Note: The author of this book is a long-time friend from college. I reviewed this book on Amazon.
Because this around-the-world bicycle odyssey was done 3 decades ago, this book is more of an adventure story, than a travel guide. It's like time travel back to when there were no cell phones, internet, or ATMS. International calls were made when you were desperate. You scheduled mail for when you would be in a city where there was an American Express office.
I am amazed that the writer could do this, traveling on bikes for a year, from Europe to Africa to India, then Asia. with only 4 changes of clothes! Even when I was younger, I would never have taken a trip like this, so I enjoyed reading about it. I loved how they found off-the-beaten path places, and I am curious what these places are like now, like Kodaikanal in India and the art festival in Hue, Vietnam.I have traveled to Vietnam, Thailand, and Bali in recent years, so I was able to compare the then as she experienced it, and the now, as I experienced it. Vietnam is drastically different, but we both found the people, especially the women, extremely warm and sincere.
The best thing about travel is learning about other cultures and seeing life through others' eyes. There is much of that in the different places they went to. There are stories here of the "kindness of strangers." She even mentioned books she was reading in each country, which I will look into. Another story line I thought was interesting was the writer's thinking through, and feeling through, her relationship with her then-husband, her travel partner. I found this book easy to read, inspiring and uplifting. But it was honest as well, she didn't leave out parts that were challenging, like needing to prepare for the various health threats, and having to endure recovery when you did catch something. There is much to like about this book. You will feel like a good friend of yours is telling you about the year she spent bicycling around the world.