Toronto Book Review

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TRAVELING IN WONDER: A TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER’S TALES OF WANDERLUST BY AUTUMN CAROLYNN

In her memoir, Midwest-based author Carolynn shares her extensive experiences traveling the world, chronicling her adventures as a student, flight attendant, and travel agent. The book is a reflection of her journey, beginning with her final semester abroad in England in 2013, where she took advantage of long weekends to explore various European destinations. Carolynn delves into her experiences during this semester, offering insights and reflections on each of the 15 excursions she embarked on.

Beyond her time in Europe, Carolynn also shares stories from her travels to countries in Asia, South America, and Africa, as well as her visits to different U.S. states. As a flight attendant and later as a corporate travel agent, she continued to explore new places, providing readers with glimpses into her adventures and the lessons she learned along the way. Each journal entry is accompanied by a summary page, highlighting logistical details and philosophical insights gained during her travels.

Throughout the memoir, Carolynn opens up about personal issues, including struggles with bullying and relationship anxieties, which ultimately fueled her desire to travel. She recounts her journey towards self-discovery and growth, including her realization, through therapy, of the underlying motivations behind her wanderlust.

In 2022, Carolynn achieved a milestone by visiting her 30th country before turning 30, celebrating the occasion with her husband in Costa Rica. Her memoir includes stunning examples of her travel photography, capturing the beauty of destinations such as New Zealand and her home state of Minnesota. Carolynn’s vivid descriptions transport readers to each location, from diving into glowworm caves to watching the sunset over the ocean.

Through her candid storytelling, Carolynn offers insights and tips for fellow travelers, emphasizing the importance of openness to new experiences and connections. She reflects on the inclusivity and sense of adventure she found in hostels, highlighting the transformative power of travel in broadening one’s perspective and embracing life’s journey.

Overall, Carolynn’s memoir is a compelling blend of travel anecdotes, personal reflections, and inspiring messages, inviting readers to embark on their own inward and outward explorations.

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