Braving the World: Adventures in Travel and Retirement by Pam Saylor

I really enjoyed Pam Saylor’s book about her travels with her husband, Dave and their decision to live a bit dangerously or, at least, sample the delights of Europe for a year.

Pam Saylor’s writing style is engaging as she begins the book by sharing her hopes and fears for their year living away from family and friends in Rome, Italy with all of the complications that an endeavour like this involves and with the added worry of a chronic illness to manage.

In fact, I would say to anyone of retirement age, who is thinking of pursuing the dream of travel in the future and is hesitant about doing it because of all the pitfalls and cultural differences and organisation of it all, you need to read Pam Saylor’s book as she addresses all of these permutations, giving advice and making her process transparent so that in some ways this reads like a mini manual on how your dream can be accomplished.

That to one side, what this book also is is a detailed travelogue where the author lets you accompany her on her journey, starting in Rome, moving to and visiting other places in Europe, culminating in Venice but also having a pitstop in Egypt. I learnt a lot about places that I have actually visited as well as some that I have not. Having never been to Venice, I found the advice and the tips that Pam dispenses about an abundance of things will be invaluable if I ever manage to get there.

Her writing style is honest and her descriptions of the places that she visited encompass tourist destinations as well as places that are off the beaten path; restaurants that they visited and craft beer places in which to indulge; must-do experiences as well as hidden gems.

She is also completely forthright about the toll that this travel can have as it is intense: living with one person day-in-day-out usually in small apartments with scarcely a break from each other can be tough. But overall, the sense is that living somewhere completely different for a year of your life, no matter your worries, your concerns, your hesitancies, is well worth it as it will truly be something that you will never forget. The reward will far outweigh the difficulties.

Read this book to be inspired by how you could live if you had the courage.

This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery where I was privileged to read it as an ARC.

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