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"This is the account of twenty-three years of wilderness wandering, sea voyages and overland treks to survey the earth, with no home or possessions other than what fit in my trusty backpack. There was no specific destination in mind except to visit countries, not the airports and luxury hotels but the country itself, to experience local culture and ways of life. This entai "This is the account of twenty-three years of wilderness wandering, sea voyages and overland treks to survey the earth, with no home or possessions other than what fit in my trusty backpack. There was no specific destination in mind except to visit countries, not the airports and luxury hotels but the country itself, to experience local culture and ways of life. This entailed sleeping in tribesmen's huts and cheap hostels and using local transportation whenever possible: traversing jungle roads packed eighteen souls to a single Peugeot station wagon in Guinea-Bissau, boating the length of the Amazon snacking on roasted piranha, and hitchhiking across Iraq during the war. I've floated on dilapidated ferries across surging estuaries, ridden horseback or in military trucks across deserts and plains, followed the course of rivers, crossed wastelands, bused and trekked through deep jungle, traversed mountain ranges and lounged on the remotest beaches. I adopted local customs and ate local food: roasted goat's eye as the guest of honour at a Mongolian tribal feast, alligator nuggets, mystery kabobs, ‘bush meat' ubiquitous to certain regions of Africa ... but drew the line at wheelbarrows brimming over with smoked monkey corpses. A man's got to know his limitations." --Mike Spencer Bown In 1990, Calgary-raised Mike Spencer Bown packed a backpack and began a journey that would eventually take him through each of the world's 195 countries and span more than two decades. From relaxing on the white sand beaches of Bali to waiting out blizzards in Tibetan caves, Bown trekked from country to country, driven by a desire to see the world in the most authentic way possible, not to just collect stamps on his passport. Eventually, he began to earn international recognition for some of his more unconventional destinations--such as a memorable trip to war-torn Mogadishu. The World's Most Travelled Man is an eye-opening account of the universal human experience as seen from each corner of the changing world. Blending a romantic connection to nature through solitude and the social examination of culture, Bown fully immerses himself in each experience, however diverse, dangerous or dirty, veering way, way off the backpacker circuit to see the world through an unparalleled perspective. The World's Most Travelled Man is a journey of global proportions shared with the humility of a man who simply wants to satisfy his own curiosity and live life to the fullest.


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"This is the account of twenty-three years of wilderness wandering, sea voyages and overland treks to survey the earth, with no home or possessions other than what fit in my trusty backpack. There was no specific destination in mind except to visit countries, not the airports and luxury hotels but the country itself, to experience local culture and ways of life. This entai "This is the account of twenty-three years of wilderness wandering, sea voyages and overland treks to survey the earth, with no home or possessions other than what fit in my trusty backpack. There was no specific destination in mind except to visit countries, not the airports and luxury hotels but the country itself, to experience local culture and ways of life. This entailed sleeping in tribesmen's huts and cheap hostels and using local transportation whenever possible: traversing jungle roads packed eighteen souls to a single Peugeot station wagon in Guinea-Bissau, boating the length of the Amazon snacking on roasted piranha, and hitchhiking across Iraq during the war. I've floated on dilapidated ferries across surging estuaries, ridden horseback or in military trucks across deserts and plains, followed the course of rivers, crossed wastelands, bused and trekked through deep jungle, traversed mountain ranges and lounged on the remotest beaches. I adopted local customs and ate local food: roasted goat's eye as the guest of honour at a Mongolian tribal feast, alligator nuggets, mystery kabobs, ‘bush meat' ubiquitous to certain regions of Africa ... but drew the line at wheelbarrows brimming over with smoked monkey corpses. A man's got to know his limitations." --Mike Spencer Bown In 1990, Calgary-raised Mike Spencer Bown packed a backpack and began a journey that would eventually take him through each of the world's 195 countries and span more than two decades. From relaxing on the white sand beaches of Bali to waiting out blizzards in Tibetan caves, Bown trekked from country to country, driven by a desire to see the world in the most authentic way possible, not to just collect stamps on his passport. Eventually, he began to earn international recognition for some of his more unconventional destinations--such as a memorable trip to war-torn Mogadishu. The World's Most Travelled Man is an eye-opening account of the universal human experience as seen from each corner of the changing world. Blending a romantic connection to nature through solitude and the social examination of culture, Bown fully immerses himself in each experience, however diverse, dangerous or dirty, veering way, way off the backpacker circuit to see the world through an unparalleled perspective. The World's Most Travelled Man is a journey of global proportions shared with the humility of a man who simply wants to satisfy his own curiosity and live life to the fullest.

