To be perfectly honest, I tend to shy away from book reviews. However, when a travel amigo of ours mentioned that they had just dropped their latest literary gem on the travel community I jumped on the chance to get my hands on one. After all, when a nomadic man who has claim to a Guatemalan mountain writes about adventure, you read it.
The Nomad’s Nomad is a series of short stories that recount the adventures of Mr. Armstrong as he travels around the world. From Mombasa to Iceland, this coming of age book recounts the trials of being a human being in an ever-growing world as we all struggle to find our sense of self. Luke’s writing is at once flippant and poignant.
Luke can transport you from the chaos of Manhattan to a sunny avocado glade in Guatemala mid-sentence. He will carry you with him through harrowing nights on the street and pulse quickening moments trying to meet Prime Ministers. A simple story about frogs or raccoons that you might otherwise neglect is spun out into a sonnet of existentialism with Mr. Armstrong. His avid passion for the raw and honest moments in life, that we all to often forget, is commendable. Not to mention, a solid reminder of where to place priority.
No matter if he is hawking goods on the streets of London or challenging nonsensical Kenyan rules you get a vivid picture of a young man rebelling against authority, not only in small deeds but in the very act of travel. This is a bound and printed war-cry of youth and boundless love for the world. It will renew your faith in kindness for strangers and in the hope you have for a better world.
By far the most compelling story is On Haphazard Guitar Strings. Luke finds himself in Granada, out on the town with a group of expats. An older Spanish gentlemen at a table tells them that they are trash, and Luke responds by winning this man over. How? You’ll just have to find out. This tale of overcoming reckless hate with tenacity and kindness so perfectly encapsulates the spirit of youth and exploration that makes travel so essential to forming a well-rounded person.
If you’re looking for a quick read and a stroll through the mad mind of a wandering poet, grab yourself a copy of The Nomad’s Nomad and travel the world with Luke Armstrong.
Buy it here!