Travelling through our diverse and fascinating world can be invigorating, uplifting and life changing. Of course, it can also be baffling, disgusting, aggravating and ridiculous. In this hilarious tribute to world travel Johnston takes you on an absurd rollercoaster ride through 43 countries, 11 grueling treks, 10 overnight boat trips and 1 confusing encounter with a body pillow shaped like a giant lake trout. His shocking advice, humorous travel stories and strange obsession with the sex lives of celebrities will have you laughing out loud, inspire you to travel and slowly but surely convince you to stock up on hand sanitizer.
“If you…love travel (and pop culture) then I definitely recommend this book”
“quirky, humorous, and a great read”
The Goddess of Frugality
“it opens with book recommendations that I read out loud to my husband because I was laughing so hard…bottom line: it’s a fantastic read”
Helene in Between
You can also follow along with the companion photo website Random Acts of Travel Photography, where some handy camera work will help you put faces and places to all the stories and anecdotes, as well as work out a rough chronology of facial hair and ugly hats.
About the Author
Dean Johnston was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada back around the time Canada was playing Russia in the original Summit Series. Duff Pounder is his pen name but don’t be intimidated, he does other stuff, too. He is a former financial planner who has blogged extensively about his travels and written numerous travel articles and financial resources. He owns a bike and several pillows. His pet peeves are television commercials for other television shows and getting stung by things. He hates onions yet loves onion rings. Head colds make him sombre, but resolved to concentrate on no longer having a head cold. He plans to continue travelling the world and writing whatever pops into his head. He likes turtles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I saw the cover of Random Acts of Travel, I was immediately intrigued. I wondered what the author might have against Egypt? Had he pissed on the pyramids or did he just want to? One thing was certain: he didn't care if he offended an entire country. As it turned out, the author offends countries on every continent (except Antartica - unless I missed that one), including America (to that I say at least our claim to fame isn't Red Green) and, perhaps more gently, his home turf, Canada. He does so with extremely random references and analogies that often involve genitalia, bowel movements, celebrity genitalia or bowel movements, or his obsession with braiding his leg hair. In other words, Random Acts of Travel is not for the more sensitive or politically correct reader... or celebrities who are prone to filing defamation claims. Much of the book depicts the author's odd adventures in foreign, often third world countries. And it does so, as the title suggests, in random fashion. Part guide book, part news article, part journal, part fiction(?), part every other written medium (was that a screenplay?), Random Acts of Travel hits the reader with a bombardment of jokes right from its opening. Many jokes are hits, many are so-so, and many are misses. The misses don't really matter because before the reader can be put off by it, another joke is slung at him/her, then another, then another. The book is remniscent of early Family Guy episodes (complete with an Asian reporter Trisha Takanawa reference) where random segways were more prominent than the episode's storyline. For example: "It was starting to seem suspiciously too good to be true, like the time your girlfriend voluntarily offered up oral right after she got back from a girl's trip to Jamaica." For some, the joke surely raises eyebrows. For others, it paints a vivid mental picture. And for others still, it might remind them of their girlfriends. Needless to say, the author's humor pushes the envelope, with the example given being rather tame. So, yeah, in-your-face humor (no pun intended). The author's self-deprecating (self-defecating?) and more subtle/tongue-in-cheek humor is often more enjoyable. ("One morning in Mexico I did drink some rancid milk... twice. Yup, turned out I was right the first time. There was something off about it.") At times, the onslaught of humor was a bit distracting. I couldn't tell if the author liked anything about some of the places he travelled, aside from the scenery (often volcanos). For example, he spends a lot of time writing about Malawi, but other than it being a country in Africa half covered by a beautiful lake that the locals are polluting, I took away little about this country or its culture. Conversely, when the author describes his African safari, he makes me wish I had been there with him. So overall, Random Acts of Travel gets high marks for humor and for originality. This book is definitely unique. Here and there, it also offers genuinely useful travel advice, like what to pack, proper border-crossing etiquette, and the to-dos and not-to-dos in particular countries. Perhaps a bit more structure to it, like an actual guidebook where one would read about the country or information he/she requires (retaining the author's humor) rather than the whole book at once, may have served the author better. The photos posted by the author are amazing and give more life to his adventures. He has truly been to some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but I could have done without the squat toilet photo. Still, a unique, solid effort recommended for fans of Family Guy and those who want to hear another's take on all the good, bad, and ugly vacations they've endured.
Hilarious Travel Perspective This is one of the most entertaining travel books I've read. Most are so dry, just describing exactly what the author saw and did with the occasional fun anecdote but this one was a laugh a minute. His take on the less glamorous side of travel is a breath of fresh air.
Really funny. It starts right at the beginning with the fake endorsements and doesn't really let up. Not necessarily the most informative travel book I've ever read but he has a lot of funny stories and some useful info.