Passports and Parasites

An Extraordinary Journey of Adventure, Resilience, and Healing

Non-Fiction - Memoir
390 Pages
Reviewed on 11/05/2023
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Author Biography

Vashti Kanahele, an author and functional medicine practitioner, exudes a profound passion for exploring diverse cultures and embracing immersive experiences. Her personal triumph over Lyme disease and complex chronic illness fuels her determination to empower others on their healing journeys. Having lived in Baghdad, Beirut, Phnom Penh, Lagos, and Curacao, Vashti's experiences have shaped her holistic approach to health and wellness.

Now residing in Virginia with her family and African village dog, Owen, Vashti’s practice is dedicated to seeking the root causes of disease. With a keen eye for detail and a compassionate heart, she delves deep into patients' health histories, lifestyles, and environmental factors to uncover the underlying triggers of their ailments. Through her writings and clinical expertise, Vashti inspires others to embrace the world's beauty, travel freely, and embark on a transformational path to vibrant health.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Passports and Parasites: An Extraordinary Journey of Adventure, Resilience, and Healing is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, self-reflection, and inspirational writing subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Vashti Kanahele, this mesmerizing memoir takes readers on an incredible journey through the author's life. Her narrative is vivid and unfiltered, offering a rollercoaster ride of emotions as she explores foreign lands from her unique perspective. From the exhilaration of exploration to the depths of despair when facing unforeseen challenges, Vashti's resilience shines through. Her battles with parasites, infertility, and the ultimate joys of motherhood are shared with a candidness that's both heart-wrenching and inspiring.

Author Vashti Kanahele’s storytelling is gripping, and you can't help but become emotionally invested in her journey as the incredible path of her life unfolds before you. What struck me most while reading this memoir was the authenticity with which Vashti shares her experiences, as the narrative quality feels like you’re being let in on a secret tale by a dear friend who’s willing to tell it like it is. The work feels like it’s not just a personal account of adventure but a wellspring of inspiration for those who want to make changes on their own path. Vashti's story serves as a beacon of hope that reminds us of the power of the human spirit and the unwavering resilience that can carry us through life's trials. Whether you're seeking adventure, dealing with health issues, or simply looking for a fresh perspective, this memoir offers newfound inspiration and the courage to face life's challenges head-on. Overall, Passports and Parasites is a captivating and heartwarming read that I highly recommend to anyone in search of hope and strength.

Foluso Falaye

Vashti Kanahele's Passports and Parasites is an enthralling memoir about a life of travel, building a family, and overcoming difficult obstacles. In the early part of the book, we see Vashti becoming a part of the first Eligible Family Members (EFMs) at the US ​Embassy in Baghdad in 2009. With an indomitable and highly adventurous spirit, she went about her duties in an active war zone, risking getting blown up in deadly explosions. Vashti's story is filled with many instances of surviving dangers, including health challenges, miscarriages, Covid-19, and more. In her journey of adventure and captivating challenges, Vashti got to travel to various countries and make lasting memories, from watching a World Cup football match with her daughters in Greece, enjoying a stroll in South Africa, and experiencing slow traffic in Lagos.

The memoir reflects the sort of intelligent observations that only someone who is well-traveled and observant about the world around them would have. As a Nigerian, I found it interesting to see the challenges that living in Lagos poses for a foreigner who is not used to the heavy traffic and having to drive everywhere. Also, the author's detailed descriptions of the physical environments and the living conditions are a joy to read and picture. Apart from its vivid travel stories, Passports and Parasites offers an excellent insight into what being conscious about naturopathic care and the type of food one eats could do to one's body. I enjoyed every bit of Vashti Kanahele's adventure-packed book: a blend of narrow escapes, memorable travels, wholesome moments, and an inspiring display of resilience. This is a book every traveler, especially parents, would love.

Keith Mbuya

Marriage, parenthood, and careers often sweep our lives into a flurry of change, marking stages in our lives that we will forever be grateful for, or perhaps resent. Whichever the case, we must draw the lessons learned from each experience and use these to become the best we can be and even find our purpose in life. Vashti Kanahele takes us on her incredible journey as the wife of foreign service personnel, from being childless to becoming the mother of two, and finding her calling in medicine as a Functional Medicine Practitioner. Her memoir Passports and Parasites: An Extraordinary Journey of Adventure, Resilience, and Healing spares no detail about her unique experiences working in unstable corners of the world such as Baghdad, Beirut, Phnom Penh, and many other places. Grab a copy to learn more.

Vashti Kanahele has lived a very enthralling and exciting life, rich with culture, depth, and diversity. The evocative depictions colorfully bring the various locations to life. Vashti captures the moods and settings, making me feel like I was right there experiencing everything with her. The down-to-earth way Vashti depicts her encounters made me connect with and appreciate her collective journey, especially her struggle with pregnancies and the illnesses and conditions she battled. Some moments were heart-warming, some hilarious, while others were heart-wrenching and almost brought me to tears. I learned a lot historically, and very importantly, gained more insight into life. Vashti Kanahele’s Passports and Parasites is a must-read for lovers of nonfiction, cultural, adventure, and travel books, and accounts of wives or mothers struggling with illnesses, conditions, and even careers.