This is the inspiring story of a guy who wanted to see the world - the part that most people don't want to see, and, in fact, have been advised against seeing by the United State's Department of State.
Rick Bay is a well-known retired sports executive, who, unable to hold a job, turned to travel - and we're not talking Western Europe.
The United States Department of State said, "Don't Go." But he went. Over the past 8 years the author has traveled to Iran, Syria, Jordan, North Korea, Pakistan and Cuba - as well as both China and the USSR in the 70s. And he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to bury his late wife's ashes.
This anecdotal, loosely structured, and entertaining narrative is less about hotels, food, and travel amenities, and more about the attitudes, perceptions, politics, and religion of the people he met along the way. Often humorous, the memoir draws from the author's journals and personal remembrances of these hazardous journeys, like the time he was ordered to walk alone, carrying his luggage, from Pakistan over the border into India. Or the time in North Korea when he was told he must bow to the statue of the Great Leader, Kim IL-sung.
As a former Michigan coach, who somehow became the athletics director at archrival Ohio State, visiting Iran and Syria didn't seem that dangerous. Then, after becoming Chief Operating Officer of the New York Yankees and working for George Steinbrenner, North Korea was a gentle change of pace. And later, after being selected president of the Cleveland Indians the year the team lost 105 games, Pakistan appeared relatively uplifting.
"Forbidden Travel: What I Learned About the World" is a book about risking travel to unfriendly places, only to find they are nothing like you thought.
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About the Author
A former University of Michigan champion athlete and coach, Bay's first job as an athletics director was at the University of Oregon. He then went on to become AD at Ohio State, Minnesota, and San Diego State. Interspersed were two executive positions in Major League Baseball: Chief Operating Officer of the New York Yankees and President and CEO of the Cleveland Indians.
Retired full-time from athletics administration, Rick works as a consultant in college sports and fills his spare time with writing, staying fit, golfing, and, of course, traveling. He has visited over 70 countries and recently returned from a trip to Antarctica, his 7th continent.
He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, Dr. Julie Kerry Bay.