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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust by Karen Gershowitz embarks on a personal and enchanting journey through over ninety countries. Karen left home at seventeen and has explored the world in both her career and personal life. Her various travels have been driven by her desire to see everything the world has to offer, from the 1950s to traveling in 2020. The amazing places and things Gershowitz has done include boat rides in Cambodia, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and visiting a Zozobra celebration in New Mexico. Her travels taught her various lessons that guided her to overcome her fears, take risks, find her bravery, and even learn new skills. Her stories of wanderlust and tales of strength will inspire others to embark on their own adventures.
This stunning memoir is framed by snippets from Karen's life and various travels. The story begins with the first trip that sparked her passion for travel when she was a young girl wedged between her older brothers in the backseat of the car. Each story is filled with heart and warmth that will inspire others to explore the world. Elements of the family are woven throughout and are equally important in her journey of self-discovery. These touches allow us to get to know her better with little moments such as her fighting to sit by the window in the car, but losing out by being the youngest, and the charming description of her grandmother Bella. The stories weave through various decades, beginning with her childhood through her travel memories to the present pandemic crisis.
Each story is personal and explores how that specific place impacted her life. Each story peels back a layer from her own experiences and shares lovely details about different locations. These stories weave through the decades until taking a poignant look at traveling during the time of COVID. Several of the stories, while being empowering, also contain humorous moments such as seeing John Wayne with a French dubbed voice or creating a fake family during her time in Indonesia. Travel Mania is a charming memoir with stories that will inspire wanderlust, empowerment, and self-discovery.