sydney: A Wildly Distorted Account is one of the most accurately named books that I’ve read recently. This book is not a traditional travel narrative, and it gains so much from that. The twists and turns inherent in Sydney’s history and people are developed throughout the book not only in the words, but in the style of the book. It is indeed a wildly distorted account, and an unapologetic one.

Lonely Planet Southeast Asia: On A Shoestring

Published just two months before the cyclone disaster in Myanmar (Burma), questions of safety regarding whether or not to go to the politically and ethically wrought country are best answered on the Lonely Planet website.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food

It's rare that I find myself so drawn in by a book that it puts a smile on my face. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles did that and more. At its most basic, this book is about Chinese food in the United States - where it came from, its evolution, and the influence it has had on American dining.

Going Dutch in Beijing: How to Behave Properly When Far Away from Home

Anyone who’s ever had a formal meal with a native Beijingian will know that it is socially taboo to offer any contributions when the bill comes. In Going Dutch in Beijing, Mark McCrum thoroughly informs his readers of everything local concerning greetings, table manners, and wedding and funeral customs. He expresses intent on preventing offensive behavior for his traveling readers, but thoughtfully goes beyond his purpose.

Tibet Travel Guide (7th Edition)

The torch-lighting ceremony in Paris, disrupted by protests highlight the still-contentious controversy of Tibet’s relationship with China. A cause of activists for years, pro-Tibetan demonstrators argue that the Chinese government’s heavy-handed policies and treatment of Tibet result in gross human rights violations, including unfair imprisonment, torture and death. Such troubling events could make Tibet a questionable destination for your next trip.

Lonely Planet: Los Angeles & Southern California (2nd Edition)

Writing guide books for cities as widely visited as Los Angeles can be challenging. One is faced with the question: what’s left to write about? All the usual suspects make an appearance in the _Los Angeles & Southern California _entry of Lonely Planet’s guide series: Universal Studios, Disneyland, Rodeo Drive, the Ivy. For readers – most notably L.A.

The Pet-Moving Handbook: Maximize Your Pet's Well-Being And Maintain Your Sanity

In today’s bookstore, finding a barebones look at anything can be a rarity. But if you’re considering relocating sometime in the next year and plan on taking anything from a fish to a flock of cats, it would be wise to consider investing in The Pet-Moving Handbook. At fewer than sixty pages, the guide is straightforward and frill-free in a field so often overrun with all things precious.

Working the Skies: The Fast-Paced, Disorienting World of the Flight Attendant

In Working the Skies, Drew Whitelegg takes the interviews and study of a multitude of flight attendants and creates a readable, enjoyable tale of the perils and possibilities flight attendants face. The book is part psychology, part history and part cultural study with plenty of personal tales from retired and active flight attendants.

Like Son

I was surprised to realize, after I turned the final page and perused the back jacket, that Like Son was not Felicia Luna Lemus’s first novel. It reads like a debut, in good ways and in bad.

Zaatar Days, Henna Nights: Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations across the Middle East

Pakistani-American Maliha Masood needed a change in her life. She resigns from her lackluster job, cashes in her savings and books a one-way ticket to Paris. While in Europe, her strong desire for adventure and self-discovery propels her to hop on a flight to Cairo, Egypt, but the journey does not stop there.

Grit and Tender Membrane

Both a teacher and an inspiration to women worldwide, Barrow received a Leeway grant to tour via motorcycle, tell her stories and hold workshops for other female survivors of sexual abuse. She advocates poetry as a way to express difficult moments, get her metaphorical demons out and as a means of catharsis and rebirth.