The Amazing Journey: Book One

True Story of a Father and Son's Journey Around the World

Non-Fiction - Travel
235 Pages
Reviewed on 01/25/2015
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Author Biography

Grady is a native Texan whose family has lived and worked in North Texas since the 1850s. He is an avid traveler who has made his home base in Arlington, TX, where he returns to relax in the backyard with his family and to plan his next destination. He lives with his wife of 27 years, Belinda. Their three children now attend university, majoring in mechanical engineering, business communication, and elementary education. Grady is currently writing the second book in The Amazing Journey series and planning the global adventure that will become the third book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey: Book One by Grady Hicks is nothing short of amazing. Grady Hicks sets out on a world voyage with his eldest son, Austin, and the experience is life-changing for both of them. The father-son duo sets out to explore the world, and thus bond with each other as well as “find” themselves in the process. This is really more of a quest than just your average travel tour. That is part of the reason why the mother and wife, Brianna, is kept out of the loop in the beginning regarding the exact itinerary. Their voyage takes them far and wide and literally ends on the “roof of the world”, a region comprising the Himalayas including Mt. Everest, Tibet, India, Nepal, and the Pamir Mountains among others. During this journey, Grady and Austin deal with people from all walks of life, interact with government officials in various regions, meet with mystics, and more. In fact, after reading this book, I felt that every parent should try to do something like this with their child.

Grady Hicks has written an outstanding travel book and the best part is this is only Book One. Towards the end of this book, Grady states that he has planned similar quests with his other son and his daughter as well, and I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to Book Second and Third in this wonderful series. Grady’s writing style is really simple and genuine that anybody can easily connect with. The actual journey itself is described in a way that brings vivid images to mind and paints a true picture of the places visited. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and especially to all parents out there.

Jack Magnus

The Amazing Journey Book One: A True story of a father and son's journey around the world is a travel memoir written by Grady Hicks. In 2011, the author's eldest son, Austin, would be graduating from high school and due to start college the following fall. Hicks decided to make the most of some free time while Austin was still at home. The two of them began planning their amazing journey, a 28-day trip around the world. It would be filled with new places to see, challenges to overcome and tasks to be accomplished. No one would know their itinerary but themselves. In June, they set off on their voyage. The knapsacks on their backs contained several changes of clothes, an iPad and other tech gear, and were the only luggage they carried. Their first stop: Hawaii.

Grady Hicks' travel memoir, The Amazing Journey Book One: A True story of a father and son's journey around the world, is a well-written and very entertaining record of a remarkable journey. Grady and Austin eschewed the typical tourist version of world-traveling and created for themselves an unforgettable set of experiences. Armchair adventurers will love seeing Asia and Europe through the eyes of these intrepid travelers. I particularly enjoyed reading of their experiences in Tibet and Nepal, and envied them their early morning views of Mount Everest from the Base Camp. The Amazing Journey is also special because the author records his son's coming of age and his own delight in seeing a diffident teen expand his world view and getting to know him as a man. What a marvelous journey The Amazing Journey is! It's highly recommended.

Jane Finch

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks is the story of a twenty-eight-day journey he takes with his son, Austin. But not just any journey. After much planning, the pair set off on not just a trip, but an adventure. A trip that was all the more intriguing because the locations were kept a secret from the family waiting back home. This was to be an experience that neither father nor son would forget. Traversing oceans and continents to stand in awe at the foot of Mount Everest is a feat in itself, let alone the journey to Nepal and the people and cultures experienced along the way. The author’s descriptions of the many unexpected situations they encountered, coupled with the viewpoint of Austin in the epilogue, makes this book so much more than a travelogue.

I didn’t expect this book to be so packed full of the unexpected, making it almost fictional in its telling. This journey was truly a life-changing experience for both father and son, and the way that they resolved problems and worked together towards their ultimate goal is amazing. This is the stuff that memories are made of. I thought it a great addition that Austin had added his take on the journey, showing the impact those twenty-eight days had on both of them. For both the author, Grady Hicks, and his son, Austin, this was a learning and life experience that could not be bettered in the classroom. Truly a page-turning read but, on reflection, I would rather have tucked up in front of a cosy fire and let Grady and Austin tell me about their amazing journey. This is a book that will appeal to any aspiring traveller.

Mamta Madhavan

The Amazing Journey Book One: True Story of a Father and Son's Journey Around the World by Grady Hicks is an exciting adventure of a father and son who take an intellectual and spiritual journey for twenty-eight days without revealing their complete plans to their immediate family. The book takes readers along with Grady and Austin through many diverse landscapes and cultures. The journey connects to readers physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and takes both Grady and Austin to new lessons in life, new observations and stretching beyond their own limits. The poignant and thought provoking moments and incidents in the book will broaden the perspective of readers, especially those who love traveling and discovering new places.

I found the book exhilarating, and packed with adventure, a sense of optimism and excitement. The descriptions are detailed and the author has methodically described from the planning stages to the traveling part and finally the completion of the trip, giving readers a feeling of being there and experiencing it in person. Traveling, seeing new places, and experiencing different cultures and cuisines is an education in itself and the book tells us the valuable lessons learned by Grady and Austin.

The story is motivational and inspires readers to take up challenges and tasks in life for personal growth. The book helps in understanding life, learning new things through traveling, and the value of personal interaction instead of connecting through gadgets and keyboards. I can't wait to read about their next journey!

Deepak Menon

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks is the dream that every father wants to live at least once in his lifetime. The author has created an original Odyssey comparable in its own way to the journey described in Jules Verne's immortal classic Around the World in 80 Days which the father and son duo proceed to do in this wonderful book, albeit in 28 days. The name of the first chapter itself is “Phineas Fogg and Passepartout,” indicating something of what lies in store for the reader. The formatting is excellent, the story flows fluidly throughout, and there is a vibrant touch of excellence in descriptive writing with a clear and lucid style.

The Amazing Journey begins with the father and son duo of Grady and Austin departing on the first leg of their around the world journey to Hawaii. Leaving no indication of the route they would follow, they were on their own, mapping their own local routes at each stop as they set out to complete the many 'tasks and challenges' at each destination they have planned. After exploring Hawaii, their journey takes them on hitherto untrod pathways through a maze of culturally different places - through Korea, China, Tibet, Nepal, India etc, with unstinting and illuminating descriptions of different cultures, all the way back home to America. A memorable quote is: “It makes me wonder what creative Tasks and Challenges must be attempted in order to set children off into life,” as the author evaluates the emptiness of communication through technological products with the richness of real life interactions with people across cultures. Because this book is way more than simply being a travelogue with its rich story line and emphatically telling descriptive style, it deserves a 5 star rating.