Vacation Boy: Does This Count as a Career? is about taking life by the horns and riding that unpredictable bronco around the world, leaving no regrets on the table, even if the ride results in a few bruises along the way. The non-fiction memoir leads the reader into the travels and winding “career path” of the sometimes hapless, often joyful and always evolving Vacation Boy. It is less a compilation of travel stories than the sum of the parts of a life lived differently. Whether battling a cantankerous bike while riding along the Chinese border with Burma or dodging malevolent minnows and leeches in a Malaysian jungle or competing in the world’s largest BBQ competition, the humorous adventures draw readers out of their armchairs and into places they never knew were there to visit. Think Into the Wild, but without the unhappy ending.
The author hopes that readers, inspired by these tales, will be encouraged to take bigger leaps of faith in their own lives, just to see what happens.
Jon’s Vacation Boy approach to life germinated in South Carolina, where he was always curious about what lay beyond the horizon. He has degrees in International Relations and East Asian Languages & Cultures from the University of Southern California and completed an International MBA at the University of South Carolina with a Chinese specialization. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and “Southern,” plus he can do a horrible Aussie accent.
His articles and photos have been published in USA Today, Sports Nippon Newspapers and Snow Country Magazine as well as several university alumni publications. He has been writing these missives to a mailing list of friends and family for over 20 years. At their urging, he compiled them (with the help of an editor) to share them with a wider audience.
Table of Contents
- Vacation Boy Comes to Life (Dominican Republic)
- Japanese Love Hotels (Japan)
- Mosquitoes, Chickens and Tarantulas (Dominican Republic)
- Descending Mountains Without Shoes or Sobriety (U.S., Canada)
- “Get Down Here!” (U.S.)
- Drunks Falling off Horses and Fun with Chicken Busses (Guatemala)
- In Pursuit of a Shower (Japan)
- Eluding Leeches and Losing My Pants (Thailand)
- Explosive Bali Diving (Indonesia)
- Painful Encounters with Fish and Friends (Malaysia)
- Screw It, I’m Going to Greece (Greece)
- “Is That Someone Asleep Behind the Register?” (France)
- Paris to Dakar—My Metaphorical Road Race (France, Morocco, Senegal)
- The Krishna Bike, the Frenchman & the Comfort Biker (U.S.)
- How Not to Make a Great First Impression (Ecuador)
- The High Speed Chinese Bus Chase (China)
- “Making Coats with Kittens?” (My Chinese needs improvement!) (China)
- The Off-Genre Superhero Track Meet (China)
- Chasing Bore Tides (China)
- The First Halloween in Hangzhou (China)
- Mom Says I Shouldn’t Have Gone to the Tiger Leaping Gorge (China)
- Racing the Slow Red River (China)
- My Son and Angkor What? (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)
- A Father’s Perspective on Travel with Vacation Boy (Myanmar)
- Fixing a Bike across South China (China)
- Corporate Boy: the Korean Christening (South Korea)
- Corporate Boy Goes Around the World in 30 Days (India, Japan, Australia)
- “We’re Not on a Pilgrimage; We’re on a Business Trip!” (India)
- Carving Up Whales and Rental Safaris (South Africa)
- Launching the Crimson Poobah in Baja (Mexico)
- Fun with Unsunken Boats and Dental Hygienists (Fiji, New Zealand)
- A Kayaking Quest for Conch (Bahamas)
- In Search of Gasoline (U.S.)
- Just Drop Me Off in the Desert (Kuwait)
- Hosing Down a Naked Frenchman (France)
- The Crimson Poobah Takes on Venice (Italy)
- Partying with Parisian Thieves (France)
- Introducing BBQ Boy! (U.S.)
- My Butt’s on Fire! (U.S.)
- It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Madagascar World! (Madagascar)
- Racing in Istanbul Traffic to Kayak the Lycian Coast (Turkey)
- Strawberry Underwear & Rainbow Wigs (France, Switzerland, West Germany, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia)
Free sample opening chapters of the book can be seen here.
I want to read your book. Can I read it on Kindle? Please answer quickly.
Thank you for your interest and congratulations on being the very first person to post on this new website! The e-book (only) will be available on Amazon.com next Wednesday (April 17th, 2013) at 3pm ET. It will work great on your Kindle. Your iPad, too, if you have one.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it!
Jon a.k.a. “Vacation Boy”
I am so fired up to read of your adventures. Congratulations Jon!
Oui tu vas écrire un livre !?
J’espère que tu le traduiras en French sinon on risque d’avoir un peu de mal pour tous comprendre !
Sinon c’est une super idée,
A bientôt en France !!!
Le livre est déjà écrit!
Ca va te faire une bonne révision d’anglais! Et si tu regardes dans le dernier chapitre, tu vas certainement reconnaître des gens. A plus!
I got mine – get yours!!!!!
Thanks Nan, hope you enjoy it!
je vais le commander
on va enfin savoir ce que tu fais depuis 20 ans !
Good,There was a wonderful story.