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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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