30 review for The World's Most Travelled Man: A Twenty-Three-Year Odyssey to and through Every Country on the Planet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ron S

    While Mr Brown's certainly led a fascinating life in his 23 years of travel, his smug and turgid telling of it feels as though it takes just as long to read. While there are brief, interesting passages throughout, and flashes of valuable insight, the book mostly resembles a list of country counting; just the sort of thing that Brown notes he rather despises in others. It should be noted that while I found the book a slog to read through, I'm glad that there are people like him out there -- free While Mr Brown's certainly led a fascinating life in his 23 years of travel, his smug and turgid telling of it feels as though it takes just as long to read. While there are brief, interesting passages throughout, and flashes of valuable insight, the book mostly resembles a list of country counting; just the sort of thing that Brown notes he rather despises in others. It should be noted that while I found the book a slog to read through, I'm glad that there are people like him out there -- free spirits freestyling throughout a world that too often believes travel should be limited in place, time, style and spirit. If Brown writes another book and focuses on a single country, continent or region, rather than presenting a giant list, I'd give it a go.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mylie

    This is a tough book to try and rate. As a traveler and travel reader, I really wanted to love this one, but it fell short of my expectations. On the one hand, the author has seen a lot and met some incredible people in traveling to every country in the world. On the other hand, he's dangerously blasé with his own safety, awfully condescending to people who travel differently than him (and who can't afford to leave everything or have the time to travel for 23 years), and at times sexist and a li This is a tough book to try and rate. As a traveler and travel reader, I really wanted to love this one, but it fell short of my expectations. On the one hand, the author has seen a lot and met some incredible people in traveling to every country in the world. On the other hand, he's dangerously blasé with his own safety, awfully condescending to people who travel differently than him (and who can't afford to leave everything or have the time to travel for 23 years), and at times sexist and a little racist besides. Consider a passage in the final chapter... "In Europe, most travellers laugh and roll their eyes when they meet certain tourists with rail passes, who say they are doing every country in Europe... Usually these people are young and naive, and the assumption is that they will eventually learn how silly this is..." Sorry, man, you've just crapped all over your target audience of travellers who can't just ramble throughout the world aimlessly like you did, as much as they'd love to. The book could use a good editor and someone to temper the voice of the author when it gets too preachy or smug. This could have been a great book... at its heart, there are some fun stories, insightful passages and interesting people. Being "the world's most traveled man" is something to inspire... Too bad it's this jerk.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cody Alana

    A friend left this book at our place and I figured I’d give it a try. I actually gave up on getting through this book after getting annoyed with the author’s pretentious voice constantly reminding us how smart he is, and how he’s a real traveller and not a tourist or “country counter” like everyone else. He goes to all these amazing places but barely skims the surface when describing many of them. It starts to feel like a big humblebrag about how many dangerous and off the beaten track places he A friend left this book at our place and I figured I’d give it a try. I actually gave up on getting through this book after getting annoyed with the author’s pretentious voice constantly reminding us how smart he is, and how he’s a real traveller and not a tourist or “country counter” like everyone else. He goes to all these amazing places but barely skims the surface when describing many of them. It starts to feel like a big humblebrag about how many dangerous and off the beaten track places he’s been to rather than actually exploring the culture of the places. I give it two stars though because some of the places he visits are very interesting and it gives me inspiration to visit some of them. I think he should have picked some of his most interesting trips and gone more in depth about them rather than just skimming over every single place he’s been.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I'm sorry. I read about 1/2 to 3/4 of the book and I gave up. It might well be titled the world's most arrogant man. I find the author insufferable. Not at all my kind of travel literature. More about him than his destinations. If you do give it a try, please skip the Prologue, it's almost offensive. I'm sorry. I read about 1/2 to 3/4 of the book and I gave up. It might well be titled the world's most arrogant man. I find the author insufferable. Not at all my kind of travel literature. More about him than his destinations. If you do give it a try, please skip the Prologue, it's almost offensive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Magdelanye

