Review: Travels With Terry Lister Books

May 28, 2023

[Written by Dale Butler]

Terry Lister has broken the norm of safety and price; usually the tour criteria to see foreign countries is from a bus window, making specific stops with the aid of a tour guide. Such tours, to be honest, are my favourite, but he has broken that pattern using his own research via the internet and reading blogs that transported him to more than the usual tourist sites.

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Terry has chosen to take the road less travelled. Having already won numerous literary awards for his first three books, this new book is another winner that highlights his brevity and sustenance as he discovers a variety of incredible museums, parks, culinary arts, immigration irregularities and checks in each country. But there is more: late buses, interesting hotel experiences, poverty and thriving markets.

He tells it in great detail, together with some history, without boring you. At the end, you can only imagine his courage as a solo traveller with a backpack and small suitcase: occasionally staying in touch with family and friends via Facebook. Rarely able to use a credit card and with only English as his main language he had to be attentive and patient as he travelled from one historic site to another—often receiving profound pleasure at his finds, and sometimes disappointment.

Would you walk across a bridge made of liana vines? [according to Wikipedia: A liana is a long-stemmed, woody vine that is rooted in the soil at ground level and uses trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy in search of direct sunlight.] Would you step into a river and suddenly hear alarms to get out due to its perilous natural tendencies?

Upon reflecting on the immense and daring journeys he has undertaken one cannot help thinking that he must have been surrounded by guardian angels.

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Terry has selected some exquisite quotes to set the tone of his adventures off the beaten path:

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” – Aldous Leonard Huxley [July 26, 1894-November 22, 1963], British writer and philosopher.

“I don’t know where I am going, but I’m on my way” – François-Marie Arouet [known as Voltaire] [November 21, 1694-May 30, 1778], French writer, philosopher, poet, dramatist, historian, and polemicist.

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“The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost” – Henry David Thoreau [July 12, 1817-May 6, 1862], American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher.

With a pattern in his travel catalogue he hasn’t shown any reluctance to stop, and appears to be fearless when most of us would have quit and gone home. The book covers three countries and he does a phenomenal job at highlighting his observations. Often exciting, it is hard to believe that he rarely takes a break to “catch himself” or to relax.

There are daily tours that he organizes himself and is often lucky to find an exceptional local tour guide, recommended on a blog. To witness abject poverty, poor road conditions, elephant poaching, and the disappearance of the mandrills left him extremely concerned.

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There is a “treasure” of information in the book and you will find it hard to put down. From the comfort of your seat, it will send you to the internet and YouTube to view the many places he visited on motorbikes along treacherous roads and on the rivers.

With local bookstores and Amazon in his back pocket, you can purchase the book on July 15.

- Dale Butler is a noted author and publisher who writes a variety of reviews for Bernews. He congratulates his first cousin for his powerful and illuminating accounts of his travels, and numerous literary awards he has won for: Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau; A New Day Dawns: My Solo Journey Into West Africa and Peace, Joy and Love: Christmas Across Africa.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    Gotta love doing what few others do.

    The mode of travel is by RV here. Our home is always right behind us. No hotels. Sleep in our own bed every night. No packing & unpacking. Travel the roads less travelled. Stay off of interstates as much as possible. Avoid going where the tour buses go as much as possible. Always meeting new people.

    Travel costs, dependent on fuel burned, the same if not less than staying in Bermuda. Grocery, 1/3-1/2 Bermuda cost. Accommodation, about $35PN. Electricity, $0. Phone/data, $65PM. Cost of used RV, less than what most spend on a boat in Bermuda.

    Just another way retirees find a way to do something different & get a better bang for their $$ while doing it.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Wotta great way to travel and see the country and get to know the locals and culture wherever you go in an affordable fashion.
      At least for those who can still drive and do it on the wrong side of the road!
      Route 66 here I come .

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Rt 66 ain’t all that it is cranked up to be, however many of the highways that were the major routes BEFORE the interstate system was created are great routes to travel. Incorporate scenic routes etc. & you have some very interesting trips.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        “It winds from Chicago to L.A
        More than two thousand miles all the way
        Get your kicks on Route 66

        Now you go through St. Louis
        Joplin, Missouri
        And Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty
        You’ll see Amarillo
        Gallup, New Mexico
        Flagstaff, Arizona
        Don’t forget Winona
        Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino”