Book Review: Hypertravel by Hardie Karges


Victoria Falls

Photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

Hypertravel by Hardie Karges is the story of one person’s crazy goal to visit 100 countries in two years. Every adventure traveler has their own style of traveling. Hypertravel as a form of travel may not appeal to everyone, but all travelers or people who like to read about travel will enjoy reading the book.

Two variables that differ greatly from one traveler to the next is how long do you stay in one place and do you revisit old favorites or move on. It is obvious from the first sentence of this post and the title of the book that Hardie Karges is not someone who stays long in one place. Anyone who has a goal of visiting every single country will not be able to revisit too many old haunts.

Hypertravel by Hardie Karges

Photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

This type of travel is the opposite of what I usually enjoy. I prefer to stay in one place and get to know a destination a little better. Plus, I am guilty of re-visiting old favorites instead of pressing on to new countries and experiences.

If you share my travel habits, it does not mean you should not read Hardie’s effort. In Hypertravel, Hardie shares a vignette or two about each country on his quest for 100. Of course he could not share more because if he did, Hypertravel would reach War and Peace length.

Hypertravel by Hardie Karges

Photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

The benefit of this style of travel for the reader is with a subject of 100 countries to choose from, the reader will find inspiration from at least one country Hardie has visited and want to learn more about it. Perhaps, this book will be the impetus for your next trip and a new country.

For me, I was intrigued from his chapter on Ethiopia. His narrative paints the picture that it is a big beautiful country with beautiful people and a diversity of scenery and flora and fauna. There is good reason the Ethiopia sector is so compelling. I had to ask Hardie what his favorite country is. When someone has been to over 100, it is the obvious first question.


Ethiopia – photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

His reply was Ethiopia. He goes on to explain: “I look for both nature and culture when I travel and, while some of the landscape in Ethiopia is a bit distressed, the beauty of the culture easily makes up for it.  There’s not just beauty there, either, but an incredible and glorious history to witness, too, almost as ancient as the Chinese in a continuous progression from past to present.  Ethiopia is like a living window into the past…and the present is not so bad either, much better than the famine years of a decade or so ago.”

Another plus about the book, with a 100 different countries written about, there is sure to be a section in which every traveler can identify with. When reading travel books, it is nice to read about new areas you have not been to, but it is also interesting to read about places where you have been in order to see what a different set of eyes thinks about the same places you have visited.

Hypertravel by Hardie Karges

Photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

I recently returned from Trinidad & Tobago, and I enjoyed his section on the twin island Republic. He even had the same exact impression as I did about the street doubles makers. We both independently compared them to DJs.

Since Hardie is constantly on the road, the road is a frequent subject in the stories. This book is not about visiting the Eiffel Tower or any other seven wonder. This book is about the logistics of getting from one country to the next. This book is about finding bus and plane connections, finding free wi-fi spots, and which countries have good coffee and which do not. Any traveler knows that these sometimes mundane aspects of the trip make up as much about journey as the end goal.

Travel is more about the journey than the destination itself. Speaking of the journey, I asked Hardie what he learned from his travels that he did not expect to learn.

He answered:  “That’s an interesting question, because on the surface of it, there was no intentional learning process intended whatsoever, and that, I think, IS the lesson, that sometimes things are best revealed when least intended.  I’d been struggling to find my voice my voice as a writer for some years whether in poetry or screenplays or fiction, while never really considering travel writing as a genre worthy of serious effort.  I always took my travels seriously, though, as probably the best moments of my life, and I always regarded it as a serious way of life as much or more than a one-off fling or a gap-year interlude before resigning and consigning myself back to the “real world.”  That world “out there” IS the real world and it’s my job to write about it.  I know that now.

Hypertravel by Hardie Karges

Photo courtesy of Hardie Karges

The biggest goal of this website is to inspire others to travel. Reading Hypertravel did that for me. There were times while Hardie was on an all night bus trip through Mali when he was the only foreigner on board that I felt like getting out my backpack and hitting the road.

Hardie has a website, blog, and an Amazon page. Check out his blog and see if his writing style appeals to you. If his book interests you, it can be ordered from any of the three links in this paragraph.

Stay tuned,


The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

About Traveling Ted

Ted Nelson has been adventure traveling since he was 10 years old on camping trips with his Dad to places like the Great Smoky Mountains, The Everglades, and Big Bend National Park. In 2005 he added international travel to his repertoire with a three month trip to Southeast Asia.

7 Responses to Book Review: Hypertravel by Hardie Karges

  1. Jay Gordon May 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Well, Ted, since you became my favorite travel writer early in my experience of reading your articles (and savoring your photos), your recommendation is enough for me. I bought the Kindle version for my iPad, because I know I’m going to be going back and re-reading stories when he lures me to exciting places. And I take my iPad everywhere.

    What a great opportunity to have a travel book that also is up-to-date enough to include Wi-Fi spots!

    Frankly, as a 40-year veteran of the airline biz, I’ve mostly ventured to the major tourist spots around the world, so I could share my experiences with my customers and colleagues.

    Maybe it’s time for my own mid-life expansion of travel experiences, following the example of the author. Although, at 70, that might be a bit astray from the norm. However, my doctor was telling me just last week that 70 is the new middle age. It’s time I found out.

    Thanks, Ted, for keeping your eye out for exciting travel information opportunities beyond your own superb pieces. To quote the grandkids out there, you’re the man!
    Jay Gordon recently posted..Cowboy poetry in Willits, Mendocino County

  2. Jeremy Branham May 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I have to admit that I would love to read a book like this. I am not sure if this is how I would want to travel because I agree with your approach. However, it would be a fascinating read to get a glimpse of each of these countries (and probably many that I will never visit). I love the travel stories so I want to read about the personal experiences people have when traveling.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Bograč Festival – bringing cultures together through Slovenian food

  3. Ryan at Travel and Graphs May 8, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Whoa, I do not think I could ever travel this fast…but I am fascinated to see what kind of psychological effect this would have. Will try and track a copy down somewhere.
    Ryan at Travel and Graphs recently posted..Top 10 National Forests By Land Area, Illustrated

    • travelingted May 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      We all travel in our own way. This is why so many hardcore travelers go solo.

  4. Andi May 9, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    I really want to read this!
    Andi recently posted..Macau: Day 1


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