    Despite its pretentious title and the propensity of MSB to seek media attention and flaunt his credentials, this book is a tantalizing glimpse of the kind of travel that counts. Mass tourism is not so much travel as the outsourcing of heavy drinking and noise. p312 Don't get the impression that he is any sort of purist or prude. He is out there, eating whatever is on offer, taking local transportation, rolling with the circumstances. In practice, more or less, he is a respectful and open-hearted v Despite its pretentious title and the propensity of MSB to seek media attention and flaunt his credentials, this book is a tantalizing glimpse of the kind of travel that counts. Mass tourism is not so much travel as the outsourcing of heavy drinking and noise. p312 Don't get the impression that he is any sort of purist or prude. He is out there, eating whatever is on offer, taking local transportation, rolling with the circumstances. In practice, more or less, he is a respectful and open-hearted visitor, intent not just on the feat of reaching a country and collecting the official stamp, but on getting to know the culture and the people he encounters on the way. hidden behind some very peculiar customs and cultural differences, people are basically good and worth knowing whatever the race or culture they hail from.....If you are accepting of their circumstances, rather than being judgmental and rigid, you will have no problems getting along with people anywhere on the planet p371 So I did enjoy this book and I am inspired. And I do realize that it is already a hefty read. Of necessity judicious editing was necessary to condense 23 years on the move. Still, his coverage is so skimpy in some countries compared to others that it feels like an imbalance to me. In my 7 point system I would give this a 5, but in a 5 point system it would have to be a 3, although 3.75 is more like it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    3.5 stars. What a wealth of experiences , memories and stories this remarkable man has accumulated. I have traveled a great deal, sometimes by myself away from the regular tourist routes, but must admit being somewhat jealous of his journeys. He has visited places I will never see, alas! I felt some interesting countries were just skimmed over too quickly, but understandable. Many volumes would be necessary to get descriptions of the highlights and drawbacks of travel in various countries. Muc 3.5 stars. What a wealth of experiences , memories and stories this remarkable man has accumulated. I have traveled a great deal, sometimes by myself away from the regular tourist routes, but must admit being somewhat jealous of his journeys. He has visited places I will never see, alas! I felt some interesting countries were just skimmed over too quickly, but understandable. Many volumes would be necessary to get descriptions of the highlights and drawbacks of travel in various countries. Much time waiting for visas, drinking in bars, partying,, conversations with interesting people, and insights into economic and political structures, keeping his cool when confronted with unpleasant border guards, military, and other officials. Sometimes I got the feeling that the book was more about him than the destinations, but an invaluable resource for someone preparing themselves mentally if planning to do something similar. An amazing life of adventure. Hoping he takes a break from his further travel to write another book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Irina

