Embracing Bewilderment: A Reluctant Entrepreneur’s Journey: An Unconventional European Summer Twisting into a Mind-Bending Excursion Through Southeast Asia

Cory Mortensen

Publisher: White Condor Publishing Pages: 303 Price: (paperback) $19.95 ISBN: 9781735498195 Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Embracing Bewilderment is the third installment of Cory Mortensen’s irreverent travel memoir, continuing where The Buddha and the Bee and UNLOST left off.

Cory Mortensen is an adventurous traveler, and in this book he starts in Iceland for his jaunt through 13 different European countries. Then he heads to Asia, where he travels back and forth among eight different countries before returning to the U.S. “I hope this book guides in some way but this is not a guide book,” he writes by way of introduction.

While he doesn’t list the addresses or websites of the attractions he visits, Mortensen often includes details one would find in a guidebook. Everything from “Lagarfljót Worm, Iceland’s very own Nessie [Loch Ness Monster]” to the history of Saint Fermín is mentioned; sometimes, the descriptions wander into tediousness; for example, in one long-winded description of Scotland, he writes: “Oh, and to stay true to providing you with useless information, the fastest known time to complete the 268-mile (431 km) distance of the Pennine Way was achieved by Mike Harley in 1989…”

Still, there’s plenty of charm here, due to Mortensen’s often-humorous observations and descriptions of the people he encounters along the way. While trekking in South America, for instance, he meets Cindy, an Australian woman, and he meanders his way from Iceland, through Scotland, to London, to reconnoiter with her.

“In the end,” he writes, “…[w]hile it was fun to catch up, the spark wasn’t as bright as I remembered it, and after a little conversation, the spark was extinguished entirely.” Cindy, he learns, has recently discovered that she prefers women to men. “All in all, it was a great way to terminate a relationship that never really existed except in my imagination,” he surmises.

Mortensen comes to many interesting realizations about himself as he journeys, and after learning about his adventures, readers might be inspired to take their own journey to self-discovery as well.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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