Original post by Ayah A. at Travel Noire and Yahoo!Life
Look no further for your next good read. Author Mike Nixon’s entertaining, fast-paced travel memoir, Life Travel And The People In Between, provides an honest take on how to become a world traveler, form meaningful relationships, and live life to the fullest.
Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and raised in Virginia, Nixon currently resides on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He first got a taste of travel during his sophomore year at Norfolk State University.
“I had a friend named Sean who studied in South Africa,” said Nixon. “Knowing him made travel feel within reach and like something that I could do. When Sean directed me to the Study Abroad Department, he did more than help me study abroad; he opened the door to the world for me.”
In 2007, Nixon ended up studying in the Dominican Republic. There, he not only fell in love with how welcoming the people were but also with learning about the world from a different perspective.
“The novelty of each experience felt magical – like discovering your favorite food or falling in love for the first time. When I returned home, I was a different person. I was a person who knew that life had more to offer.”
Nixon has now been traveling for 15 years, visiting 32 countries, and has spent over nine years living outside of the United States. After studying in the Dominican Republic, some years later, he served as a ‘Community Economic Development’ Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay.
“Next, I lived and worked in Nicaragua for a cultural exchange organization. Then I joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Japan. Throughout the years, I’ve done some off-the-grid exploring as well.”
“While travel hasn’t provided me with the most comfortable life, it has added more value than anything else I’ve done. That’s because of what it has exposed me to – unique places, experiences, and, most importantly, people who have made life’s journey worthwhile.”
His 318-page memoir is filled with 26 page-turning chapters designed to satisfy the appetites of readers who crave adventure, enjoy humor, and appreciate useful tips for traveling abroad.
“There’s something in it for everyone – the person from the inner city who feels hopeless, the college student in debt, the recent college grad with a foot in the door of corporate America, the wanderer in unfamiliar territory, the only Black guy, the only American. I’ve been there, and I’ve met people who’ve been there and some,” Nixon said.
“In this book, all our stories form one. That’s what makes this book authentic, fun, and relatable. I guarantee this is a travel memoir unlike any before it.”
Like a rollercoaster, Nixon’s memoir is intended to keep readers amused from beginning to end. One minute, a reader might be laughing. Another minute, their heart might be racing, or they may find themselves in deep thought as Nixon chronicles his personal experience with searching for a sense of belonging, coping with the loss of loved ones, being away from family and friends, as well as finding purpose through work.
“This planet is full of people just like you and me. They eat, sleep, and work to stay alive. They have dreams, laugh, cry, and pick their noses when no one is looking – just like you and me. Ultimately, everyone is doing the best they know how to make a living.”
A nature lover, some of Nixon’s favorite travel spots have included the United States’ Yosemite National Park, Machu Picchu in Peru, and Panama’s San Blas Islands. For this avid traveler, his memoir reminds us that the world is full of extraordinary places, and travel is the key that unlocks the doors and allows us to experience those marvels.
“There’s the quote: ‘travel is about the journey, not the destination.’ I’d like to add that it’s also about the people encountered along the journey. Each person contributes to our own experiences and helps us understand the human experience a bit more. It’s from those interactions that I’ve learned to be more intrepid, open-minded, resourceful, thankful, and comfortable with living outside of my comfort zone.”
Writing his memoir has given Nixon an opportunity to express his gratitude to the many people he’s crossed paths with throughout his life as well as enable him to preserve some wonderful memories – all while inspiring readers along the way.
“I want readers to be entertained. Also, I want readers to take away that the ultimate journey is life. Almost anyone can make it worthwhile by pursuing what they believe will bring their life the most satisfaction,” Nixon said. “Things will not always go as planned; however, push forward and make every attempt at finding peace along the way.”
Life Travel And The People In Between is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online retailers. The book can be purchased in e-book, paperback, and hardcover formats.
Next year, Nixon plans to visit his fifth continent, either Africa or Europe. He also looks forward to crossing more experiences off his travel bucket list, including a Tanzanian safari, the salt flats in Bolivia, the northern lights in Norway, floating on the Dead Sea, and relaxing on the beaches of Mauritius.
“Also, I want to visit Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and other places that are less known to tourists on this side of the world.”
You can also follow his travels on Instagram at @brogotravel.