An Odyssey Through the Middle East, Africa and Asia
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Ann von Lossberg and boyfriend Jim Hudock stand at the dock at Baltimore harbor and wave goodbye to their screaming-red VW bus en route to England--“just about the most beautiful magic carpet I’ve ever seen,” Ann says. Quitting their jobs and selling their possessions, they travel around the world with no fixed itinerary—presuming that their odyssey will be no less magical than Ali Baba’s classical odyssey. The first overland trip, two and a half years, is to the Middle East and Africa; a second trip to Asia is thirteen months. “Extended travel peels away the layers of your former self, especially the demands of Africa,” Ann says. “Something happens when you give up wearing a watch and relinquish control over time. Experience found us; extraordinary things that just don’t happen to people happened to us. We learned to leap, and the net always appeared.” The language that filled Ann’s journals, seasoning over twenty-five years’ time to become the sixteen stories of 1089 Nights, gives way to something rich and transcendent. A sympathetic storyteller with a keen eye—most commonly the lone woman traveler among men—Ann provides us with an armchair view of the world without the mosquitoes. From Syria to Mozambique to Cambodia, over and over, this heartening memoir shows us that the world is a wondrous place, that travel can change us, satisfy something soulful, and promote the most personal kind of peace. 1089 Nights is a passionate love affair with the world that carries an urgent plea. “The world passes us by faster than we know. If we don’t catch it soon, the airwaves will immutably wash over us in the same likeness. We will become as one.” “Hurry,” Ann says, “the camels are waiting.”
- iUniverse, November 2008
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