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Summary

In January 2008, Graham Naismith, 37-year-old IT consultant and former police detective, and his wife Eirene, aged 38 and a former teacher, spontaneously, and with no prior experience whatsoever, decided to embark on a 30,000 mile drive to Australia with their three daughters aged one, four, and six. 

Having previously sold their house in anticipation of a drop in the housing market and with Graham's job at the infamous ID Cards Scheme looking precarious, the climate was right. So, with the decision made and the trip endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Lance Armstrong, and not forgetting The Hairy Bikers, four months of intensive planning and preparation followed. 

A suitable four-wheel drive vehicle was bought and built to expedition standards and the relentless quest for sponsorship commenced. Satellite phones, emergency beacons, needles, drips, medicines, vaccinations galore, mountains of equipment, and bureaucracy were all sourced, and courses in vehicle repair, remote emergency first aid, and Russian were embarked on before they departed. 

On May 1, 2008, they waved goodbye to their friends, and within 15 minutes heard their first “Are we nearly there yet, Dad?”. This proved to be a constant as they traveled through 19 countries including Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, and onto South East Asia before driving the entire circumference of Australia.

As they traveled, the global economy went into meltdown.The book charts, in diary form, a journey through desert and jungle, from Auschwitz to the Beijing Olympics and from opulence to third-world poverty. The family encountered terrorist bombings, earthquakes, blood clots, gun-toting soldiers, corrupt policemen, covert tracking devices, AK-47 carrying locals, an attempted car-jacking, landslides, mines, convicted drug dealers at the Bangkok Hilton, lice, leeches, ghosts, scorpions, snakes, and sharks, not to mention their car being confiscated in China, blowing up in Thailand, and getting stuck in the middle of the Australian desert.

Arguably, the overarching theme throughout this is one man's mid-life crisis that led to a physical journey of self-discovery and realization. On a less pretentious level, it gives a painfully honest insight into how a family and a marriage cope through the good and bad. It is, above all, a funny book.  

If you’ve ever thought about throwing it in and doing something completely different, then this is a must listen. Includes full equipment list, visa details, preparations required, costs, route, vehicle maintenance tasks, and sponsorship details.

©2019 Graham Naismith (P)2019 Graham Naismith

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Really dull - seriously don't bother

Top tip for budding travel writers... leave out the boring bits.

This chap made a journey of a lifetime sound like a trip to Tesco in the rain.

However, if you're interested in car parts and descriptions of rubbish hotels and nagging wives who moan about everything then you might like it.

I kept looking at how much was left and I swear it was going backwards at one point! It had so much potential - I like travel books, I like cops (ex and otherwise), I like 4x4s.But I was disappointed.

Narrator did the best he could with the material.

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Tonic

As we are in the lock down and travel is none exsistant at the moment. I have lapped every chapter up. My husband wants to sail and do home schooling with our son, this might just quash some of my doubts about going ahead with it. I have enjoyed the story from stat to finish and laughed at this book so much. I have enjoyed the narrator and will most definalty listen to any more that Graham has read. He read it like it was he who wrote it and had to keep reminding myself that he didn't write it. I will listen to this again when I am next on a work flight to China will be just the best way to pass the laborious hours. Thank you for putting this book in my life. Love it :-)

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Inspiring

After when I finished to listen to this story,it wanted to just pack my family and go away for a trip like this. It just shows that you can do it with a family size like that. Thanks for inspiration

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Ideal lock down listening

Very entertaining and well narrated. A perfect audio escape whilst in lock down. Oh to be able to travel freely once again!

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Entertaining but lacking something

I love travel books and was really looking forward to listening to this one. It was entertaining and written with some humour, however for me it failed to really engross me in the journey. It is worth a listen for the entertainment value but not really as any sort of inspiration for travel. It could have been so much more!

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Great listen!

I really enjoyed listening to this entertaining and truthful account of one family’s epic journey. The story was both witty, funny and informative. The narrator brought the story to life and portrayed the author well. Loved hearing about the families adventures and at times, trials. It was a feel good story that I would thoroughly recommend.

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  • B.McGrath
  • 22-10-21

enjoyable

A traveling guide for what not to do for while traveling for the most part. Informative and at times entertaining. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a good job bringing it to life.

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  • Blackeagle
  • 31-01-20

Informative and funny

This book is as informative as it is funny. I was hooked from the beginning. I loved the concept and the narrator. The book is very descriptive and well written. I highly recommend this book if you are a traveler and love to laugh. I received this book at my request and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review here of my own volition.