About the book:
Cultural misunderstandings, crazy and dangerous situations, inter-cultural friendships, love and disappointment and the excitement of exploring. “Crossing Borders” tells the story of living and becoming an adult in a foreign country away from friends and family. This narrative is not a simple travel log of pondering curiosities; it unites the weirdest, most interesting and funniest experiences from twelve years living abroad.
The story starts out with the author’s experiences of his first adventure in the heart of Europe-in German speaking Austria. Dreams of going to study at the Viennese Academy of Music go up in smoke when the protagonist fails the entrance exam.
The protagonist not only ends up living in a mountain village in the Alps, but also discovers traits and virtues in his new Austrian friends that he never thought possible. From almost getting shot in Cairo, having his bride kidnapped on their wedding day, to getting blackmailed by a Moroccan snake charmer, each chapter takes the reader on an extraordinary cultural trip, a book for anyone who likes to travel, whether in their mind or reality.
Because this book is autobiographical, it's easy to picture Michael as he weaves his way through his amazing life journey. You can feel his trepidation and excitement leap off the page from the minute he's dropped off at the airport to take his first ever flight - alone and to a different continent where they speak a different language and he knows no one.
It's interesting to see the world through his eighteen year old self's eyes. The book continues to offer vignettes into Ferris' life as he meets people from all over the world in Austria and his travels that take him throughout Northern Africa over several years.
One of the most striking things was the chapter on how 9/11 affected him and his Americanism in Europe, especially with Middle Eastern and Muslim friends - I really wish he had written more on this time...
That's actually my main criticism of the book - it was a short, quick read - too short and too quick... it often felt like he was racing through a story to get to the next one, only to do the same thing the next time.
If you are someone who likes travel or books about human nature, how customs vary across cultures or are just looking for a quick biography to read, than this book is for you.
If you missed Michael Ferris' guest post and multiple entries into the book giveaway, click here to check it out!
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book at no cost. All opinions are my own.