The Reviews are In!

Vagobond.com…

When I was a kid I loved all the books by Jules Verne. In fact, I still do. One of the best of them is Around the World in 80 Days. I’m not sure, but I think the combination of that book with all the National Geographics I used to pore over at my grandmother’s house led to the world traveler I am today.

I’m also guessing that based on the title of his book, photographer and writer Andy Davies was influenced by Mr. Verne as well. As some of you know, I’m engaged in a very slow journey around the world so when I first saw Andy’s book, I thought to myself that it was just too fast, but upon checking it out, I have to admit it. I’m jealous as hell. Andy made a very cool trip and saw more in 18 days than many travelers see in a lifetime. To cover that much ground that quickly and with a purpose…very cool.

Andy’s trip took him through Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London, and Paris. His photos – astounding. You can check out some of them at Around the World Book. His book is more than the photos though.

I feel like in the short time he was in each place, he was able to take a glimpse into the souls of the people and the cultures. Maybe it’s from being so acutely aware of the shots he wanted to take, watching so closely. I’m not sure, but it works. The book/app works too. I especially like the clean maps and the references to how much he spent on transportation, where he went, and how he got there. Here’s one example of what I mean:

In Hong Kong I used my “business people” tracking skills to follow people who looked like they knew where they were going, in Singapore I found that most of the “suits” I followed were heading for the numerous British pubs located along the Singapore River.

Nice. The funny thing about travel is that we all do it our own way. There are some people who spend months and months in a place and never get to see anything and there are others that can get to the point very quickly. When I got to the back end of the book, I was pleased to find that Andy had included his itinerary notes, packing notes, and travel notes. Like reading Burton’s Kama Sutra, sometimes the most interesting bits are to be found in the notes and it’s amazing how many writers and photographers leave out these bits.

For example:
I traveled with a carry-on sized Victorinox convertible and expandable backpack/shoulder bag and a small shoulder bag with enough room to carry my cameras (two, compact) and spare lens as well as a laptop and charger.

It’s when you get into the specifics that things become interesting. Andy’s photos bring the life out on the page (or screen) and one of the cool things about using an iPad instead of a regular printed book is that when you buy Around the World in 18 Days you actually get two books since he used a completely different set of graphics and images for the horizontal and vertical versions of the book. Still, the price is the same at just $5.99.

As I mentioned, his photos are amazing and that’s why when I reached the back I was stoked to find that Andy had included 12 Travel Photography Tips. I’m a pretty decent amateur photographer, but I always want to be better. Andy’s tips gave me some tools to do that with. Simple things that I hadn’t thought of. I would share them, but in fact, I think the Travel Photography Tips alone make Andy’s book worth more than the price. If you notice that my camera skills are getting better, these tips are party responsible. You should buy his app/book.

In short, I highly recommend Andy’s iPad App/eBook to anyone. The price is right, the content is incredible, and whether you are traveling or just dreaming of travel Around the World in 18 Days will inspire you.


PerceptiveTravel.com…

iPad Your Way Around the World in 18 Days

Can a travel book read like a blog, look like a coffee table book, and offer interactive maps and video clips?

I’d have said no but that was before I spent the weekend reading Around the World in 18 Days by graphic designer and photographer Andy Davies.

Designed specifically for the iPad, this interactive travel book provides a fresh look at some of the world’s most exotic and interesting locations – Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London and Paris.

By combining an energetic and lively writing style with amazing photographs, Davies manages to draw the reader into each city’s labyrinth to such a degree that you literally feel that you are there. With the tap of the finger, you move from city to city, image to image, and with the inline video clips from the sounds of fish markets to prayer calls to the bells of Big Ben.

The experience is further enhanced with full screen HDR image galleries featuring key images optimized for viewing both horizontally and vertically. (sample slideshow here).

But that’s not all.

Davies has added in maps, travel tips, and an comprehensive guide to taking better travel photographs, making this 100 page interactive travel book a must read for all dedicated armchair travelers.


EZineMark.com…

AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS, by Andy Davies, is an insightful and enlightening travel book detailing the world’s most coveted destinations. The book caters strongly to world travelers, backpackers, and all travel and photography enthusiasts.This must-have travel book offers an inside track on things to do and see in such places as Hong Kong, Singapore, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Zurich, Bruges, London, and Paris. Davies also provides a list of warnings, precautions, and specific things of which to be aware prior to visiting these locations.This is a fascinating book that reads like a blog.

Inspired by Andy Davies’ travel site, www.spinfirst.com, AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS presents a first-hand account of Davies’ experiences in many exotic locations around the world.Andy Davies infuses an energetic and lively writing style with exciting photos that work together to draw the reader into his space, literally feeling the vibrant atmosphere of each particular place. One such example of this engaging writing style is evident in the Hong Kong travel log: “I walked for miles, discovering Hong Kong’s beautiful and serene zoological and horticultural gardens, an oasis of calm surrounded by soaring towers of humanity.”For tourists, he describes specific examples, such as the Wan Chai Market, “A wonderfully vibrant, early morning marketplace full of people buying and selling wares, from live to fresh cut meat, to housewares, clothing, spices and more.” In a few paragraphs, readers get a taste and feel for the unique flavor and atmosphere of the place.Davies emphasizes that planned tours to these countries do not compare with more spontaneous experiences. In fact, he stresses, “You have to stumble upon it, get lost in it, and discover new things and amazing places every time you set foot outside the door.”

Davies is quite adept at making use of his time at each destination. During a 48-hour stay in Singapore, he came across a wide array of cuisines, including Pan-Asian, Indian, European, Malaysian, Cuban, American, British, Turkish, and Arabic.Whether you’re looking to find the best means of transportation, nightlife, places to eat, or attractions to visit, this is the perfect travel book. Furthermore, AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS provides the special nuances of each destination that can only be uncovered through experience and persistence. Davies’ efforts in uncovering each of these gems are evident throughout the book.

Davies’ outstanding photographs speak volumes, capturing the spirit of each destination and leaving the reader to marvel over their magnificence. After reading this travel guide, it would not be the least bit surprising to find yourself booking a flight to one of these exotic destinations.

Overall, this is a book that all travel aficionados will find enlightening and informative. Not only does it provide tips for each destination, but it also offers advice on everything from how to best use a camera in creating lasting memories to doing research before setting off on any travel destination. Indeed, for all travel enthusiasts, AROUND THE WORLD IN 18 DAYS is a must read and a don’t-leave-home-without-it treasure.


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