By: Dorothy S. Conlon
Publisher: Publish America
Publication Date: July 2007
Reviewed by: Lauren E. Victor
Review Date: June 2009
Ever wish you could read your adventurous grandmother’s journals and experience her worldly journeys through her eyes? Go pick up At Home in the World for such a treat. With each chapter, Dorothy Conlon takes the reader along for a new travel story based in far-flung places from Bhutan to Bolivia and beyond.
As we progress through her travels, we gather pieces about Ms. Conlon’s life story along the way. Now in her eighties, Ms. Conlon’s life has not been without tragedy, as she has lost her two sons (one not making it to twenty years old, the other barely past thirty), and eventually lost her husband. At a point when she was well past middle age and with no family obligations tying her down, Ms. Conlon chose to make lemonade and to continue living a full life colored by travel experiences each year. Sometimes she travels with groups, sometimes alone, but always with an awareness of cultural nuances and a sense of her place in the world.
This collection of travels is well suited to the armchair traveler, perhaps even inspiring the reader to get off the couch and have an adventure of his or her own. Although Ms. Conlon makes it off the beaten path, her journeys often seem feasible to the everyman and woman. For the inexperienced traveler, this is a good book to read to get acquainted with the features of foreign travel, providing ideas of travel groups to join (such as Global Volunteers and GAP) and ideas of places to go. As a world traveler myself who has visited or worked in a few of the places of which Ms. Conlon writes, it is evident that she is adept at reading cultures beyond mere superficial observations.
This independent and spirited author is not one to watch life fly by sitting in a rocking chair (although I can only imagine she does find time to deservedly relax when not traveling around the world), and she has found a way to share interesting stories with a larger audience. With a personable writing style, an eye for detail and a zest for life, Ms. Conlon has put together a lovely collection that is sure to enrich the curious minds of present and future travelers alike.
Quill Says: These tales from an older woman’s travel journal make for an interesting and inspiring read.
For more information on At Home in the World: Memoirs of a Traveling Woman , please visit the author's website at: Dorothy Conlon.com.