Sudha Mahalingam’s book cover alludes to a snippet of the anecdotes that lie within, but her stories enumerate so many more details that would be too hard to fit on the outside. Read on to find out why The Travel Gods Must Be Crazy should be the next book you race to purchase!
Honesty is the best policy
If you’re looking for a glossy, fairytale story about your Pinterest vacations, you’re looking at the wrong book. The Travel Gods… is unrelenting in its desire to paint the real picture: getting conned into making unnecessary purchases in Aswan? Check. Stumbling to navigate the intoxicated ways of Oktoberfest? Check. Attempted to avoid the heat on a bus in Amman by accidentally knocking over a basket of angry chickens? Check! Sudha narrates these tales with great eloquence and all the absurdity, while helping readers relive the moment between bursts of shock and amusement.
Determination over age
Sudha doesn’t hesitate to remark on her age when narrating her various adventures, a refreshing perspective for any reader who might be hesitant to make a long-awaited trip despite being on the “wrong” side of time. She opens the book with her trip to the Annapurna Base Camp, and all the age-related drama that ensued before, during, and after this trek, no holds (or humour) barred. It’s refreshing to see someone live their lives to the fullest, not letting the number of years spent going around the sun dictate their wanderlust whims.
Real with a splash of drama
She’s spent (unwanted) quality time with a king cobra, and strolled the serpentine streets of Jerusalem. She’s crouched in the back of a car while being driven through a militant-infested road in Kashmir, and has accidentally been locked up in a minaret in Yazd. Sudha tests the universe with each whim and fancy, but always comes out unscathed, and with a new tale to tell.
Ebbs and flows
She’s travelled all over the world, and while her travel choices may seem anything from random to absolutely bizarre, Sudha’s stories seamlessly meld together to form the complete adventure that is this book. One minute you’re kayaking your way down Ganga, while the next you’re getting a worm’s-eye view of Ramallah and Biblical Jericho. Movement personifies her tales, and each story helps you add another destination to your bucket list.
Mundane and the maniacal
Sudha is evidently location-agnostic—no city or country is disregarded. She jumps from the grand staircases of Rome to the congested streets of Andalusia. She seeks a decent vegetarian meal in Beijing as she prepares to skydive in Uluru. There’s a spot for everyone to enjoy. There’s places with names you may have never heard of, but Sudha has a story to back it up. No holds barred.
Whatever your tastes in travel may be, this book is the perfect accompaniment. Filled with adventures both big and small, Sudha takes you along for the ride, one crazy location at a time.