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WorldTrek: A Family Odyssey

by Russell and Carla Fisher
Book Review by Greta Jenkins

A family of four travels the world. Their goal was to cross all 360 lines of longitude and the equator. Russell and Carla Fisher and their two adolescent daughters Andrea and Lesley have the travel adventure of a lifetime when they take a year off from their life in Houston, Texas.

This is the book to read if you are planning a trip around the world or just dreaming about one. It shows the true spirt of adventure and provides practical know-how advice and tips. Advice about planning, packing and ways to make accommodations arrangements on the fly from Internet cafe's found along the way, is mixed in with vivid descriptions of places to see, modes of transportation, and ways to have a fun trip.

The Table of Contents provides an excellent roadmap for the book. Read about all of their travels or choose one of the 19 countries and many more cites they visited No matter if it is Stonehenge in Great Britain, Skellig Michael in Ireland, a youth hostel in Norway, the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, celebrating Lesley's' 14th birthday in Estonia, standing in Red Square in Moscow, wandering old town in Prague, hiking in Germany's countryside, strolling in the Louvre in Paris, eating at a Venetian Bakery, sitting in the amphitheater in Pompeii and taking an early morning jog around the Roman Colosseum, having Christmas in Athens, visiting the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, cruising the Nile in Egypt, navigating the train system and riding elephants in India, taking cooking lessons Thailand, walking on the Great Wall in China, watching Kabuki in Japan, camping the outback in Australia or enjoying the beach in the Cook Islands, the descriptions are detailed and vivid. You feel like you are there beside the Fisher family as they navigate, negotiate, and relish their way around the world.

They travel by air, ferry, train and rental car (best budget deal to see much in Europe). Some reservations for accommodations were made ahead of time and some from Internet Cafe's and Tourist Bureaus found along the way. They stayed in rented flats, bed and breakfasts, youth hostels (not just for youths) and even some four star hotels.

The trip was part adventure, part family bonding and part educational. Russell and Carla homeschooled the girls so that they would be able to re-enter school upon their return to the States without being behind their classmates. The girls also learned much from going to the market, learning the exchange rates, and living on a budget. They often cooked their own meals at the youth hostel or flat rentals.

Daily itineraries were a combination of planned excursions and explorations into the neighborhood where they were staying or hiking the nearby countryside. Russell, a coffee connoisseur, was always chasing the best cup of local coffee or making one after his morning jog. Carla made travel arrangements mainly via the Internet, and through a wholesale booking service. She kept the family organized and moving from place to place. The only pre-packaged tours they took were for Egypt and China. Only in India did they encounter travel arrangement problems, but they were able to overcome them due their good negotiation skills and travel documents.

About Russell and Carla Fisher

Russell Fisher grew up in Canton, Ohio, and moved west after high school. A six-year adventure in Socorro, New Mexico, earned him bachelor's and master's degrees in Geology from New Mexico Tech plus his traveling companion Carla, stalwart navigator and love of his life. Between family adventures Russ manages construction and business development projects, works weekends with Habitat for Humanity and tutors students in math.

Carla Fisher was born in Gunnison, Colorado. After she finished high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Carla earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from New Mexico Tech and a master's degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona. Since returning from the WorldTrek, Carla arranges travel excursions through Turnstone Travel ( and tutors Sudanese students in math and English.

After the WorldTrek, Lesley finished high school then enrolled in engineering at University of Missouri-Rolla, where she also volunteered for service in the U.S. Army ROTC. Andrea donates a portion of her free time to Habitat for Humanity and, with a bent for things practical, plans to pursue a career in engineering.

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