I love reading travel books; memoirs are enjoyable and well-written accounts make me feel like I’m truly present in another part of the world. For this reason I was looking forward to reading Traveling In Sin, a memoir about an adventurous couple from the United States who spent a year traveling abroad, primarily in Southeast Asia. Their story is most unusual: after a fairly short dating period, George invited Lisa to join him on the journey of a lifetime. She swallowed all her fears, quit her job, and the couple departed to travel abroad together. During their travels, Lisa lost 60 pounds, George proposed, and they both learned much about resilience and partnership. All things considered, it was a very successful trip!
Traveling In Sin is full of useful tidbits and tips about travel in Asia such as how to successfully get along in a variety of foreign cultures, as they navigate outside of their comfort zones. Written in a highly unusual narrative style, it pops between “he said” and “she said” with the authors each penning part of every chapter as they traverse a dozen countries. My hat is absolutely off to Lisa; after working as “Julie the Cruise Director” on Princess Cruises for several years — traveling the world on a luxury ocean liner, she gave up every semblance of pampering to travel on a strict budget that often meant staying in hostels or one-star budget motels.
As you can imagine, the author’s styles of writing are very different, so their voices shine through. Lisa’s writing is more emotional and carries the narrative of their snowballing relationship, while George focuses more on the specifics of the logistics and his observations about the places they visit. Occasionally, he steps into storytelling mode.
If you’re traveling to this part of the world, especially independently, Traveling In Sin is a wonderful resource — like a personalized version of Lonely Planet — while also being a very entertaining read. If you enjoy living vicariously through travel memoirs, Traveling In Sinmakes makes you feel as if you’ve covered all of Southeast Asia.