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Book Review: Hypertravel: 100 Countries in 2 Years by Hardie Karges

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Hypertravel: 100 Countries in 2 Years by Hardie Karges is not a typical travel book, because Karges does not travel in a typical way. This is hypertravel, with Karges spending no more than a few days in each country he visits, and sometimes less than a day.

The idea is to visit more than 100 countries in two years, including places like Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego,and parts of the former Soviet Union where few regular tourists go.

This is not a travel guide. You will not get the names of cheap places to eat or drink, charming encounters with many inhabitants, or many descriptions of landnnarks or sights you might want to see,.

What Karges will tell you is whether the people in the country speak or understand English so that it is easy for an English speaker to communicate, whether he felt safe, whether the coffee was good, the street food was cheap, and Wi-Fi was readily available. Since he travels as cheaply as he possibly can, he will tell you whether he was able to find hostels or hotel rooms that were decent for less than $50. In some cases, the lack of good coffee or Wi-Fi is enough to determine whether Karges stays overnight or leaves a country in a few hours!

At first, I found Karges’ writing style distracting, but I got used to it and he also improved as the book went along. He is a blogger, and it may be that he did not think about the ways in which writing a book in different from writing a blog. Sometimes he uses the same phrases to describe various cities a bit too often.

Karges is also quite grumpy, and seems to dislike more cities and countries than he likes. Even when he does like a place, it’s usually with a qualifier, indicating, for instance, that the people were almost too nice or the scenery was almost too perfect. But after a while this grumpiness takes on a comfortable, familiar and amusing quality.

In this book, you will also learn a lot about traveling on buses, including some really horrible ones; about taking trains through two or three countries during the night; about scam artists and beggers, and the hassle of getting dozens of Visas and passing through multiple immigration points in very short periods of time.

I don’t think many people would choose to travel this way, and Karges does not tell you how to do it. But it is interesting and often fun to sit at home and zoom around the world with Hardie Karges and Hypertravel

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.
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