Book Review of Adventures of a Continental Drifter : An Around-the-World Excursion into Weirdness, Danger, Lust, and the Perils of Street Food

reviewed on + 533 more book reviews

After suffering cuts in pay and benefits as a flight attendant after 9/11, Hester turned in his wings and became a travel writer. This follow-up to his industry tell-all, Plane Insanity, is based on his syndicated column, "Continental Drifter," and details his experiences traveling across six continents in the space of a year, spending just $60 a day. Although Hester manages to land on couches as often as he rents hotel rooms, this isn't a guide to frugal travel tricks. Instead, it's a romp with an adventurer who rarely becomes jaded or travel weary, and has a way of falling into amusing situations. For example, Hester's affection for Kangol hats has people mistaking him for Samuel L. Jackson at a film festival in eastern Europe; true to his jaunty nature, he doesn't correct them. Hester's writing is lively, and he keeps his observations light. However, the travelogue does have serious moments, as when the author describes being stared at unrelentingly in Argentina because, he says, 97% of the inhabitants are of white European origin. But the seriousness, like Hester's stay in each country, never lasts long.