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Reviewed by Christina Hamlett for Readers' Favorite
In a perfect world, every dream vacation would be, well, perfect. Tammy Bruyere’s comedic travel memoir, Misadventures With the Traveling Suitcase, shows exactly the opposite to be true. As Bruyere and her spouse prepare to embark on an unforgettable anniversary trip to Europe, they have taken into account everything they believe they need to know—including foreign language lessons—to make the trip a picture-postcard success. The one thing they overlook—and with hilarious outcomes—is the reality that travel of any kind tends to bring out all of the annoying attributes and quirks of one’s spouse which might have gone blissfully unnoticed at home.
In Misadventures With the Traveling Suitcase, Tammy Bruyere taps into scenarios that are instantly relatable to anyone who has ever traveled with another person. The cumbersomely huge suitcase, for instance, instantly reminded me of a two-week trip I took to Scotland with a coworker who clearly didn’t believe in traveling light; her own luggage could easily have held a dead body! Bruyere’s writing style is chatty, breezy, conversational, and feels as if she’s relating her adventures to you over a cup of coffee. The chapters are awash with rich details about the food, the architecture, the tourist attractions, and her encounters with the locals.
Like a human sponge, Bruyere has not only soaked up all the sights, smells, and sounds of the Italian landscape but also serves up interesting snippets of history and geography which will make readers want to go and visit for themselves. Nor does she omit candid advice on the need to be in good physical shape (which she absolutely wasn’t) to navigate strange streets, figure out public transportation and deal with the fatigue of steps, steps, and more steps. When on the last day she expresses a desire to get a job and stay in Rome forever, I could only hope that the coin she tossed in the Trevi Fountain will reward her unabashed passion and desire for a return trip in the near future.