Memoir of an Incurable Traveller

Non-Fiction - Travel
237 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Restless: Memoir of an Incurable Traveller by Heather J Hackett is an exciting journey where readers find themselves amid the diverse cultures of Asia, and discover the perfections and imperfections that exist in the different corners of our planet. Heather J Hackett's words and thoughts take readers into her restless world and will inspire them to examine their own choices and find value in new ideas. She makes traveling with kids an enjoyable experience. Heather’s intimate descriptions of living with a Thai family in Thailand, traveling in India, Burma, China, Taiwan and Japan, and taking the kids with them wherever they went reveals a series of interesting stories and expecting the unexpected while traveling.

The book is filled with nostalgia of the author’s travels. The narration is detailed, descriptive, and vivid, and captures the moments with clarity and perfection, taking readers right into the scenes. Heather captures the sights and sounds, essence, culture, and people of the area with expertise and highlights the importance of being a traveler rather than a tourist. The beauty of each country she has traveled through has been described with a lot of candor and enthusiasm that will make many readers want to pack their bags and travel to those places and experience what the author has experienced.

Heather also points out how different the world was then without the internet and smart phones, and her book gives confidence to everyone with kids to travel. The book is not just about traveling; it is about self-discovery, handling culture shock with confidence, and meeting locals as a traveler. It is a must-read for all travel enthusiasts, and will give them useful tips on how to go about exploring new places.

Betty Taylor

I feel like Ms. Hackett and I are kindred spirits. She has a restlessness in her that makes her want to go from country to country absorbing the views, the people, the cultures. To quote her “The true reality of being a traveler is that life often leads us in directions we never expect, to places we would never imagine going, people we wouldn’t meet otherwise.” I certainly can relate to that.

Family and friends did not understand the drive that kept Heather and her husband (and later their children) on the go, leading to them living out of backpacks for more than a decade. But Heather recognized the lessons to be learned when traveling. In her travels throughout Thailand, Nepal, India, and Burma she found that no matter how little people had they were willing to open their homes to strangers.

Unlike many people outside their comfort zones, Heather showed appreciation and respect for other cultures. In her beautifully written journal she reveals the good and not so good that she encountered. Some experiences were quite frustrating but they persevered. I particularly appreciated her recognition that we often think we are entitled to items that to us are basic necessities (soft bed, three meals, hot showers, clean clothes, etc) but to some are luxuries. “Small things, things we often took for granted or overlooked the value of, became monumental gifts.”

This was a delightful read.