A Hilarious and Heartfelt Adventure of Traveling Around the Globe with OCD and Anxiety as Your Trusted Companions...(What Could Go Wrong?)
Most travel narratives are written by superb travelers: people who crave adventure, laugh in the face of danger, and rapidly integrate into foreign cultures. But what about someone who is paranoid about traveler’s diarrhea, incapable of speaking a foreign tongue, and hates not only flying but driving, cycling, motor-biking, and sometimes walking in the full sun?
In Baggage, award-winning writer Jeremy Hance chronicles his hilarious adventures as he reconciles his traveling career as an environmental journalist with his severe OCD and anxiety, both of which made him a really bad traveler—sometimes just making it to baggage claim was a win.
Yet Hance hauls his baggage from the airport and beyond, taking readers on an arm chair trek to some of the most remote corners of the world—from Kenya, where hippos clip the grass and baboons steal film, to Guyana, where bats dive-bomb his head and flesh-eating ants hide in his pants, to Borneo, where macaques raid balconies and the last male Bornean rhino sings.
As he and his partner soldier through the highs and the lows—of altitudes and their relationship—Hance discovers the importance of resilience, the many ways to manage mental illness (or not!), and why it’s important to push yourself to live a life packed with experiences,even if you struggle with anxiety or other issues. His journeys will inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and take the roads meant to be traveled. Hance proves that we all have baggage—the question is, do we leave it dusty in a closet or do we take it out in full view for others to see?
For three years, Jeremy Hance wrote a popular blog for The Guardian with over two million views. He is a columnist for Mongabay, one of the most highly respected environmental news sites in the world. He has been interviewed on NPR’s Living on Earth and Sea Change Radio among others.
"Insightful, hilarious, and inspiring, Jeremy Hance makes a fabulous guide both to the famously wild places he travels--and the even more exotic lands of a mind gripped by mental illness. Wonderfully vivid, and the humor kept me laughing. But at heart, this is a book about facing fear. That's what makes this book important and unforgettable. I loved it."
—Sy Montgomery, Bestselling Author, The Good Good Pig and The Soul of an Octopus
“Everyone who travels has had jitters about things that could go wrong. The world-hopping writer Jeremy Hance has written this perfect book to show you that you’re not alone in your travel fears, that there are ways to get over it before it gets over you—and that in the end a lot of what we fear is pretty damn funny. Read. Laugh. Breathe.”
—Carl Safina, Author of Becoming Wild; How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace
"Jeremy Hance has written a deeply personal and very funny travelogue. This is an eloquent account of the conflicts that arise when one’s two strongest desires are to go absolutely nowhere but also go absolutely everywhere. Thank goodness the latter wins out more often than not."
—Jonathan C. Slaght, Author of Owls of Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World's Largest Owl
“Jeremy Hance writes with an exhilarating honesty that will make you wipe your brow after reading. He is a man on a mission to save the world—reporting on conservation’s front lines—all the while surviving an unseen inner battle that is nothing short of eye opening.”
—Paul Rosolie, Author of The Girl and the Tiger