If you’re looking for a book that goes beyond the facade of inspirational travel, then this is the book for you.
While writing his celebrated Frugal Traveler column for the New York Times, Matt Gross began to feel hemmed in by its focus on what he thought of as “traveling on the cheap at all costs.” When his editor offered him the opportunity to do something less structured, the Getting Lost series was born, and Gross began a more immersive form of travel that allowed him to “lose his way all over the globe”—from developing-world megalopolises to venerable European capitals, from American sprawl to Asian archipelagos. And that’s what the never-before-published material in The Turk Who Loved Apples is all about: breaking free of the constraints of modern travel and letting the place itself guide you. It’s a variety of travel you’ll love to experience vicariously through Matt Gross—and maybe even be inspired to try for yourself.
I’ll start off by saying that Matt Gross writes in a way that is honest – even brutally honest at times. I guess that’s how he must be after writing for the New York Times. I will also add that if you’re interested in a book that will offer you luxury travel advice, then this is not the book for you.
After being the Frugal Traveler, and his post-graduation decision to move to Vietnam, he has many stories of his adventures, but most are not so glamorous. I enjoyed this book because of the range of topics he discussed. He gave me insight on his life in Southeast Asia, how he started his writing career, the struggle of writing a column the New York Times could be proud of, and how he managed his relationship with his wife while abroad.
Even the simple bliss of slowly ending his travels and enjoying what most would classify as a “normal” life was interesting to read about. After spending years traveling around, it was suddenly strange to go an entire month without boarding a plane. And then it became two months, then six, then an entire year. To most of us, getting on an airplane once a year is an accomplishment, so seeing the reverse of this was fun.
My only complaint about the book is the organizational structure. It is categorized: each chapter covers a different topic. However, it is not chronological. Even throughout a chapter he may jump back and forth in time without much warning, so it is important to really focus when reading this book. Once I recognized this style and grew accustomed to it I truly enjoyed reading the book. It is definitely one to read if you’re interested in seeing the honest truth behind traveling for a career.