A Fine Romance by Susan Branch


“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” ~ Mason Cooley.

There are times when we all wish we could pack our bags and set off on undiscovered lands, a quick getaway or an adventure.  When life gets in the way or the budget doesn’t allow, sometimes the next best thing is a travel book, that allows us to escape without leaving home.

I recently read “A Fine Romance” by Susan Branch and it is one of those books that will sweep you away and give you a front row seat to an adventure to England.

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Safari; A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer by Geoffrey Kent

Safari by Geoffrey Kent

Safari; A Memoir of a Worldwide Travel Pioneer by Geoffrey Kent is a well written book by the brilliant businessman who with his parents created and built the luxury travel tour company Abercrombie and Kent.

I don’t typically review travel books on the blog, but this one I really want to share with you.  If you are a an armchair traveler, you will enjoy the stories.  If you are looking for an adventure and inspiration to get out to somewhere new this book will do that for you.

Safari is not only a book filled with many of the adventures of Geoffrey Kent as he has traveled the world creating and building unique and one of a kind journeys for clients, but one of a man’s dream to build a luxury tour company that gives people something new and different.  He started with virtually nothing and drained his parents accounts to buy the supplies necessary to start his first African Safari.

Not only does he tell of the African Safari trips, but his worldwide travel, building a business and his personal life. While building a camp at Chief’s Camp,  he goes to bed and is suddenly awakened by the load noises of an animal nearby.  He climbs out of bed to see a hyena chewing it’s way into his tent to get at him, scared and panicked he throws items at it and ultimately he chases it off.  The story raised the hair on my arms, it was so vivid I felt I was a silent observer in the corner of the tent.  His adventures flying over Iguazu Falls, backcountry trips into Alaska and his encounter with David Niven as he was in Egypt filming Agatha Christies “Death on the Nile, bring you along as though you feel you are seeing it with him.

Geoffrey is lucky enough to board the paddle-wheeler, Karnak as it is called in the movie, outside of the movie it is the SS Memnon, owned by a wealthy Egyptian man.  Geoffrey loves the boat and contacts the man who owns it to enter into a business contract to start offering his clients cruises on the Nile before they were popular.  The first trip is a disaster with no working toilets and smoke billowing out filling the boat.  Geoffrey offers his clients refunds and flights home, promising them that when he irons out the kinks, they are first to travel with A & K again.

Safari brings you along on all of his travels around the world without having to leave your home if you choose.

Yes, he does do some name dropping of celebrities and dignitaries that he has traveled with.  To some it may be a little off putting, but for those without that type of travel budget it is fun to see how the other half travel.

After Princess Diana’s tragic death, Prince Charles asks Geoffrey Kent to plan and take Prince Harry on another safari.  Hoping to help him death with the tragedy in his life, he plans the perfect trip and brings much joy to a brokenhearted young man.

Abercrombie and Kent is a company concerned about the environment and Geoffrey Kent has worked tirelessly to not leave a footprint in the areas they travel and he has created animal refuge’s in Africa.

I thoroughly enjoyed the business side of the book, the travels and learning more about what they do for my clients when traveling with them.  Some of the adventures he tells about are on my bucket list, while others I won’t see in my lifetime, but hope you do.

After reading the last page, I was inspired to pack my bags and just go, get out there and have another adventure.

The most important effect of travel is that it does in fact change a person’s life and their perspective on the world.  I don’t think he could have said any better.

If you choose to read the book, I hope you are inspired or at least love the travel adventures.  I am grateful he was encouraged to write the book and chose to share his passion with the reader’s.

Travel Safe,






5 Books to Inspire Travel

Happy April!  Spring is here and I don’t know about you, but I have the travel bug.  I need to go somewhere.

I am going to break with tradition a little today.  Usually I am writing about destinations, museums, great food, restaurants and beer or wine spots; anything travel related.

Today, let’s chat a little about 5 of my favorite books that have inspired me to travel and I hope they will help you too.  Let’s get started….

All the Light We Cannot See 1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This beautiful novel is set in Saint-Malo, an ancient walled city on the coast of France.  The story takes place in France during World War II and in 2015 it won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie medal for excellence in Fiction.  Living in Paris during the war; a father takes his blind daughter and flees to Saint-Malo to a big house by the sea; Her path crosses the path of a German boy and they struggle to survive the destruction of the war.  A visit to Saint-Malo is off the beaten path, interesting and full of history.

