"ONE'S DESTINATION IS NEVER A PLACE, BUT A NEW WAY OF SEEING THINGS." – HENRY MILLER
I love to travel. Traveling abroad has always been my dream. For me, to explore means to experience and see things differently. I try to travel as much as I could but just within the country, I have not gone abroad. This book, "Dear Chums! I Am in Kazakhstan!" helped me imagine what it was like to wander into another country with totally different cultures and languages.
The Author, Tracy Smith, shared her memoir in the book when she lived in Aktau, Kazakhstan, for 12 weeks. It's like reading a diary but with letters for her relatives and friends that she left behind in Aberdeen. She seamlessly added fiction in her experiences that made every letter very real. It felt like I was her friend and confidante, not just because she was sharing intimate things but because I felt happy and excited about her adventures.
A couple of my best friends are now ex-pats, and they have shared with me the struggles they've gone through to adapt to the country where they now live. We only catch up at night because of the time zone difference, and also, we don't have much time because we are all swamped during the day. I miss them, and this book helped me realize how hard it was for them and made me understand them more. It is terrifying yet exciting to be in unchartered waters, trying to familiarize yourself while missing home.
The book is light to read, funny and relatable because the author shared real-life experiences. It has feel-good vibes, and you'll find yourself laughing even if she was sharing her disappointments and frustrations on something that has happened.
The author also shares nifty tips when traveling abroad. Some were passed on to her but mostly learned through experience in her adventures. This unsolicited advice would be beneficial for those who would want to live abroad, especially in Kazakhstan.
You can buy the book in paperback, hardbound, and kindle versions. The author, Tracy Smith, is a dog lover. She has two labradors and decided to write another light-hearted book that she describes as "written by dogs, for dogs."