Travel Books

why Laura Water’s solo trekking memoir Bewildered is an enticing armchair travel read

The title of the book speaks in two ways about how far Waters has come in both personal growth and mileage. During a solo walk she takes Daniel Boone’s words to heart: “I can’t say how ever I’ve been lost, but I was confused for three days once.”


The title can also be read as wild and refers to Waters’ experience of “rebuilding”; a unity with nature and a lack of investment in the artifacts of civilization. This new perspective is a reward for their considerable efforts, which include navigating a chasm in the wind that likely drove a previous trekker to his death.

No spoiler alert is required for Waters to end the hike. Descriptions of the landscapes she travels through, both rugged and gentle, were highlights of my 2020 chair trip, and all the more enticing given the prospect of New Zealand becoming our first overseas travel option after COVID.

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