I told my friend Michelle (hi, Michelle!) that she had to read S. Bedford‘s It’s Only the Himalayas: And Other Tales of Miscalculation from an Overconfident Backpacker. I badgered her about it for months leading up to its release. Really talked it up. She’s a busy mom of two tiny wee people, so she’s lucky if she has time to read the shampoo bottle, but I promised her that she’d like it and basically strong-armed her into it. Thank the sweet lord baby J I was right (I mean… I knew I would be). Here is her Amazon review:
A travel memoir that never bores
As somebody who once aspired to be a travel writer, I have a key observation. I once received a nasty Editor response to a story submission with words that ring clear years later: “no one wants to know how you feel. Just tell us what you saw and leave yourself out of it.”
THANK YOU to Sue Bedford for NOT doing as he said. That she recounted the honest [negative] feelings & hardships of travel is what made this story raw and more hilarious. Anyone who has traveled knows that at some point you’ll ironically be sitting on a pristine Asian beach, digging armpits-deep in your pack for something, and desperately wanting to go home just for the hangers in your closet and drawers in your dresser. Bedford managed to bring light and laughter to the fact that our greatest flaws often come out in travel, but that needn’t keep us at home.
By far my favorite part of her writing, though, is the use of perfect metaphor after perfect metaphor. She manage to describe views and scenery without boring us, balancing personal and internal adventure with the external. I have read many, many, many travel essays, short stories, memoirs, articles, etc, and at some point they all bore, if just for a minute to describe a setting or event. Bedford’s writing was always interesting!
She left me wanting more!
I know you want to read this now, too. Click here to buy.
And just so you know: my favourite metaphor (well, this one’s a simile, but you get my drift …) is this:
“The ocean was brilliantly teal, with waves glittering like the sequins on a ladyboy’s miniskirt.”
Don’t be afraid. I won’t smite you. Probably.