Saint-Malo, France

Saint-Malo, France

My Life in France2.  My Life in France by Julia Child
When one thinks of France many images and thoughts come to mind.  For me, it’s food, wine and French Chef’s.  Julia Child broke through many barriers and writes of her time in France, arriving with her husband Paul in 1948.  She spoke no French and knew nothing of the people or the culture.  Yet, Julia dove head first into the French lifestyle and immersed herself into the lives of the people and their culture.  She bought from local markets, meeting and getting to know the local merchants, she studied at the prestigious Cordon Bleu, changing her life forever, and bringing her love of France and French cooking to us all.  As you read her story, you can’t help but fall in love with France, and the food. 

Coffee with croissants against Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society3.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I loved this book and I hope you do too.  After reading this book, it has inspired me to add Guernsey to my bucket list. 
The book is set both in London and Guernsey, an island in the Channel Islands off the British Coast.  These are the only British territories that were occupied by German soldiers during the war.  Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written as a series of letters; where you will learn of the people and their struggles with the German soldiers and the island they call home.  Walking in Guernsey and following Juliet’s footsteps will bring the book to life.

If you are on a cruise in the British Isles and St. Peter’s port is one of your ports of call, read the book on a sea day and then experience the beauty of the island.

Saint Peter Port, Guernsey

Saint Peter Port, Guernsey

4.  No Reservations, Around the World on an Empty Stomach, by Anthony Bourdain

Okay, this book was published back in 2007 and really was written as a companion book to the TV show by the same name.
Love him or not, this is a great book showcasing his sarcastic personality which I love.  No Reservations really gives you a front seat to hit the road with the man himself.
From New Zealand to the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S and all points in between, this book is full of photos to capture the destinations and the food devoured along the way.  You  learn so much about a country and it’s culture through the food and people and that is what Anthony Bourdain does best.  Travel and Eat, the two best things in the world.

Safari by Geoffrey Kent5.  Safari by Geoffrey Kent

I am reading this book now and let me share with you, I am now ready to head out on safari after reading Geoffrey Kent’s descriptions and experiences.

The book is written by a Travel Pioneer and adventurer.  The Kent family started the luxury travel company, Abercrombie and Kent and Geoffrey Kent still serves as the CEO. The story he writes is of his childhood running through the African bush, packing up and heading across the continent as a kid on a motorcycle and the adventures and the people he meets along the way.

The stories of his travels while creating a luxury travel company is fascinating and you feel as though he is bringing you along on the adventure.  Having worked with Abercrombie and Kent, their trips are life changing.  They offer one of a kind experiences that will take you to the wild edges of the world.  I have so much respect for the company that Geoffrey Kent built and am enjoying the book.  If you read it, you are going to finish it with wanting to pack your bags and go.

I hope this gives you a few fun reads whether you are reading them sitting on your balcony overlooking a crystal clear ocean, sitting on your balcony while on a cruise staring out at an endless ocean, sitting by the pool or on an adventure, let them inspire you to get out there.

Safe travels,





Louis N Clark Travel Pill Case

I hope you all are planning or have planned your travel for this year.  Are you going someplace really fun, maybe even a bucket list destination?

I am looking forward to an extended trip to Alaska this year.  Alaska is one of those destinations I have fallen in love with and could go back time and time again.  I will let you know all about it later this year.

Louis and Clark Travel Pill Case

In preparing for my upcoming travel this year, I found a product I want to share with you, the Louis N Clark travel pill case.  I am not on any medications, but have a few vitamins that I continue to take when I travel.  If I don’t I seem to end up sick.

Finding the right travel case has proven to be a challenge.  I tried the hard plastic cases, you know the ones, with compartments and pop open lids.  I don’t like traveling with them, they are bulky, take up prime real estate in any bag, the caps tend to pop open and the vitamins spill out into the ziploc bag I store the case in.

I tried putting each day into snack size ziploc bags and then all of them in a larger quart or gallon size ziploc.  It worked okay, but trying to get the air out of the bags to compress down is a pain.

I stumbled upon the Louis N Clark case when I received my TravelSmith catalog and I think it may be the answer.  It is a small vinyl case that easily closes with velcro.  When open it has small vinyl pouches that have zipper style close.

Interior view of pill case

There are 8 vinyl cases for the morning marked in red and 8 cases for nighttime, marked in blue.  It is small enough to throw in your carry on, purse or checked bag.

If you are traveling for an extended period of time, you can order another complete case, as they aren’t that expensive on Amazon. You can order extra interior pouches, they come 4 to a pack.

Here are links to either Amazon or Travelsmith to order the case.


Extra pouches:




Happy Traveling