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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Sailing Alone Around the World

I tend to find myself in a bookstore for a randomly justified reason. I really have no good reason to head in, as though I’m out of books to read, but I somehow make up a reason and go in there and buy something I don’t really need. I did this a few months ago and picked up, among other things, Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World. And honestly, I’m not even totally sure why I bought it since I’m not exactly interested in sailing.
Like many books tend to do after I buy them, Sailing Alone Around the World sat on my bookshelf for a good chunk of time. It wasn’t as long as others – some have been there for ten years – but a few months is a while when all things are considered. Why I pulled it off the shelf to read on this particular day, I’m not quite sure, either, but the next thing I knew I was over 100 pages into the story.
Even by today’s standards sailing alone around the world is quite an amazing feat. But in Joshua Slocum’s day it was unheard of; Sailing Alone Around the World is the story of the first person, Joshua Slocum, to sail around the world on their own. In 1895, when Slocum set out from Boston, not a single person had sailed alone around the world on their own. Many people on his journey thought he was making it up, but then some – more than you would think at that time – also still insisted the world was flat.
For over three years Slocum sailed alone, passing through the straights at Cape Horn before heading west across the Pacific, down to Australia, and then by some islands in the Indian Ocean, to South Africa, and then back up through the Atlantic. For 46,000 miles he saild the seas on his own, and he documents it all in Sailing Alone Around the World, which I find to be an incredibly inspiring tale and proof that you can do anything if you believe it.
Despite a small maritime language barrier, Sailing Alone Around the World is an easy read that can actually be completed in an afternoon spent reclining on the sofa. I spread it out over a few days to savor it, and am happy that I did. I’m also pleased that I made up a reason to go to the bookstore that one afternoon a few months back, and then made up another one to buy Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World. It’s a worthy read for anyone interested in a good story, being inspired, or understanding that the world actually is round – in case you weren’t sure.

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  1. Travel Books to Read if You’re Not Traveling | Jason's Travels - June 3, 2014

    […] one continent not enough for your travel imagination? Then give Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World a try. He was the first person to ever accomplish the nautical feat of sailing alone around the […]

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