Book Review: Itchy Feet and Bucket Lists
Reviewed by Lindsay Crandall
A monumental travel memoir spanning 24 countries in four months
When Emma Scattergood pulls out her and her husband’s bucket list to plan their next great adventure, only four items remain. When asked which location she has in mind this time, she responds, “all of them.” Thus begins the planning of the Scattergoods’ second global adventure. Determined to cross off each location, Emma and Darryl embark on a four-month long journey across Asia, greater Europe, the Panama Canal, America, and across both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Itchy Feet & Bucket Lists dedicates a chapter to each country on their itinerary. Scattergood does an excellent job of interspersing the travel narrative with historical and geographical information and helpful tips for those who wish to one day embark on their own adventure.
The duo’s journey is epic, letting no distance stand in their way. In just a few months, they hit landmarks and notable destinations to satisfy their itchy feet, including the Terracotta Army in Xianyang (the ancient former capital of China), Mongolia by way of the Trans-Mongolian Railway, Russia, and even spend their holidays in England. For the second half of the trip, they take a seven-week cruise aboard the Arcadia, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal, and the Pacific Ocean before arriving home in Australia just twenty days before a global pandemic is declared. Talk about good timing.
Scattergood’s prose is filled with thoughtful and sharp commentary on her trip. Her writing is what makes the trip come alive:
“…there will be no more time zones to traverse, no more languages to cope with, no more watches to adjust. That despite food poisoning, train accidents, itinerary adjustments and a looming world pandemic, we have just done something that neither of us thought we would ever do. We have together, successfully and happily, circumnavigated the entire world.”
Itchy Feet & Bucket Lists is an enjoyable and entertaining read, especially for those who like to travel or who are feeling nostalgic for some pre-pandemic global adventure. Scattergood describes her experiences and surroundings in such a way that pulls readers right along with her on this journey, marrying that bit of anxiety that one feels when traveling through foreign countries with the excitement of venturing outside of their comfort zone.
Whether it’s the descriptions of a particularly cold walking tour of Irkutsk at -14 degrees or the much-anticipated Panama Canal crossing, Itchy Feet & Bucket Lists is an inspiring travel memoir and a fun-filled excuse for readers to examine their own bucket lists and maybe even consider adding a new destination or two.
Genre: Nonfiction / Memoir / Travel
Print Length: 278 pages
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