Baggage - Travel Memoir Book Cover

Book Review: Baggage Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriac

Here is today’s book review Baggage – Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriac. A Hilarious and Heartfelt Adventure of Travelling Around the Globe with OCD and Anxiety as Your Trusted Companions…(What Could Go Wrong?)

Book Cover Notes

Most travel narratives are written by superb travellers: people who crave adventure, laugh in the face of danger, and rapidly integrate into foreign cultures. But what about someone who is paranoid about traveller’s diarrhoea? Incapable of speaking a foreign tongue, and hates not only flying but driving, cycling, motor-biking, and sometimes walking in the full sun?

In Baggage: Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriacaward-winning writer Jeremy Hance chronicles his hilarious and inspiring adventures as he reconciles his traveling career as an environmental journalist with his severe OCD and anxiety.

At the age of twenty-six—after months of visiting doctors, convinced he was dying from whatever disease his brain dreamed up the night before—Hance was diagnosed with OCD. The good news was that he wasn’t dying; the bad news was that OCD made him a really bad traveler—sometimes just making it to baggage claim was a win.

Yet Hance hauls his baggage from the airport and beyond. He takes readers on an armchair trek to some of the most remote corners of the world, from Kenya, where hippos clip the grass and baboons steal film. To Borneo, where macaques raid balconies and the last male Bornean rhino sings. To Guyana, where bats dive-bomb his head as he eats dinner with his partner. Flesh-eating ants hide in their pants and their drunk guide leaves them stranded in the rainforest canopy.

As he and his partner soldier through the highs and the lows—of altitudes and their relationship—Hance discovers the importance of resilience. The many ways to manage (or not!) mental illness when in stressful situations. How nature can improve your mental health, and why it is so important to push yourself to live a life packed with experiences. Even if you struggle daily with a mental health issue.

Book review Baggage Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriac

My thoughts

An honest memoir, I enjoyed this book as it touches on so many subjects close to my heart.

As well as feeling excited, most of us experience mild anxiety before we travel. We want to explore and see new places but there’s so much that could go wrong.

The author shares a very honest, often light humoured account of living with mental illness. Sharing the challenges of coping with OCD whilst travelling to remote locations around the world. With scientific evidence proving that the natural world is vital to those suffering with mental illness he pushes through his fears.

The travel writing is vivid with fascinating observations of the people, places and cultures he meets whilst travelling to some of the most remote, beautiful locations on earth.

The author is clearly passionate about conservation and protecting nature and wildlife. The book presents insightful, thought provoking arguments as to the challenges faced by our planet. Why the rainforests are disappearing, the real impacts of climate change and global warming to our vital eco systems.

My copy of this book has so many highlighted sections that I keep going back to read them. I love a book that draws an emotional reaction and stays with you for a long time.

An example quote I found very hard hitting:
I hope that our descendants will be wiser than us and that they can heal and repair at least some of what we’ve discarded and desecrated”

Well worth a read.

Where to buy

About the Author

For three years, Jeremy Hance wrote a popular blog for The Guardian with over two million views. He is a columnist for Mongabay, one of the most highly respected environmental news sites in the world. He has been interviewed on NPR’s Living on Earth and Sea Change Radio among others.

#Baggage #NetGalley

Thanks to @Netgalley and @HCI_Books for my digital copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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