Jennifer S. Alderson
"I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, 'Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'" I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living. Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family. Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides. Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself. Included in this book are twenty-five photos of Nepal and Thailand I took during my journey. This trip also inspired me to write a travel thriller, Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery.