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Adventures of a Continental Drifter

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  269 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
One year. Six continents. Twenty-two countries. Endless stories to tell.

In October 2002, Elliott Hester sold his car, abandoned his apartment, and took off alone on a trip around the world, during which he drifted to more than fifty destinations. Elliott's tales about his travels range from the bizarre to the hilarious to the flat-out shocking. Travel with him as he:

* Chas
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2005)
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Apr 25, 2011 Patti rated it it was ok
Let me start off by saying that I am a middle school, special ed teacher and I fit in very well with the middle school age group. My mind is that of a 12 year old boy (despite being a 39 year old woman) and I do find fart jokes funny. That said, I couldn't stand this guy. I really don't need to hear your stupid fantasies about women, your comments about your turd smelling breath or your bowel movements. This is odd because I will talk about farts and BMs in mixed company but I just couldn't stan ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Talia rated it liked it
Shelves: adultnon-fic
This book of short travel stories follows Elliot Hester, who quits his job as flight attendant and sells all of his personal belongings so he can fly around the world for one year. His travel locations run from the familiar (Argentina, Barcelona, Australia) to the unusual (Ethiopia, Estonia, Lithuania), and the author pretty much describes not really what he did in all of these places, but the crazy, weird things that happened to him while on his journey. In some of the locales, Hester describes ...more
Tom Darrow
Jun 30, 2011 Tom Darrow rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and have suggested it to several friends. If you are in to travel writing this book is an alternate take... It's the story of a guy who sells his stuff and goes on a year long trip to random places in the world. It is graphic, sophomoric low-brow, but the stories are funny and memorable. The chapters are fairly short, so you can knock one out before bed each night. Very quick read.
Jeff Mikules
May 26, 2014 Jeff Mikules rated it really liked it
Like many a wandering soul, I've always loved to travel. I grew up watching movies with exotic locales, readings tales of adventure in foreign lands, and making grand plans to backpack Europe, mountain bike the Great Divide, and otherwise filling my life with fantastic experiences and amazing stories to share. Alas, life gets in the way, as it often does, and my best laid plans fell by the wayside. Despite my financial mishaps, and a host of unreliable people with which plans were made and subs ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Chrisolu rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: blacks who want travel the world, people who love to travel
I loved this book. If you've ever wanted to dump everything, and abadon the rat race,to run off to visit all of those places you've seen on the travel chanel, this is your book.
Jul 23, 2011 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Elliott Hester's stories are a look into a man's adventures while traveling around the world in the early 2000s. While entertaining, the details included leave one wondering how Hester afforded the trip. Sure, he had a budget, but he never talks about where that money comes from after the first sale of all his possessions. After a year of traveling, he indicates that he continued to travel. Was his initial sale so great as to allow for years of traveling with no other income? Maybe the reader al ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
I am going to get my complaints out of the way first. And regarding all things Australia, of course as that was pretty much the only place this author went to that I had been. First off, you can't take the train in Sydney all the way to Bondi Beach. CHECK YOUR FACTS. And also, how do you now know how to pronounce Bondi?! Oy, that drove me crazy. And his spelling of Macquarie (not MacQuarie as it's spelled in the book) drove me batty too. Oy, doesn't anyone edit these things? Okay, whew, that is ...more
Aaron Hursr
May 26, 2011 Aaron Hursr rated it it was amazing

