Traveling Below the Speed Limit
by Janet Brown
Everyone has their favorite way to travel, from cruise ship voyagers to vagabonds on the open road. It’s an all-consuming addiction--but what happens when age begins to slow a traveler down?
Traveling Below the Speed Limit describes different ways of travel and exploration: living in a foreign city, exploring familiar turf, venturing into the unknown territory of aging. A bus pass can serve as a passport; a city of residence can offer undiscovered experiences; a distant metropolis can become home for a month--or a year. And growing old, as that indomitable traveler Martha Gellhorn discovered, can be the last great adventure.
Take a trip with Janet Brown, whose essays show how daily life and travel intertwine as she wanders around Bangkok, finds unfamiliar delights in her home city of Seattle, and learns to enjoy life after sixty.
Janet Brown is working on filling up her third passport in twenty years and is worried that it might not contain enough pages. When she’s not collecting visa stamps in Asia, she lives and writes in Seattle.
2018; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches; 208 pages; paperback; color images
"Traveling Below the Speed Limit is a ravishing ode to Thailand and to the act of travel. Janet Brown vividly evokes Bangkok’s colorful streets and traditional foods and writes deliciously about the joys and troubles of living abroad. I especially love her reflections on traveling as an older woman, which are funny, honest, and essential."
Julie Phillips, author of
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon.
"Janet Brown’s writing is impossible to categorize because it is always about more than just visiting foreign lands. In Traveling Below the Speed Limit, she immerses herself in the tricky realities of personal and cultural identities, adding her own secret ingredient that gives this book the appeal of a much-loved classic. Brown is able to write about her unique self in a unique place without stomping all over the story. Her adventures may not include wrestling gators or rappelling down mountainsides. Instead, guiding readers from Seattle to Thailand, Laos, and beyond, she takes more harrowing risks, of the mind, spirit and heart."
Kim Fay, author of The Map of Lost Memories and
Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam.
"Traveling Below the Speed Limit is full of the kind of wisdom and humor that somehow rarely make it into the pages of a travel book. Here Janet Brown skillfully recounts the everyday delights and frustrations that come with making a life outside of one’s home country. Brown’s sly, self-deprecating prose resonates with details retained by only the most attuned observer. Her book is a delight."
Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches
from the New American Shore and
Still Lives from a Vanishing City: Essays
and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar.
"This is a book to savor. Janet Brown reminds us of all we can learn and decipher from the world, if we pull our noses out of our phones and instead notice the moments around us. Her words become ever more important as youth fades and experience offers us infinite ways to see—if only we take the time to look. This book helps teach us how."
Karen Coates, author of Eternal Harvest, This Way More Better, Cambodia Now, and Pacific Lady.
"In Traveling Below the Speed Limit Janet Brown deftly describes the incredible joys and maddening frustrations of a Westerner trying to understand a different culture and adapting to life in Bangkok, as well as other places in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Whether it's the good, the bad, or the ugly, she captures it all with her vivid, engaging prose."
Morgan Edwardson, writer and editor of
To Myanmar With Love.