Coming Full Circle Coming Full Circle

Coming Full Circle

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Publisher Description

A woman approaching 60 journeys alone around the world, with only a backpack and an open-ended ticket, to find out whether she can revitalize her life. Her husbands suicide 17 years earlier left her with three children to raise, mountains of pain and guilt to overcome, and a protective shell around her feelings and her dreams. With her children now grown and her ailing mother recently deceased, she decides its now or never to discover whether her once-vibrant sense of wonder and adventure can be reignited. But she fears that the years may have destroyed what she remembers as her inner self and that meaning in life, much less happiness, is no longer available to her.
Traveling westward around the globe, she slowly discovers her old zest for life, but not without a full complement of accompanying pain. During her early weeks in Hong Kong and a bitter- sweet experience in mainland China, she begins to shed the image of tourist and to view herself as a true journeyer, but loneliness consumes her and she considers giving up and settling for whatever drab fate may await her back home. In freewheeling Thailand, however, she senses the beginnings of a breakthrough during an opium-smoking elephant riding trek through the Golden Triangle.

Struggling up and down the disarray of the Malaysian peninsula, into the jungles of Borneo, through a terrifying bus trip across Sumatra, and finally collapsing in sterile Singapore, she confronts demons from her past. Her old self gets severed battered and as it disintegrates, she wonders if by throwing over her old life, she hasnt destroyed the best that she could hope for. But then two magical weeks in Sri Lanka under the tutelage of a remarkable guide provide a healing time, and during a month in India she makes strong new connections with the people around her. The world that includes the Ramadan of new Muslim friends, a camel trip, the Rajasthan desert culture, vestiges of the Mongul civilization, the forces that wreaked havoc at Ayodhya and the rough-and-tumble street life of New Delhi becomes her home.
Daily confrontations with the unknowns of the outer world evoke possibilities for a revived inner life, and as she journeys along less traveled paths she peels off the crusty coverings of past personas and discovers new, more honest ways to be and live. She discovers ways and relationships that work best for her and by testing her limits learns about both the opportunities and constraints that will define the last one third of her life. As routine and repetition disappear, time slows down and she recaptures her long-lost excitement at the promise of each day. Out of the pain of loneliness she discovers the pleasures of solitude.
Toward the end of her journey, two weeks in Greece with her high school sweetheart help her understand that intimate relationships may be less important to her chosen way of life than staying open to the infinite kaleidoscope of life. By the end of the trip she has emerged from the memories, fantasies, and miseries of the past into the present, ready for the future. She is not who she had hoped she would become, but she is who she is. She has learned to be, in the words of Shiva Naipaul, more properly real.
This story of one womans search for personal authenticity on a trip around the world is relevant to anyone of any age who is interested in becoming a traveler, rather than a tourist, on lifes journey.

Travel & Adventure
March 26
Xlibris US

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