    As a fellow traveler, I REALLY wanted to like this book! I expected it to be a captivating account of someone who dedicated over two decades of his life to exploring the world. I admire the author for his bravery. He’s a fascinating man with a fascinating story. I wholeheartedly agree with him – you can’t see the world in a year, even in five years. Once in a while, you hear in the news about such and such who travelled to all countries in the world at their ripe age of 24 and wonder how much th As a fellow traveler, I REALLY wanted to like this book! I expected it to be a captivating account of someone who dedicated over two decades of his life to exploring the world. I admire the author for his bravery. He’s a fascinating man with a fascinating story. I wholeheartedly agree with him – you can’t see the world in a year, even in five years. Once in a while, you hear in the news about such and such who travelled to all countries in the world at their ripe age of 24 and wonder how much they have actually seen…. The author calls them - quite fittingly - “country counters” and I can’t argue with that. So, I was prepared to hear a tale of a different kind – of a weathered traveler of 23 years, someone who knows his way around the planet and who, mostly likely, has seen more than anyone else in the world… Because I wanted to like this book so much, my disappointment only kicked in about a hundred pages in… While there were some very interesting chapters about travels in the “bad boys” of the world – Iraq, Congo and Somalia to name a few, the rest of the book was slow and painful to get through and I finally realized why. I realized that I was reading nothing more than a catalogue of events, organized in order of occurrence with a ton of tiny details that no one cares about. We get that the author travels so much that his passport runs out of pages, so he needs to come back to Canada for a new one. While he’s there, he re-visits his family members in different parts of the country… Reading about it once is okay, reading about it for the fifth time becomes tiring and you can’t help but wonder how this adds to the story. Well, it doesn’t. There were a lot of side trips here and there that he throws at the reader like name dropping. But what’s the point? You’ve been to every country in the world – we get it! Now, pick some of the most memorable and concentrate on them. This book could have easily been a hundred pages shorter. I am convinced that the best travelogues have a good combination of two things: 1) the actual travel tales and 2) some personal ruminations on life, friendships, dangers and some of the lessons learned on the road. I would have loved to hear why – after years of traveling around the same parts of the world – he decided to switch gears and become committed to visiting all countries in the world. There’s surely more thought behind this decision than the two sentences we received. Finally, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people use “do” when they talk about travel. As in “I did Australia” or “I did Europe”. I can expect a first-time backpacker say something like this when bragging at a hostel bar. But I definitely did not expect the author to use it as frequently as he did, applying this word to countries, islands, regions and whole continents… I cringed every time I had to read it. What’s wrong with neutral “travel”, “explore”, “visit”? Ironically, this unfortunate choice of the word makes the author sound like a real “country counter”.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I was expecting more of stories of his travels so I was a bit disappointed that for the most part the actual descriptions of places were sparse in comparison to the author's views of the world, religion etc..and I also found some of his statements on his beliefs to be contradictory. On the more dangerous places, he came across as annoying - as if getting into these places made him heroic in some way. He came across as having a superior opinion of himself and his travel capabilities and any lifes I was expecting more of stories of his travels so I was a bit disappointed that for the most part the actual descriptions of places were sparse in comparison to the author's views of the world, religion etc..and I also found some of his statements on his beliefs to be contradictory. On the more dangerous places, he came across as annoying - as if getting into these places made him heroic in some way. He came across as having a superior opinion of himself and his travel capabilities and any lifestyle besides his own - and I ended up finding his attitude immature in a lot of ways. Also - who decided he was the "World's Most Travelled Man"?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I love travelling, in all of its various forms, so I was very excited to read this book. Sadly, I really struggled with reading it. To me, the author's telling of his experiences was very “flat.” What I mean is that the entire book read more like a textbook rather than a novel. Parts that were exciting or terrifying were written about in the same exact tone as parts that should have been boring. Also, despite the author stating on many occasions that he’s not judgmental, I found his tone of supe I love travelling, in all of its various forms, so I was very excited to read this book. Sadly, I really struggled with reading it. To me, the author's telling of his experiences was very “flat.” What I mean is that the entire book read more like a textbook rather than a novel. Parts that were exciting or terrifying were written about in the same exact tone as parts that should have been boring. Also, despite the author stating on many occasions that he’s not judgmental, I found his tone of superiority when it came to how other people travel to be exactly that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Raymond

