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Bruce Northam

- About the Book

Globetrotter Dogma:
100 Canons for Escaping the Rat Race
and Exploring the World

by Bruce Northam

In Globetrotter Dogma, travel writer Bruce Northam entertains, educates, and motivates readers to hit the road through an idiosyncratic mix of travel lore, humor, shock, story, and practical advice. Employing a rambling resume that touches two thirds of the planet, Northam shares wisdom from his far-flung adventures:

  • Drifting with Burma's nomadic sea gypsies
  • Walking the width of northern England with his Dad
  • Shepherding in Morocco
  • Pogo-sticking with Bulgarian gypsies
  • Rafting a raging Fijian river on a bamboo balance beam
  • Surviving urine attacks by Costa Rican monkeys
  • Piloting a Manhattan horse-drawn carriage
  • Hitchhiking across Ireland with his Mom
  • Solving the Malaysian marriage puzzle
  • Playing naked Frisbee with New Guinea natives

This passport-colored collection of travel koans is bound in a leatherette cover that beckons to be bent in a back pocket. Between harrowing tales of canine cuisine in China and machete mischief in Fiji, Northam shares practical tips for keeping your marbles while losing your bearings. This timeless, illustrated compendium of roving bliss provides 100 reasons to keep exploring our wild and ever-changing world.

Globetrotter Dogma is available wherever travel books are sold, online or at your neighborhood bookstore.

Copyright ©2002 by Bruce Northam. All rights reserved. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is intact. Thank you.


- Excerpt


Globetrotter Dogma

by Bruce Northam


The excerpts, below, are taken from the new book, Globetrotter Dogma: 100 Canons for Escaping the Rat Race and Exploring the World, by infamous "wild travel" writer Bruce Northam. The excerpts include practical tips for what to pack, dealing with language barriers, and safety issues, wrapped in Bruce's motivational therapy and unrepentant enthusiasm for not leaving this world without getting a good look around.

Globetrotter Dogma contains 100 vignettes to inspire and instruct would-be world travelers, drawn from wild travel adventures in New Guinea, Morocco, Costa Rica, Tibet, Wales, Yugoslavia, Japan, Ireland, Manhattan, and other exotic lands. At a time when parents everywhere are searching for that perfect graduation gift, Northam's book offers an X-Games version of Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go.

More information about Globetrotter Dogma and author Bruce Northam follows the excerpt. Right now it's time to "awaken the quest within you." Happy trails!

Summer Travel Tips

by Bruce Northam


From CANON #10:

Find out for yourself what a miraculous world we live in, contrary to media portrayals. Realize that, sane or loony, we are all here together, and like it or not, this is it. Boost your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being -- take a recess from the nine-to-five habit and chart your own authentic, unrefined, outward-bound escapade.

Take a time-out, attend the global university, and get your Ph.D. in results. As the global village shrinks, we become increasingly aware of our interdependence. Because we all play a part, however small, in the interlocking of our cultures, our new objectives should include having firsthand interactions with the staggering beauty and diversity of our planet.

From CANON #24:

Put your career guilt on hold. Don't postpone travel happiness indefinitely. A life of excessive work can be dreadful. Escape while you can. Listen to your heart and ignore the boss.


From CANON #34:

When you get there, what do you do to overcome language barriers and break the ice in distant lands? Pantomime. Get creative. Imitate animals: Trumpet like an elephant, caw like a raven, clap your feet and bark like a seal, and you'll have a connection (with the kids, at least). Humor lubricates the universe.

You can predict the length of your trip, but you must nurture the width and depth of it.

From CANON #85:

Don't talk politics or religion, unless you are very good at it. Try steering conversation inspired by newspeak toward music, hobbies, and relationships -- editorials in which individuals are truly experts in their opinions.

You get to know somebody faster when they speak from the heart. Engage people in conversations about topics that are dear to them and not hotbeds of contention influenced by the media. People enjoy talking about their hobbies and the things they know best.


From CANON #7:

The first thing to pack is yourself...and that should be an open, positive-thinking, compassionate person.

Pack to give away: Kids love balloons. Photos of friends and family also create a buzz. Pack a favorite music mix or two -- lost Brazilian villages sometimes have generators that produce a few hours of juice a day.

Protect your ears. Along with safeguarding snore-stressed marriages, earplugs are protection against blaring buses, trains, and obnoxious human beings.

Choose guidebooks that will support your mission -- whatever it may be. A vital commodity to bring on any trip is an open mind.

From CANON #20:

Unexpected downpours are common in Irian Jaya, Indonesia's remote highland valleys. One monsoon shower was especially enlightening. Betrayed by flooded boots and soaked with sweat inside my rain gear, I caught sight of Ruff, my guide, smiling under his temporal teepee -- a palm-leaf mat resembling a flight-worthy nun's habit -- not one drop of water on him.

