South America

Under the Skin of a Foreign Country

Non-Fiction - Travel
166 Pages
Reviewed on 12/17/2018
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Author Biography

TRAVEL: I graduated from Queensland University, with an English major. I lived in 7 of the 52 countries I have visited. These days I live between Quito in Ecuador and Cornwall in the UK. I speak 3 languages.

CAREER: After graduating, I worked for Qantas as an airhostess before teaching English for many years.

BOOKS: Writing has always been part of my life but only recently have I published three books.

PASSIONS: I enjoy rug making, living in new cultures, and gardening. I love going to the theatre, concerts and films. I no longer dance the tango: instead I watch it with pleasure.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

South America: Under The Skin of a Foreign Country is a short work of travel writing penned by author Barbara M Webb. Part entertaining travel read and part actual guidebook, the premise and purpose of the work is for the author to document what happened to her after she lost her terminally ill husband, a memoir which she recollected in ‘Moving from Grief in Cornwall’. Here, Barbara moves to Ecuador to start a new life in its incredible capital Quito, and in doing so transforms and learns so much about the world. This memoir recounts that experience of embedding yourself in a new country and culture so far from home, and goes on to follow the author through other exploratory travels in the rest of South America.

In a work that is uplifting and intriguing for all the right reasons, author Barbara M Webb escapes her grief and reinvents a new life for herself in a much braver and more exciting way than most people would ever dream of doing. Reading her book is like going on the adventure with her, from the vivid descriptions of the places she has lived in and visited to the very real connections she likes to make with the people of the new cultures she encounters. More than simply a travel writer’s guide, this memoir-esque work hones in on the real heart of South America, the ethos of its people and the experience of being welcomes (and in some cases, unwelcome) as an ex-patriot going abroad. South America: Under The Skin of a Foreign Country does exactly what it promises. Highly recommended.

Lisa McCombs

In South America: Under the Skin of a Foreign Country, Barbara M. Webb weaves magic into her colorful descriptions and vivid images of life in Buenos Aires. As an indirect sequel to a previous work (Moving from Grief in Cornwall), the author takes the time to focus on her own feelings and thoughts about relocating to a foreign country. The first thing she does after landing in Quito is purchase a pair of tango shoes in hopes of learning that intoxicating dance of Argentina. As the author refines her Spanish speaking skills, she is industrious in adding to a list of growing talents. She worked as a volunteer for the Teatro Bolivar, where she interacted with visitors from all over the world. With her time limited to three months until her visa expired, Webb spent that time travelling to the exotic regions of Buenos Aires, Peru, and Uruguay. Webb finally gained citizenship in her new home.

As more than a tourist, Barbara M. Webb approaches her travel with an inquisitive mind and an eye open to possibilities. In her description of Quito, the author educates the reader on language and colloquial differences between South American culture and that of the English speaking population most inclined to read this narrative. Webb’s use of vivid detail and creative sentence format is mesmerizing. Her mastery of the senses is clearly not an accident. The reader is gifted with a unique experience of travelling far from home while comfy in a familiar chair. I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

South America: Under the Skin of a Foreign Country by Barbara M Webb is the true story of Barbara’s journey to make a new life after she loses her husband to cancer. She arrives in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital, 2800 meters above sea level where she settles, adapting to the altitude, the people, customs, cultures and language. From there she travels around South America to Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, and this book charts her travels, her experiences and her courage. Not unaccustomed to travel since Barbara used to be an air hostess but this is a very different experience for her and she has written her guide from the heart.

South America: Under the Skin of a Foreign Country by Barbara M Webb is a decent travel book, telling us of her experiences in immersing herself in the cultures of other countries. It was a bit choppy in parts; some of the chapters didn’t seem to be in the right place to me. However, it didn’t stop me from enjoying her stories and she does give good advice throughout the book for anyone thinking of going traveling. Her writing is quite descriptive, making you feel as though you are with her at times, experiencing what she sees and feels. Having moved to a foreign country myself, I am well aware of the difficulties and challenges and she is right; to truly settle in and understand a country you have to become one of them. An enjoyable book that fans of memoirs, travel books and real life adventures will enjoy.