Casey, daughter of children’s book author/illustrator Jon Scieszka, and Steven met while studying abroad in Morocco during their junior year of college. They fell in love, and after their return to the US started a long-distance relationship. After graduation they decided to pursue their joint goals for nearly two years: 1) living abroad, 2) pursuing their creative interests, and 3) being together. The first six months were spent teaching English to children in Beijing. From China they toured south-east Asia including Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Their final year was spent in Mali and Burkino Faso, where Casey studied the role of Islam in education on a Fulbright scholarship.
Their adventures include the rigors of travel (from overcrowded buses to dangerous hippos to police roadblocks), the highs and lows of local cuisine, and the joys of making new friends. Written with humor by Casey, and illustrated on nearly every page by Steven’s portraits of the people they met, this is a mostly lighthearted introduction to non-tourist travel, with a healthy dose of personal growth. A great book for teens and adults who are thinking of venturing out on their own for their next overseas trip, or for those who would rather read about independent travel than experience it.