As one of Greg Ellifritz’s Patreon supporters, I received an electronic version of his new book Choose Adventure: Safe Travel in Dangerous Places as a benefit of patronage. But Greg was good enough also to send me a hard copy when it became available recently.
At first glance, I am not the natural audience for a book about traveling in dangerous places. Although I love to travel (I have been to every state in the US except North Dakota and Alaska), I have not traveled outside the United States very often. My few international trips have not exactly been to dangerous places.
Having gotten into Choose Adventure over the past week, it is now clear that I am a natural audience for this book. So is anyone who wants to travel safely, whether your destination is Kansas, Korea, Kazakhstan, or Kenya.
I love seeing new places, but I also have a strong aversion to uncertainty. Although a fundamental principle of the book is choosing adventure not routine, going into global travel with my eyes wide open does reduce some of the stress of the unknown.
Choosing Adventure is an amazing guidebook to making good decisions while traveling — or in the case of some topics Greg covers like prostitution and drugs, making better bad decisions. Advice about dealing with scam artists and criminals, surviving natural and human disasters (e.g., riots), and using travel and improvised weapons are applicable in 200 countries on 7 continents from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Even something as basic as food is treated very astutely here. If I had read this book prior to my trip to Mexico, I would have likely avoided getting food poisoning in a restaurant in Mexico City. And if I had read it before going to Ghana, I would have been able to enjoy some of the amazing street food that I assiduously avoided while there.
Although many readers of this blog will know Greg Ellifritz as a self-defense trainer and blogger through his Active Response Training brand, he is also a very experienced traveler. Even more importantly — because, after all, almost anyone can travel — he is a student of the magic that the world has to offer. This shines through brightly in Choosing Adventure.
If you want to get a free taste of Greg’s travel insights, he posts occasionally about his travels on his blog. I have read dozens of posts on Active Response Training over the years, but one of my all-time favorite was the account of his trip to Jordan last year.
My only advice for the second edition:
- Number the chapters
- Include an index (PITA, to be sure, but very useful to readers, especially in a comprehensive guidebook like this)
- Add in the advice he has given elsewhere on how to drink local moonshine while avoiding methanol poisoning.