    Extremely hit or miss contents. There are some chapters that are fascinating and made me want to visit the described locations (Yemen, Papua and Congo were my favourite), while others are skimmed over. For example, MSB makes a big deal about getting a visa to Saudi Arabia, yet devotes only a few paragraphs to the country. The author also comes out as pretentious, in my opinion, at times (If I wanted to party and hike like he pretends real travelers do, I would stay home, not spend thousands to f Extremely hit or miss contents. There are some chapters that are fascinating and made me want to visit the described locations (Yemen, Papua and Congo were my favourite), while others are skimmed over. For example, MSB makes a big deal about getting a visa to Saudi Arabia, yet devotes only a few paragraphs to the country. The author also comes out as pretentious, in my opinion, at times (If I wanted to party and hike like he pretends real travelers do, I would stay home, not spend thousands to fly to some faraway land).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allen Herring

    Valhallas. Visa. Scandinavia. Visa. Molly. Visa. Germany. Visa. Russia. Visa. Canada. Visa. Caribbean. Visa. Canada. UK. Visa. France. China. Visa. Philippines. Visa. Barbara. Visa. Thailand. Canada. Visa. Molly. Visa. India. Pakistan. Dana. Visa. Africa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Dana - let's try for a baby. Okay. Visa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Saudi Arabia. Visa. Israel. Ireland. Media Blitz. I'm a traveler not a country counter. Valhallas. Visa. Scandinavia. Visa. Molly. Visa. Germany. Visa. Russia. Visa. Canada. Visa. Caribbean. Visa. Canada. UK. Visa. France. China. Visa. Philippines. Visa. Barbara. Visa. Thailand. Canada. Visa. Molly. Visa. India. Pakistan. Dana. Visa. Africa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Dana - let's try for a baby. Okay. Visa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Saudi Arabia. Visa. Israel. Ireland. Media Blitz. I'm a traveler not a country counter.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I loved this book; I am sorry it is over. It took a long time to get through and I’m not sure why…perhaps the lack of suspense. Mike sounds like a fascinating guy who can really tell a story, and it is this quality as much as anything that helped him through some of the more dangerous situations and countries he visited. I am not a "package tour" fan. I like to hang out with locals and learn their culture, shop like they do. There are limits though: I can never understand why someone would want I loved this book; I am sorry it is over. It took a long time to get through and I’m not sure why…perhaps the lack of suspense. Mike sounds like a fascinating guy who can really tell a story, and it is this quality as much as anything that helped him through some of the more dangerous situations and countries he visited. I am not a "package tour" fan. I like to hang out with locals and learn their culture, shop like they do. There are limits though: I can never understand why someone would want to take buses where there is a 30% chance of death, or eat sheeps’ eyes, or sleep under a bridge. However, he had a drive which he himself could not articulate, except that he had to do it. Other reviewers called him a “country counter”. I disagree. He genuinely spent time in each country. The negatives: I found the ending rushed. I wasn’t ready for it to be finished. Some countries were dismissed so quickly that I went back to the table of contents to see whether he had somehow “missed” Australia – but there it was with Croatia and other European countries. I would have liked a bit more detail in some respects, but then the book would have been overlong. The positives: I loved his stories, his sunny disposition, his ability to make friends, get help, find rides, and his belief that most people, in any country in the world, are nice and good people. He has made friends all over the world and no doubt he will continue to travel. The biggest positive of all: I had my tablet handy and constantly interrupted my reading to look up on Google Earth many of the places he mentioned.….places I had never heard of. I will (obviously) never get to them all, and I wonder how he knew of them to seek them out, but it was a delight to tour the world from my armchair. I suppose this is why it took me so long to finish. I recommend it, and I might even read it again someday.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    As an avid traveller and one who prefers off the beaten track destinations, the premise of this book was right up my alley. I bought the book yesterday and just finished it within 24 hours. Usually when I read a book this quickly it means the book was pretty darn good and this book was consistent with that viewpoint. More than anything, the books reads authentic. There's not much, if any, pomposity either. The combination of that genuine approach sans the arrogance is a combination that suits me As an avid traveller and one who prefers off the beaten track destinations, the premise of this book was right up my alley. I bought the book yesterday and just finished it within 24 hours. Usually when I read a book this quickly it means the book was pretty darn good and this book was consistent with that viewpoint. More than anything, the books reads authentic. There's not much, if any, pomposity either. The combination of that genuine approach sans the arrogance is a combination that suits me well. It was an easy to read book, not only when the author was referencing many of the places I've personally been, but also in describing the places I will likely not ever get to in my lifetime. That says a lot about both his writing style and his ability to tell intriguing stories. And it is those numerous and wonderfully told stories that really made the book stand out for me. As the author points out, travel is best enjoyed not when you are counting countries off a silly to-do list but much more so when you are embracing new people, cultures, experiences and adventures along the way---whether that be in one country, one region or one planet. It's not the number of countries visited that holds any real value---it's the number of fascinating stories and adventures that you've experienced along the way that truly resonates and matters. This book demonstrates and embraces this mindset wholeheartedly and it makes for a wonderful read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did and I probably would have if I didn't find the author so judgmental about people who don't travel the backpacker style he does....which is ironic. He disdains package travel (tourists!) and laments about them frequently. I would think that someone who is as well travelled as he is, would be more understanding of those of us who have jobs and responsibilities who can only travel in bits and bites and prefer not to sleep on floors with vermin and encount I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did and I probably would have if I didn't find the author so judgmental about people who don't travel the backpacker style he does....which is ironic. He disdains package travel (tourists!) and laments about them frequently. I would think that someone who is as well travelled as he is, would be more understanding of those of us who have jobs and responsibilities who can only travel in bits and bites and prefer not to sleep on floors with vermin and encounter bandits and fear for their lives (and sometimes via a package tour). I also found it odd that on occasion he actually seems to criticize those of us that have jobs and responsibilities for our choices - but he availed himself of beds, food and hospitality of his friends or family that did just that. To be clear, I thoroughly enjoyed many of his stories but I really think the book would have been more enjoyable if he stuck to that, and included less philosophizing. At any rate, if you love travel and love hearing about travel, I do recommend this book. As an FYI, I have travelled to nearly 50 countries - sometimes on a tour, sometimes on my own. Either way, being able to see the world and meet people from other cultures in any way, shape or form is a gift more people should partake of.

