Reading: No Touch Monkey! | Ayun Halliday

Cover of No Touch Monkey by Ayun HallidayTravel is not always about great revelations or moments of growth. It doesn’t have to encompass life-changing experiences or encounters that change your views on the way you live.

In fact, it’s very common that time on the road is as mundane and common as time at home; it’s the fact that you’re somewhere different that makes the experience that much more memorable or unusual. And, if you’re anything like me, many of those moments are bizarre or downright funny.

Oh yes … I’ve definitely been the butt of many a strange moment on the road, which is why No Touch Monkey! was such a fun read for me. In the book, author Ayun Halliday shares her mishaps and amusements from years of travel, which include everything from physical falls in Sumatra and malaria-induced nights in Tanzania to the crazy costumes she is forced to wear on a trek across the desert.

Travel is imperfect, Halliday discovers, as she deals with high maintenance boyfriends, groupies, tours from hell, wild animals and public transportation gone bad. I was especially fond of the chapter On Dress, in which motion-sick Halliday is forced to counter her overly enthusiastic boyfriend on a camel ride. After a bone-jarring day abroad her self-named critter, Ruffle Blanket, the author’s weary muscles are massaged by their guide, whose fingers have a tendency to wander where they shouldn’t. Some trips just aren’t worth the hassle, yet it’s these horrifying and ridiculous moments that stick with us. I love that Halliday writes about these experiences, which I’m sure at the time were far from funny.

No Touch Monkey! is a fun and creative collection of stories that Halliday has collected over the course of several years, traveling partners and countries. Each chapter can be read independently, which makes it a great book to pack for the road or to read over the course of several months, if necessary. It is a lighthearted, fun and honest read that puts a true spin on the travel life.

As I read No Touch Monkey! my own experiences of running down a tarmac to catch an airplane in South Korea and relieving myself in full view of a highway in Kenya. When we travel, things don’t always go as we expect them to, but that’s part of the fun … as long as we remember to pack a sense of humor with our extra clothes.

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2 Responses to “Reading: No Touch Monkey! | Ayun Halliday”

  1. Everywhereist

    Ah, I’ve got this one on my bookshelf. I didn’t love it, though – some of the stories were just a bit too painful! 🙂

    • JoAnna

      There were definitely a few painful parts to the book … I agree with you there! Thanks for commenting!


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