The House on Via Gombito

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New Rivers Press, 1991
505 pp.

For most of history, men have been writing about travel and calling it heroic. In the 46 pieces contained in The House on Via Gombito, women take the same opportunity and end up exploring inner landscapes as well as outer ones. Traveling as a woman is very different from traveling as a man, and the voices anthologized here wrestle with familiar demons such as loneliness, harassment, and fear. But they also resonate with strength, independence, and the joys of discovery.

The circumstances of these women’s journeys vary widely–from a few weeks abroad to ten years on the Greek island of Mykonos–and so do the perspectives. A 60-year-old woman writes her daughter from her new teaching job in Zambia. A Peace Corps volunteer find herself physically and psychologically shattered by a stint in Morocco. A young woman drops her life in the States, flies to England, and buys a 10-year-old Austin Mini, planning to travel until her money runs out. Organized by region, The House on Via Gombito is perfect reading for anyone thinking of or dreaming about traveling abroad.

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