Adventures Of A Continental Drifter
It was a really good book. I enjoyed reading it. My favorite character would have to be between 3 people. One of them would be the main character because as he was describing everything that happened to him it was like I was right there. One of the other characters that could be my favorite is Carolina. She does not speak English except 3 words “Son of bitch”. She is the kind of person that will get up in your face and tell u what is up. She is really funny b
Nov 02, 2015 Xanthi rated it liked it
I felt exhausted just reading this book! The author did a lot of travelling, as some of it was rather gruelling. The south pacific chapter was probably my least favourite, due to all the violence and killing of animals. Urgh. The rest of the book contained a lot of humour, some danger, and oh so much sickness. Just as well the author was a seasoned traveller (flight attendant).
Jul 18, 2012 Jrobertus rated it really liked it
Hester is an engaging and humorous travel writer. He is an ex airline steward and logged many miles before traveling for adventure and to back his blog. As a novel twist to the genre, he is black and this effects the way he interacts with people in distant lands and cultures, sometimes helping and sometimes hurting. In this book he reports a year long jaunt across six continents with little money and only a duffle bag of material possessions. He meets some interesting folks and sees a lot of teh ...more
May 03, 2008 Marsha rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of travel
Recommended to Marsha by: I read an short article on Hester's book in my writers' club new
I read Elliot Hester's book of travel articles. Elliot had a good job as a flight attendant and I assume after saving up a bunch of money, he decided to quit and do some traveling on his own time. He wasn't really clear on why he left his job. Since he is African American, sometimes that can be interesting in itself, with people's reactions towards him. I liked when he met with a beautiful young woman (who was topless on a beach in fact) who asked him to room with her. As it turned out, her gene ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Matthew rated it liked it
I picked this book up at my local thrift store for 10 cents and for that price, it was a fun and quick read. Yes, as many of the other reviews mention, the author is a wee bit sophomoric, driven by sex and prone to describe his stomach issues in great detail. But not to the point where he (or his stories) are unlikeable. The book really does span the globe, with each short chapter describing a new place: Argentina, French Polynesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Northeast Africa, Eastern Eur ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Danielle rated it it was ok
I read this book for one of my book clubs. Rather than being a true travel narrative with a flowing story, the book is pretty much a collection of vignettes written as the author traveled around the world. Some of the stories were amusing and some kind of horrifying. I was annoyed at several parts in the book though where he would divulge into these fantasies about women. I don't really care about his wet dream version of his trip that didn't actually happen, but apparently that is what he would ...more
Jul 11, 2007 Kara rated it really liked it
This is the story of a male flight attendent who in a post 9-11 world decides to take a leave of absence from his job, sell most of his belongings and begin globe hopping. I really enjoyed it because when i am unable to travel myself i am constantly reading on places to go and other peoples stories of where they have been. Elliots stories are very descriptive and humorous. Among the stories are him being mistaken for Samuel L. Jackson in the Czech Republic, (soley based on the fact that he often ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Alison rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, bookclub
This book is a collection of columns the author wrote while on an around-the-world trip. While it was amusing enough, because each chapter was so short, you felt like he was just skimming the surface of the places he visited. The book was a bit on the raunchy side -- descriptions of illness and fantasies about women he encountered on the road -- which I could have done without. Overall I would say this is a nice light read for sometime when you know you'll be picking up and putting down a book a ...more
Jul 02, 2007 Okvegascowgirl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any traveller
This book is hilarious! So much more than a "travelogue," Elliot almost overshares his experiences, good and bad, while taking the leap of quitting his job and literally becoming a drifter of sorts. If you've ever had a trip from hell, caught the local form of turista, or alternately, stumbled upon an extraordinary sight or experience that you could never have planned, you will feel as if you are on this journey of a lifetime along with the author. Hands down, one of the best travel books I've e ...more
Amy K
Jul 08, 2015 Amy K rated it it was amazing
Stomach grabbing hilarious
Austin Smith
Nov 06, 2015 Austin Smith rated it liked it
He is an amazing writer, his wit comes out of the pages. However his stories always seemed to take a turn for the worse or be complaining in general. While I get bad travel stories sell and they are the most memorable, I don't feel like that is why you travel. If he could write the entire book like the epilogue I would have been ecstatic. We get a feel for how much he loves travel and what a great impact it had on him, I would have loved to see the cities through the same bright and excited eyes ...more
Kai Rush
Jan 04, 2014 Kai Rush rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I ever read and used many of snippets for my students to use in class. I loved the humor and his celebration of rituals within each society. Have written the author many times and he has responded kindly. I wish he would write more books. He publishes his travel stories on his website.
Aug 20, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it
This was a very well-written book about a year-long trip around the world. I especially enjoyed the fact that the author spent very little time in western Europe but instead chose out-of-the way places in Australia, India, the Middle East, eastern Europe and parts of Africa. His description of the churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia made me want to go there, and I both laughed and marveled at the chapter on his visit to Coober Pedy, an opal mining town in Australia.
Aug 03, 2008 Sherry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, non-fiction
The title says it all. A great book for those with Attention Deficit tendencies as each brief chapter describes a new adventure in a new country. Slapstick at times, yet still an interesting read of international travel tales. The most memorable tales include those of wild sex, sea turtle hitchhiking, impersonating a movie star, and diarrhea of epic proportions. All and all an entertaining book.
Chris Duryee
Jun 25, 2015 Chris Duryee rated it really liked it
This was a fun read and made me want to travel even more. No opinions given about where to go and not go, just stories of his experiences. I loved it.
Hester, former flight attendant and author of Plane Insanity, quits his job and takes an around-the-world journey. I read Plane Insanity and enjoyed it very much. This book felt a bit more forced with some rather mundane stories. A few chapters were lightly entertaining, but for the most part I wasn't entertained by most of his "adventures."
May 10, 2011 Katie rated it liked it
Basically, this guy travels the world and tells his interesting stories. Some are funny, others are.. not as much. I don't know, I feel like I would tell similar stories to my friends and family! Strange toilets, no money, getting sick... most travelers have been there :)
Megan Bakker
May 14, 2008 Megan Bakker rated it liked it
I can't really tell if I like the book or not. Don't get me wrong; the writing is engaging, the accounts of his adventures are vivid, and more often than not, are absolutely hysterical too. But I'm so jealous. Soooo jealous.
Jun 25, 2008 MattA rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, essay, travel
A decent global travelogue, Hester has a very readable style. My only disappointment (slight) is that he tends to dwell on his own physical ailments a bit too much. If you like the genre, you should like the book.
Jill Sumstad
Apr 18, 2010 Jill Sumstad rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk-pile
It's funny, but in a predictable sort of way. I feel like Hester stretched his experiences to make good reading. In other words, the experiences aren't interesting enough to speak for themselves.
Nov 16, 2015 Skye rated it did not like it
If there was am option for zero stars, this is what this book would receive. 1star for the gratuitous amounts of animal deaths and the pathetic attempts to make it funny.
Nov 17, 2013 Barbra rated it really liked it
I would have given the book 4.5 stars if GoodReads would let me. I thoroughly enjoyed his storytelling and I learned many interesting things along the way.
Oct 11, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
Sometimes laugh out loud funny but mostly crass and crude I was expecting more from this book. Liked Elliot's other book plane insanity more.0
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