Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson

The Synopsis:

Travel is an amazing experience and I’ve spent years of my life living out of my backpack. I’ve explored well-beaten tourist trails and to far corners beyond them. Each journey is an adventure and each adventure gives with a story to tell. So one day I decided that yes, I would write 80 of my best Travel Stories.

After leaving me speechless, travel then turned me into a storyteller!

I’ve found that travel is a kaleidoscope of people, places, events, history, culture, food and fun. Through the pages of my book, I’ll bring it all to life for you. The stories are fascinating, inspiring, amusing and amazing. Some even get a little crazy but collectively they are an insight into the wonderful highs and gritty realities of travelling the world on a budget.

I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.


This was such a fascinating book. While I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, Tomlinson takes it to a whole new level. The adventures he chronicles in this book include getting up at like two in the morning to hike to the top of a mountain and watch the sunrise (I’m generally not great with early mornings or long hikes), arrive in a remote village and try and find decent accommodations (obsessive planner here), and a visit to a *very* unique park in Korea (try googling Haesindang Park – it is most bizarre). It was especially fascinating for me because he traveled to many countries that I didn’t really know much about, and he did things that I generally wouldn’t do while traveling (see above comments). It was cool to hear about his experiences solo traveling, and he did a great job of making even mundane activities like riding a bus become an adventure.

I loved how he formatted the chapters, starting each one with a pin on the world map indicating where he was, and then giving a brief outline of what country he was in and what he was doing in that country. I also really appreciated that each chapter was around 500 words – so many times books like these can go on and on and on, and the word limit helped to keep it concise and interesting. The pictures at the end of each chapter really added a lot as well, as it gave me visuals for all of the places he was describing. He also did a great job of including cultural, religious, and historic information that put so many of his adventures into context.

There are really only two things I would change – first, I would have loved more pictures. So many of the places he went to have such vibrant cultures and surroundings, and oftentimes just one picture barely scratched the surface. Tomlinson was phenomenal about describing things, but it would have been great to see them as well. The second thing I would change is that I would have grouped the chapters by country instead of mixing them up, so that I could have gotten a more comprehensive grip on each culture.

Overall, this was a fascinating book to read, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in traveling. I definitely added some spots to my travel bucket list as a result of this book!

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