Travel Book Review: Hypertravel-100 Countries in Two Years
Hardie Karges has one self-professed goal in life: to see every country in the world.
And he’s off to a grand start!
His recently self-published book, Hypertravel -100 Countries in Two Years is less about Karges’ journey to most of the countries defined by the United Nations as countries, and more of a journey into Karges’ mind.
That’s not to say we don’t get some powerful and startling insights into the countries, villages, bus depots, airports, marketplaces, cafes, cities and dumps he wanders through. We do.
It’s just that the three-hundred plus page book is really the author talking to himself and our listening in as he skewers a country (Djibouti sucks, and can’t make a good cup of coffee). Or as he makes an off-handed comment about a national characteristic: “There is something peaceful about the Iranian character, likewise rigor mortis.”
But don’t for one minute underestimate him.
His humor and tongue-in-cheek approach belies astute observations about the countries of the world, their people, cultures and traditions.
His hopscotching the globe could not have been accomplished with heavy reliance on the Internet, and his desperate search for WiFi spots is one of the humorous high points of the book.
But so is his exhausting mastery of bus and train schedules, the art of ticketing convoluted flights that often take him back to a destination, in order to go forward, just so he could go further back from where he started.
This travel legerdemain requires fortitude, street-smarts, planning and tremendous sense of curiosity coupled with life-saving humor and patience.
But I especially love Karges’ sense of irreverence.
Take the Italian island of Rimini, for example, the celebrated seaside resort along Italy’s Adriatic coast. For most travelers, it’s a place for the rich and famously tanned beautiful bodies.
For Karges, however, in the summer, it “must be an anthill of sun-burned tourist butts strolling down the street in search of pizze and gelati.”Continued on the next page