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|Monks on Mopeds||1|
|Incident at Rankin Inlet||9|
|Chickens, Girls and Ruins||17|
|Two Days in Dallas||27|
|Her Eyes Follow||35|
|On the Road to San Rocco a Pilli||45|
|Looking for Demetrius||51|
|Bus Ride to Big Jesus||61|
|The Drunken Boat||85|
|A Lesson in Dance||87|
|A Brazilian Notebook||103|
|Up the Holy Mountain (and Down by Cable Car)||111|
|Off-Season in Puerto Vallarta||121|
|Close Encounters of the Euro-Trash Kind||127|
|We Turned Some Sharp Corners: A Marriage Proposal in Durango||133|
|Broken Heaven, Broken Earth||141|
|With My Little Eye||153|
|The Last Hippie||161|
|How I Learned to Love Scotch||171|
|The Tea House on the Mountain||179|
|My First Brothel||187|
|The Growing Season||195|
|The Ballet of Patrick Blue-Ass||205|
|The Motherhood Roadshow||227|
|Where the Birds Are||243|
1. Come up with five reasons why people travel in AWOL. Are the reasons for going and the results always the same?
2. Many of the stories in AWOL are about discovery. Find a story where an author discovers something unexpected, talk about it and explain why you chose it.
3. Find an illustration of culture clash. There are several examples of economic difference between the traveller and the locals. How do these make you feel?
4. Do you think AWOL reinforces or dispels the notion that travel doesn't have to be exotic to be rewarding?
5. AWOL stories often give you a window on the traveller as much as on the place. People often go away to reinvent themselves or re-examine their lives. Is there a personal story you found particularly poignant?
6. A review of several travel books in the National Post observed, 'The real education is learning to relish the world, not just survive it.' Do bad experiences always make for the best stories?
7. Paul Theroux said in Best American Travel Writing, 'The traveller invents the place.' The introduction to AWOL says that 'each place yields different things … depending on why you go, whom you meet, who you are.' Discuss, comparing two stories set in the same country, or in reference to a story about a place you have visited.
8. Can you find a story that illustrates the joy of travel for you?