  15. 4 out of 5

    zamalek9

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's a totally different read than other travel memoirs. What makes it different is the magnitude and volume and length of travel by the author. It's a very hard and fast paced read, which i can imagine since the writer has to get us through many years of travels. In one paragraph you could find him speaking about once country, and then in the other paragraph a completely different country without a smooth transition for the reader. I would have liked more if he had gone deeper into the differen It's a totally different read than other travel memoirs. What makes it different is the magnitude and volume and length of travel by the author. It's a very hard and fast paced read, which i can imagine since the writer has to get us through many years of travels. In one paragraph you could find him speaking about once country, and then in the other paragraph a completely different country without a smooth transition for the reader. I would have liked more if he had gone deeper into the differences he found between the countries and most importantly the people of those countries. However, the book was more like " i went to this city and i did this and that". Well, how about telling us how did you find those people of this country different than the other country, what you liked about those people, etc.. Overall, what I liked about this book is the relationship he had with Dana, which was present for several years throughout his travel, even though they weren't living in the same country; but this relationship showed me that one of the great things about travel is that you get to meet people who could be lifelong friends or partners. I liked that they kept in touch together through email and arranged to meet and travel together for several trips.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sean Kelly

    In terms of travel books, I have by and large stuck with Bill Bryson. Having said that, and on the recommendation of several people, I eagerly dove into Mike Spencer Brown's story. Right away he distinguishes himself from traditional "country counters" and this distinction plays out with his detailed, entertaining, and at times funny stories. He manages to describe situations that most would find harrowing with surprising nonchalance, although I suspect some of that includes the benefit of hinds In terms of travel books, I have by and large stuck with Bill Bryson. Having said that, and on the recommendation of several people, I eagerly dove into Mike Spencer Brown's story. Right away he distinguishes himself from traditional "country counters" and this distinction plays out with his detailed, entertaining, and at times funny stories. He manages to describe situations that most would find harrowing with surprising nonchalance, although I suspect some of that includes the benefit of hindsight. All of his anecdotes and stories from around the world are extremely interesting. A distinction from most travel books, it bears noting, is that this is not a "how to" or "you should try this". He is vague about how he finances his travels ("business ventures" in various countries sounds greasier than it likely is), and the level of dedication to travel as extensively as he has is beyond what most people are capable of. That said, the book is certainly worth reading, as there was something to learn with virtually every anecdote Brown shares.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deborah-Ruth

