I wrote a travel memoir called Grounded, chronicling my circumnavigation of the earth without using any aircraft. I rode on cargo freighters, rickshaws, bicycles, and whatever else it took to circle the globe while remaining on its surface. The New York Times said the book "succeeds despite its drawbacks" -- which seems, to me, like an unnecessarily wordy way to say the book succeeds.
Here's the description from the publishing house's promotional material:
Stevenson returns us to a more romantic time, when travel meant making connections in remote transit stations and wading through the chaos that most modern long–haul travelers float thirty–five thousand feet above. He bunks on cargo freighters, cruise ships, and ferries. He rides on rickshaws, motorscooters, and buses. He drives a car through the Australian outback, pedals a bicycle through Vietnam, and rattles across Russia on the endless tracks of the Trans–Siberian Railway. As he discovers, staying low to the ground awards the traveler a profound understanding of both the stunning vastness and the surprising intimacy of the globe.
And here are some kind things people said:
One of "the most outstanding travelogues of the year." -Sydney Morning Herald
“With travel writing it’s not just about where you go, it’s who you’re on the journey with. Seth Stevenson makes a delightful travelling companion and Grounded is a charming read.”
—AA Gill, author of AA Gill is Away, Previous Convictions and The Angry Island
“Seth Stevenson's feet never leave the ground, but his prose soars. With humor and grace, he captures the joys--and hassles--of traveling the old-fashioned, human way. He pulls no punches in describing the people and places he encounters en route, but always with a deft touch and a big heart. Read Grounded and savor the journey, but be forewarned: you may never want to fly again.”
– Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss
“Seth Stevenson’s idea of going around the world without leaving its surface is a brilliant one. In an age where air travel has lost all its glamour, journeys by boat, train and bus inevitably seem exotic. Stevenson is an excellent traveling companion -- observant and appreciative, with a lovely turn of phrase.”
– Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking
"[A] very entertaining story, told in a spirited, engaging style (the author is an experienced travel writer). While falling in the very contemporary category of “extreme travel,” this entertaining account manages to combine a hip modern approach with a charming nostalgic feel. A must for armchair travelers."
"Stevenson's writing is full of charm and humor, and he knows just the right phrase to use when he believes his Estonian ferry is destined for Davy Jones's Locker. In an age when everything has to be done yesterday, it's nice to know that there are still people wandering the globe who feel that getting somewhere could be more than half the fun."
- Library Journal