Unexpected Rewards

Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter

Non-Fiction - Travel
336 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter is a non-fiction travel memoir written by Maureen T. Corrigan. Corrigan had been an active and successful woman who was a medical doctor and later a CEO in the healthcare industry. Her life changed dramatically when a series of troubling symptoms led to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. She quit her job and decided to take advantage of the situation to begin living the life she had always wanted. That meant travel, adventure, and writing about the challenges and the pleasurable surprises that she would discover while on the road. Her decision to travel to the Arctic was one such ambition, following on her earlier trip to the Antarctic several years before. An Australian, her Arctic adventure would lead her far from home.

First, she had to find the right cruise for her and her friend, carer and companion, Sue. She didn't want the stereotypical cruise with formal dinners, dancing and thousands of passengers. Rather, she wanted a cruise that offered scientific lectures at night, that had a small passenger list, one that would show her the real Arctic. After extensive research, she found an expedition cruise entitled 'Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords.' It began in Oslo and explored coastal Norway up into the Arctic Circle. Now, all she had to do was make travel arrangements that could accommodate her Luggie travel scooter and that provided the necessary hotel accommodations.

Maureen T. Corrigan's non-fiction travel memoir, Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter, is an exciting and inspiring account of the author's travels to Norway and the Arctic Circle. I was most impressed with her resilience when making travel arrangements that could accommodate her, and I was mentally cheering her on as she braved ice, snow, mud and travel confusion. Corrigan's descriptions of Oslo and her expedition cruise are brilliant! Her narratives are filled with local color, funny mishaps and unforgettable snapshots of her travelling companions as they cruise in the Arctic on the MS Fram. Unexpected Rewards is a well-written and grand read that will have readers considering their own future Arctic adventures. It's most highly recommended.

Sefina Hawke

Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter by Maureen T. Corrigan is a non-fiction book about traveling and overcoming handicaps. This book will appeal most to an audience made up of adults who enjoy traveling; it would be particularly useful to those who have a handicap, but still enjoy traveling. Unexpected Rewards is a book not only about traveling, but also about overcoming the limitations placed on us by ourselves and others. Unexpected Rewards follows Maureen T. Corrigan (the author) through her travels and her flashbacks on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

I personally found Unexpected Rewards to be an interesting read on several levels. First off, I enjoyed it simply as a travel book with interesting stories. Second, I found it inspiring, as a family member to someone with a chronic pain condition, that someone could do so much while still fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I found Unexpected Rewards to be particularly well written and it is clear that Maureen T. Corrigan is not only a seasoned traveler, but also an exceptional, gifted writer as well. The places that she visits are so clearly described that I could picture them in my head as I read, without having to look them up. I truly enjoyed Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter by Maureen T. Corrigan and I hope that there are more books to come.

Ray Simmons

I am a traveler. I love traveling. Right now, I’m in Asia and I occasionally blog about my life traveling and teaching in Asia. I am not surprised that I love Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic With a Mobility Scooter by Maureen T. Corrigan. It is a testament to the joys and surprises that await someone who takes the plunge and just hits the road. Maureen Corrigan is an adventurer in the truest meaning of the word. She started her pursuit of travel after being diagnosed with MS. She is herself a physician, which may explain in part why she didn't just curl up in a ball and focus on things she couldn't do when she found out she had MS, but instead focused on doing the things she had always dreamed of doing. That’s taking lemons and opening a lemonade stand. My hat off to her and I find myself thinking that this is a person I would love to meet.

Unexpected Rewards is well organized, which I think is something every non-fiction book should be. It is also well written and easy to follow. She starts off telling us a little about herself and her illness and how it has changed her life, and particularly how she travels. Then she goes into the details of why this particular trip and why it was important for her to see Norway and the Arctic. If I tell you the short answer is polar bears, you probably won’t believe me. Then she goes through the planning, booking, and other details that make for a successful trip. The trip itself is epic and there are plenty of pictures to accompany this very uplifting and heartwarming story of one brave Australian traveler.