Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Tranquilo Travel Publishing (December 2, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,019,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #24 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Weddings > Honeymoon #8045 in Books > Travel > Travel Writing #16511 in Books > Travel > Specialty Travel
:This is a damned good travel narrative, told by an author who knows the goal of travel isn't the destination, it's the journey. That's a good metaphor for life as well, and Crocodile Love manages to tell a love story in parallel. Or maybe the love story is the story, and travel is just a narrative. Anyway, that's the point: they go together.The Bermans' worldwide tour takes them through Pakistan, Northern India, Southeast Asia, and across Africa, and they travel the hard way, on local transportation and at the mercy of the petty bureaucrats that play too big a role in any world traveler's experience. There are the foibles of poor countries everywhere too: pit latrines, vermin, theft, uncertainty, and that very special type of harrowing fear that comes from knowing the bus you're riding was raked with gunfire only a day previous, for reasons only some weapon-toting sectarian understands. Add to that a dollop of mystery, some kharmic intervention, and the pleasure of knowing more than ever as you sit under the Bodhi's tree, that you in fact know nothing at all.Through the voyage, the author and his wife learn to love each other.There are plenty of travel narratives out there, but they fall so often into the category of nonchalant boasting, drawing attention more to the writer and his exploits than to the people among whom he'd traveled. This isn't one of them. Instead, call it a paean to voluntourism, the act of making a trip out of volunteer work experiences that give you insight into the people whose countries you visit. Or call it the consequences of mindful travel, mindful living, mindful loving. What's the purpose of hurtling along from one backpacker hotel to the next if you're just rubbing elbows with other travelers?
Joshua Berman, the author, has firsthand experience in the importance of being open to every facet of another culture. Before Berman got married, he served for two years in Nicaragua as a Peace Corp Volunteer. His time in Central America led to two professions: Spanish teacher and travel writer. As a travel writer, Berman has produced guidebooks for Belize, Nicaragua, and Colorado campgrounds, all published with Moon Handbooks. In addition, Berman is a travel columnist with The Denver Post.Crocodile Love: Travel Tales of an Extended Honeymoon is the account of Berman and Sutay’s 16 month honeymoon across 16 countries in Asia and Africa. Most of their time is spent in Pakistan, India, Ghana, and The Gambia. Their adventures revolve around bookend quests: Sutay’s search for great-grandfather’s legacy as the former Director of the elite Gordon College of Rawalpandi in Pakistan, and her return to the village of Sara Kunda, in The Gambia, where she had spent two years as a Peace Corp Volunteer.In between these missions, the newlyweds travel as tourists and volunteers. Their altruistic encounters humanize the people they work with along the way—and thanks to Berman’s fine-tuned cultural sensitivities the narrative is never patronizing or condescending. He writes of the hardships and struggles of others straightforwardly. He tells their truths with understanding and compassion, thus bringing his readers into the light as well.The tale of their prolonged honeymoon is always engaging. Indeed, Crocodile Love is a page turner. What’s more, Berman sharp, sensory writing allows the reader to tag along. One can hear the sounds, react to the scents, taste the cuisine, feel the grit and grime of arduous travel, and envision everything clearly through his vivid descriptions.
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