Book Review: 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words by D. Marino & J. Malley

Blurb: “20 Travel Tales in 200 Words, is a collection of true short stories of misadventure, humour and heart, while travelling the world. The authours have had a number of awkward, challenging and astounding experiences over the years. These tales (all told in exactly 200 words) will (hopefully) make you laugh, smile and see travel through their eyes.

Each tale is accompanied by their unique photography, taken while vacationing in the area featured in the travel tale. You will not find these specific photographs anywhere else.”

Genre: Travel, Travel Biography

Goodreads Rating: 4.83/5

My Rating: 5/5

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS


I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have been able to access, read and review this book from the authors directly! So a huge thank you to them, of course they appreciate and respect that my review will be totally honest and my views only. So lets get into this!

You can find a copy of the book to purchase here and their website!

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com/product-page/20-travel-tales-in-200-words-pdf

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com

And you can find the authors on social media here!

Https://twitter.com/ThemTrips

https://instagram.com/Makethemalltripsofalifetime

https://www.facebook.com/makethemalltripsofalifetime

As an avid traveller and with Covid being pretty prominent at the moment, there isn’t much travel happening. So to be able to read 20 Travel Tales in 200 words was exciting for me because It definitely filled a travel hole that was huge in my heart. I really enjoyed reading each story and I’ll be writing a little bit about my top 8 from the book also further down in the review! I just wanted to cover some basics first!

The book itself is really well written and right from the heart, it feels so personal and I really felt like I could picture the experiences almost like I was there. Also it can’t be easy writing a travel story in only 200 words but the authors have done a really good job in doing so and making it an immersive and enjoyable read.

The photographs that separate the stories are all so beautiful and topical to the stories as well, not only is the photography brilliant but they also do a really good job of painting the picture of the adventure itself. It gives the stories more context and also gives the reader the beautiful imagery that goes with the story and I just thought that was brilliant because the story leaves you to your imagination and then you see the photos and it makes it even better!

So let’s have a look at my favourite 8 stories from the book! (although they were all great).

Rough Seas and Big Fish.

This one made me so excited, minus the sea sickness which I felt so sorry for them but I would totally be the same in that situation! Swimming with Whales sharks is absolutely a bucket list dream of mine, so to see the photos and hear the story was so great and inspiring. I was massively impressed they pushed through the sickness to swim with these magnificent creatures!

Murder House.

This one was plain creepy but I enjoyed that aspect, it was an experience that wasn’t as advertised and was unexpected and that added to my curiosity! Plus its nice to hear a different experience like this! I was left with so many questions, Why was there a for sale sign outside? Were the Anne dolls watching them through the night? Why were they not given the experience they bought or told beforehand it wouldn’t be as expected? and most importantly, WERE they fed the previous guests?? WILD.

The Case of the Missing (Water) Shoe.

This made me laugh out loud but also in a sympathetic way. Especially because this is something I would do. The best part was the ‘How could they not know?’ question, and then the sudden realisation when it was needed that the shoe was theirs! I was sad the rain washed it away, it belongs to the fishes now.

What Happens in the Clouds, Stays in the Clouds.

A zip-line experience is also on the bucket list and in a beautiful tropical place like Costa Rica, what a dream! I was so jealous of such an awesome experience but the zero visibility made me nervous and that nervousness was enhanced by her husband explaining that he had been pushed by the wind out of control but landed safely, biggest PHEW moment of the book! An amazing experience in a beautiful place.

A Hike of Spirituality.

This story was really great, an awesome experience, beautiful hike with the history explained as they went. A really great and spiritual adventure to connect with the history of Mauritius. But, it also really highlights others disregard for places with so much history and that deserve respect. It’s astounding that people were unable to “genuinely appreciate where they were” and that makes me so sad, as well as the authors who expressed their sadness of the situation too which I could fully relate too.

(Not) A Bag in the Water.

I love the ocean so I loved this story but this also hinged on another fear of mine. I am so very happy no one was hurt in the process of saving the planet! Which is always the right thing to do! But then the pain that came afterwards of moving to safety and being pushed back into the ocean made me go ‘Ouch!’, definitely a memorable experience for sure!

It’s Not Moving on, Its Moving Forward.

This was a beautiful and moving story. A trip of healing and relaxing through sorrow and sadness even though it provided no escape as the authors wrote. The tradition of planting a tree really brought a tear to my eye. The last line of this story was something that I felt so so necessary to share with everyone as it was beautifully written;

“You do not move on after the passing of a loved one, you move forward, carrying them with you”

The True Test of Love.

This is my favourite one, absolutely 10000% this is the true test of love. I’ve already explained to my man that when we go travelling this is to be expected and if he can’t handle it get out of the kitchen, wait, Bathroom. Im so happy the trip continued and so did their love! It did make me laugh how Burger King was a no go zone, so the family run Bistro where you wouldn’t expect the toilet troubles, was where the trouble started! But you don’t know until you try!

I gave 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words a 5/5 review because for me it was everything I needed and more through Covid-19, the stories were great fun and inspiring and the photographs were also phenomenal. This book is absolutely worth the read to fill that travel gap!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Abbie

Quarantine in Canada / Abbie!

If we are to take anything away from all of this chaos, I hope it’s a better understanding of the unpredictability of life. It’s always a good thing to have a plan but, with that said, without flexibility, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak. 

“Quarantine Where I’m From” 

I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (Toronto/Niagara Falls), where we are currently in “Stage 1” of reopening. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think quarantine in Ontario is too outrageously different from quarantine in the states or the UK. Social distancing rules have been enforced which, of course, include staying at home, not visiting with friends, and avoiding any non-essential outings. Although it looks like some of the rules are letting up and we may be on the road to re-opening, I am bit worried about the ominous second wave that many are predicting. Collectively, universally, we would all love for COVID-19 to be over, to see our friends, and engage in the social activities we miss, but I hope these steps to reopen don’t cost us more casualties than necessary. 

“How I Keep Busy” 

Personally, Netflix has consumed my life, Grey’s Anatomy more specifically. Apart from that I’ve been doing a lot of baking, and art, or whatever comes to me really. I make lots of plans to be productive and take this time to work on my future, but that all just seems unnecessary considering the end of quarantine is not yet in sight. Stress management was something I needed to focus on before we even knew about COVID-19, so I think taking this time to focus on different management strategies would be the most useful way to spend my time and improve life after quarantine. 

“What I Miss” 

Around this time I would usually be getting together with my friends from my hometown, welcoming summer and celebrating our survival of the previous school year. This year I graduated from university so naturally I had some plans for celebrating. I did have plans to travel so I am missing the airport and my travel buddies. Turns out the travel bug never goes away. There’s plenty to be missed but most of all, it’s not being able to see my friends and family that gets me down. I love my alone time but it is a difficult change not being able to visit and chat in person with those I care about. 

“First Thing I’ll Do When Lockdown is Over” 

Look into plane tickets. I hate to say it because I know there’s lots of other important things I should be thinking about in regards to my future, my career, and life as a university graduate, but I am just so excited to travel again. I think once life goes back to the way it was I will be more than eager to plan a trip and see more of the world. 

This situation is not ideal, our lives have been uprooted and it feels like the solid ground we all stand on has been ripped from under us. However, we are healing. This is a hard reset, it is time to rebuild, start thinking about the life you are living/want to live, and focus on healing.

You can find Abbie on her socials below!

Twitter: @AbbsLemay

Instagram: AbbieLemay

Youtube: Abbie Lemay