Irene and Rick Butler are not of my generation. Yet, as a devoted traveller, it’s easy to recognize fellow members of the tribe. We share a strong desire to explore our planet’s beauty, people, creatures, and culture—and to tell others about what we find.
I, too, have packed up my things, picked up a backpack, and set out to see the world. I have walked some of the same paths as these two travellers, although my relative youth and insignificant budget restricted me to sleeping in places I really wouldn’t wish on anyone. Five years later, I’m still on the road for half the year and am approaching the 100-country milestone.
What the Butlers prove, so ably, is that global adventures are not limited to young kids postponing the “real world” after college, transients incapable of stability, or the handful of travel writers lucky enough to make a living at it.
Just about everyone dreams of seeing the world, on their terms, and at a leisurely pace; to see landmarks like the Taj Mahal or Tower of Pisa, and to meet the kind of unforgettable challenges that only arise when you truly expect the unexpected. Yet very few people actually do, especially once the responsibilities of life come knocking. We allow dream adventures to be reduced to two-week holidays. Well, this book is proof that, with a little elbow grease, anything is possible.
Irene and Rick must have had their friends voice concerns for their well-being, both physical and mental. After all, can you imagine your grandparents backpacking to India, Nepal, and China? What are you guys … nuts? I often give thanks to the nutty people in the world, for without them, who would have the courage to just go for it, and in doing so inspire the rest of us?
Where would we learn such vital information as that one should leave a water bottle behind when visiting the corpse of Chairman Mao, or get a visa before taking the train to Poland? Where would we learn about the beauty and magic of a world that, despite the best attempts of newspapers to convince otherwise, is not out to get you?
Irene repeatedly shows us that we live on a beautiful blue ball, full of people quick to open their hearts and homes. Her chapters are filled with interesting facts and practical advice, so that we learn something about each destination along with the experience that comes with it.
The adventures and misadventures of the Butlers on their epic journey are an inspiration to readers and travellers of all ages. They knew, out the gate, that their travels needn’t take them too far out of their comfort zone, and that sticking to Rick’s budget was crucial for them to reach their goals—and crucial to ignore on occasion too. Their gentle footsteps remind us that humour, enthusiasm, and attitude go a long way in the world of hardcore travel.
“The best companions on a journey are a sense of wonderment, a thirst for adventure, an insatiable curiosity, and a touch of ironic humour at the foibles of humanity. Add a keen eye for historical and cultural facts and fascinating legends, and you have a veritable cornucopia of tales from the pen of Irene Butler. A lively, engrossing page-turner—one that every wannabe traveller will eagerly devour from start to finish.”
Author of Haunting India, Travel writer, photographer, and editor travelwriterstales.com
“Irene Butler recounts, with wit and wisdom, a round-the-globe journey others only aspire to. As we voyage with her, readers laugh and learn valuable travel tips. For anyone who wants to transform from tourist to intrepid traveller this gem of a book is for them.”
Editor, Outpost Magazine
“This book is not just a travel memoir, it’s a life manual.”
Author and publisher of Hopeace Press
“A book for young and old alike, Trekking the Globe with Mostly Gentle Footsteps takes you on an incredible trip around the world—a dream shared by many, yet only pursued by few. As you travel in the comfort of Irene’s backpack, this book will give you the inspiration to map your own itinerary, to ‘Expect the unexpected,’ and before you know it, you too will be exploring the world with mostly gentle footsteps!”
Author of The One-Week Job Project: 1 Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs
“What an exhilarating read. You will feel like you are on the adventure with them. It is packed full of travel tips and life lessons learned along the way. This book is a great reminder that it is never too late to follow any dream no matter where it might take you.”
Dr. Carolyn Anderson MD
Founder of the online senior’s magazine Impowerage.com
“A remarkable, readable, vivid account of an ambitious adventure filled with joy, struggle, insights, and respect for the world that binds us all together. In Kathmandu, Irene and Rick declare: ‘Our perspective on everything we thought we knew was in flux; all we knew for sure was that we would never be the same.’ Ample reason for readers to share this journey.”
“This book is a must-read. Irene’s vast travel experience and her writing style make you feel like you are a hitchhiker on one of her trips. It is absolutely fantastic … well written,very impressive.”
Publisher of Beyond 50 Magazine
“This journey in words will have retirees rushing to stuff backpacks and lace up hiking boots for their first globe-trotting marathon. Amid tantalizing descriptions, humour, and sound advice, Butler shows travellers how to afford their dream destinations without sacrificing too much comfort.”
Julie H. Ferguson
Author and addicted traveller, beaconlit.com
“Trekking the Globe is the grown-up version of the ’60s backpackers Europe on $10 a Day. But it’s much more than a book on travelling. Poignantly written, Trekking the Globe reflects the dreams and aspirations of many of the boomer generation. It offers insight into the relationship of the authors with unfamiliar cultures—and with each other. A great read that encourages us all to find our passports and get on the road.”
Travel & Tourism Solutions (TTS) Inc.
Contributor to Steps to Success: Global Good Practices
in Tourism Human Resources
“An engaging blend of history, geography, and human interest. Makes me want to pack my bags.”
Editor of Canadian Traveller
“Retired, rejuvenated, and ready to ride. Irene and Rick Butler prove that—armed with an around-the-world airline ticket—advancing years can’t quench the irresistible adrenaline of adventure. Where the Butlers are concerned, time is for travelling; and when a destination like Kathmandu calls, there’s no time like the present. Rule out the rocking chair: they’ve got a lot of living to do. This book may tempt you to do the same.”
Travel columnist and founder of the Cloverdale Reporter News
“This is a great read. Irene’s compelling narrative will inspire more than a few would-be adventurers. She has a talent for serving up just the right amount of information. I plan to keep this book on hand, as her thorough research on a myriad of cities and sights will be a valuable resource for my own round-the-world trip.”