Lonely Planet, that loved and trusted bible for backpackers and travellers, has added to their pantheon of guidebooks with a book close to everyone’s home. The cover promises ‘50 new ways to experience your hometown’ and it certainly delivers on this promise. Set out in five sections of adventure themes: Follow Your Senses, Social Adventures, Challenge Yourself, Cultural Odysseys and for the more adventurous adventurer, Roll the Dice, the book offers unique and fun ways to re-discover the place you live in. In each section you can pick and choose the challenges that best suit your level of budget, and adventurous spirit. This is a fantastic ‘how-to’ book that will get you out and about, looking around you and appreciating (hopefully) the world you walk through each and every day.
The adventures are outlined briefly and a list is provided of what you will require to complete each mission, along with instructions and colourful photos from around the globe. Diving into the challenges could see you for instance: camping in your own backyard and stargazing; spending 24 hours at the airport; travelling to the end of the train/bus line; playing life size monopoly around the city; letting your dog take you where they want to go, or volunteering a charity or organisation that operates in your city. The options are varied from easy to complex, and range from an hour or two to a few days – they have the suggestions, you decide on what and how and where.
To offer you more inspiration to get out there, or to clarify just what the adventure may entail, a case-study for each suggested adventure is provided. Written by Lonely Planet authors, they are lyrical pieces of travel writing filled with personal insights and imagery describing the sights and smells discovered by the adventurer as they test drive the adventures. These vignettes make for charming reading in themselves, and are accompanied by interesting facts relating to the adventure.
It has been *ahem* quite a few years since I had a few backpacking adventures on my Big OE; travels now look very different, and are a whole lot more comfortable might I add. However, like most travellers the love of discovering new places and experiences remains and with this book the Backpacker spirit can live on, opening up the possibilities of adventure close by. This is definitely a book for those who like to try new things and for those who love sharing fun experiences with family and friends.
Reviewed by Vanessa Hatley-Owen
Lonely Planet Global Ltd, 2018