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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If some people are born with their traveling shoes on, Crystal Y. Brown-Battle is surely one of them. If Passports Could Talk chronicles her expeditions to over sixty countries and all seven continents over a period of thirty-two years. Inspired by her grandmother, begun in her childhood and youth, and continuing through her marriage and motherhood, Brown-Battle’s travels resulted from her desire to learn about other people, cultures, and places around the world. In these pages, she shares her personal photographs and impressions with others who have the same desire.
Each journey is described as a vignette, giving the reader a glimpse into the place, the people, the food, and the unique experience it meant to her. Organized by continent and country and including background information, Brown-Battle presents her travels in an easy-to-follow format with injections of humor and wonder. From surviving the driver in Saigon who texted at 50 mph, recording her longitude and latitude in Antarctica, watching Broadway-quality dancing in South Africa and zebras grazing outside her hotel in Zambia, tasting delicious Moroccan mint tea, braving a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef and a hot air balloon ride over Cairns in Australia, climbing the hillsides around Machu Picchu in Peru, experiencing a hummingbird farm in the Cloud Forest of Ecuador, or bringing back homemade paprika from Hungary, Brown-Battle appreciated every place she visited.
There were also sobering moments, such as seeing the Jewish ghetto in Prague or learning of deadly natural disasters that hit an area soon after she departed from it. If Passports Could Talk gives the reader a charming and insightful glimpse of places in the world many of us will only dream of visiting. In doing so, it also gives a glimpse into the soul of a world citizen who readily appreciates our differences and unique cultures and eagerly seeks to experience them. An enjoyable read.