Pausing there in the downpour, I contemplated my departure from the essential laws of human survival. He was Darwinian perfection and I was a mail-order misfit, a defeated poster child of Western survival gear. Luxuries are often not only dispensable, but frequently hindrances.

From CANON #43:

Don't become a sporting goods store conqueror. Do you really need a personalized odometer/altimeter for that day hike in Norway? Although K-Mart and Wal-Mart have crushed small-town intimacy, these retail coliseums sell tents, hiking shorts, and other travel necessities priced far below the mall-rat outfitters.


From CANON #58:

Be prudent. Monitor your partying. Many misadventures occur when we're under the influence. "The major causes of problems are created by a drug interaction between alcohol and testosterone." -- A Venezuelan Policeman

Ladies: There's safety in numbers. Women roving solo may want to band with a pack of locals or fellow travelers before roaming into the unknown. Hang out where the local women are. Heed no firsthand advice. Instead, get a second or third opinion.

Apply the Traveler's Safety Code of Conduct: It's okay not to trust everyone right away. Experienced travelers are not offended by cordial distrust between new acquaintances, even if they share a room. Tote your valuables with you every time you hit the toilet and store valuables in your pillowcase while you sleep.

From CANON #60:

Disperse valuables wisely while mobile. That way if you lose something -- or someone loses it for you -- you didn't part with all your essentials in one swoop. Have a secret pocket sewn into your travel trousers and shirts to balance out the goods in your money belt -- that thing that wraps around your waist, under your clothes.


From CANON #8:

When email stormed into our everyday 1990s existence and cybercafes sprouted worldwide, many en-route travelers gradually segued from gone to still connected. This took the necessity out of starting over socially.

When you detach, absolutely leaving home at its geographical point, the task at hand becomes living in the present. Unwired, it's easier to discover who you are and what you stand for.

From CANON #88:

Archiving is a timeless delight. If your computer doesn't come along with you, a sturdy, pocket-sized, inconspicuous journal can be your best friend. Journals larger than passports are easily lost and alert others to your reporting.

To protect against documentation loss -- travelers who lose everything on the road ultimately only regret losing their film and journal -- photocopy and mail home or transfer your musings into cybercafe emails to yourself and friends. Alternately, the emails you send can be perfect journal entries. Later, your physical journal is an enduring backup in case of computer meltdown.


From CANON #78:

Long ago in the United States, probably during the Industrial Revolution, the vocation gurus forgot to pencil in sufficient time off for their workforce -- a hapless plan. The consequences prevent most of us from exploring the secluded fringes of our planet.

Nevertheless, you can afford to sidestep the prescribed decorum of amassing gadgetry that ultimately narrows your chance of ever venturing into remote cultures. First of all, the following common but irrational traps need to be sidestepped:

1. Fear of losing ground in your career.

2. Hesitancy about blazing your own expedition trail.

3. Inability to get some distance from your workday life to clearly recognize what you do and do not value.

4. Reluctance to ease back on the lawnmower throttle.

5. Blind allegiance to the American lifestyles portrayed by fabric-softener commercials.

From CANON #102:

If you haven't circled the globe yet, maybe there's an umbilical cord attached to your TV convincing you that the world is an unfriendly place. It's not. The "news" is 95 percent hyped, manipulated ghoul. You can do it.

Close your eyes and imagine that you are eighty-five years old, rocking away, contemplating your life. How would you feel if you'd never had a genuinely wild journey?

Globetrotting isn't for everyone, but here you are -- questioning what lies beyond this prodigious land of mountain ranges, shopping malls, plains, baseball stadiums, coastlines, drive-through restaurants, forests, lakes, and 37 percent taxation. If you can't stand the thought of not taking a big trip, start packing.


Copyright ©2002 by Bruce Northam. All rights reserved. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is intact. Thank you.

About the Author

Author and travel writer Bruce Northam is the Writer at Large for Blue Magazine. His stories appear in National Geographic Traveler, Details, Utne Reader, and on the National Public Radio show, The Savvy Traveler. Bruce speaks on world travel nationwide, sharing inspirational stories and valuable insights into accessible adventure... with a twist. Bruce is the author of two other books: The Frugal Globetrotter, and In Search of Adventure: A Wild Travel Anthology.

Photos, media reviews, voyage musings, and details about Bruce Northam's live travel presentations are available at his web site, http://www.AmericanDetour.com.



Copyright ©2002 by Bruce Northam. All rights reserved. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as the contents are not changed and this copyright notice is intact. Thank you.


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