    One man's story of travelling through every country on the planet from popular tourist destinations to more off-beat paths. This is a story of the people Mike meets, the food he tries, the mountains he hikes, the trouble he gets into, and the risks he takes. It is quite a unique idea to really get to learn different cultures and experience different types of things that don't take place in Canada or America, though lots of this book was simply his drinking history in many countries. That being s One man's story of travelling through every country on the planet from popular tourist destinations to more off-beat paths. This is a story of the people Mike meets, the food he tries, the mountains he hikes, the trouble he gets into, and the risks he takes. It is quite a unique idea to really get to learn different cultures and experience different types of things that don't take place in Canada or America, though lots of this book was simply his drinking history in many countries. That being said, I did enjoy learning about how his travels made him more open-minded and changed him as a person. And this book has challenged and encouraged me to go to less well-known countries as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    A fascinating read, with larger-than-life stories and interesting insights. It is almost too crazy to believe Mike is real, but I'm glad he is - these are stories you won't find anywhere else. I loved the glimpses into countries I know little about, and how Mike's tale lacked the usual signs of Western ignorance and judgement. He met each person with an open mind that enriched the whole experience and the stories he was telling. His travel philosophy was inspiring, and a step off the worn down t A fascinating read, with larger-than-life stories and interesting insights. It is almost too crazy to believe Mike is real, but I'm glad he is - these are stories you won't find anywhere else. I loved the glimpses into countries I know little about, and how Mike's tale lacked the usual signs of Western ignorance and judgement. He met each person with an open mind that enriched the whole experience and the stories he was telling. His travel philosophy was inspiring, and a step off the worn down travel path. I couldn't do what he did, but at least I can read about it and plan some more of my own trips! (though they won't be as crazy.)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Hosford

    I’m a travel fanatic even though I’ve slowed down over the years. I was fascinated by this book and really enjoyed the odd bits of philosophy along the way. Lots of countries I would never travel in so it was very interesting to hear his tales about them. It would have been too big a tome if he’d gone into greater detail but as someone has mentioned a book or two with more detail would be great. I loved his snippets of humour too which you definitely need when backpacking. I wish him well in the I’m a travel fanatic even though I’ve slowed down over the years. I was fascinated by this book and really enjoyed the odd bits of philosophy along the way. Lots of countries I would never travel in so it was very interesting to hear his tales about them. It would have been too big a tome if he’d gone into greater detail but as someone has mentioned a book or two with more detail would be great. I loved his snippets of humour too which you definitely need when backpacking. I wish him well in the future. And biased or not, I’m glad he chose Ireland as his final port of call.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Priya

    Obviously the author had a lot of ground (literally) to cover and it's a remarkable feat to backpack around the world. I particularly enjoyed reading about his philosophy of travel and emphasis on storytelling. I learned a lot more about the world after reading this book, and of course it inspire me to travel more. Obviously the author had a lot of ground (literally) to cover and it's a remarkable feat to backpack around the world. I particularly enjoyed reading about his philosophy of travel and emphasis on storytelling. I learned a lot more about the world after reading this book, and of course it inspire me to travel more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim Blessing

    I love traveling to different countries and would like to do more of this in the future. While I will not do the type of traveling as the author of this book, his descriptions of his travel were very interesting!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Clivemichael

    Starts out uneven then levels off into a fine adventure .. ongoing. I look forward to more stories

  23. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Uggghh. That is all.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lael

    Endlessly fascinating.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sara Sautter

    23 years, 198 countries. That’s all you need to know.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kasadarko

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  28. 5 out of 5

    Len Babin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jade Allen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Terry Jones

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