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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Loves, Kerbsides and Goodbyes: A Backp/McNamara, Davi/Paper/0646563190/S016-E
Thomas Clarke Publishing
Loves Kerbsides and Goodbyes encompasses nearly a decade-and-a-half on the road capturing the nature, characters, emotions and living loose of global backpacking today. Kerbsides are backpackers’ theatres to meet, re-connect, share their lives, fall in love, say goodbye. They are their platforms to perform - strumming outside China tea houses to crowds venerating them like rock stars, gathering an international troubadour on Kuala Lumpur sidewalks to busk for drinks, or outside a 7-11 on that ultimate backpacker kerbside Kaoh San Road, Bangkok. Kerbsides are where backpackers manifest uncomplicated love - treating every day as a minute and a lifetime. It may be a farewell, but it’s no big thing.
There’s no lost luggage, cancellations, reservation errors, bad wine or slighted courtesies - just toting backpack, camera and guitar. Busking at borders. Freezing in Mongolia. Shivering in Siberia. Frying in Pakistan. Hitching the Sichuan Highway. Navigating the Rio Napa. Share the heat, cold, stress, discomfort, discovery, pain, danger and elation of life on the road. There’s Indian, Chinese and Thai police interrogations. There’s drugs, exploitation and backpacking hedonism. There are frustrations, elations, tensions and wonderment on long, arduous overland journeys. There’s the adrenalin of high mountain voids, the despair of money scammed in Bolivia’s backblocks, the satisfaction of saving a Swiss life in death-dealing subcontinent heat. There’s broken bones, muggings and robbery because longterm backpacking is challenging and dangerous.
Loves Kerbsides and Goodbyes traces the loose, weaving, international travels of a group of backpackers who meet and re-connect as they cross borders, share other cultures and experience countless incidents from tender to humorous to dangerous to perilous. There are no prescriptive do’s and don’ts, or best destination lists - simply the excitement, wonder, dangers and freedoms of backpacking today.