Jeremiah A. Gilbert
Can’t Get Here from There: Fifty Tales of Travel
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What is your book about?
Can’t Get Here from There contains travel tales from over forty countries spread across five continents. From a birthday weekend spent in Paris with no money or passport to a camel-jacking in Cairo and being smuggled across a checkpoint in Bolivia, these tales offer exotic locations and out of the ordinary experiences. Some experiences go more smoothly than others.
What inspired you to write your book?
When lockdowns began in early 2020 and I had to cancel upcoming trips to Fiji, New Zealand, and Peru, I realized international travel was going to be out of the question for some time. In the summer of 2019, I had begun writing a series of travel tales for a newly designed personal website. As I wasn’t going to be able to travel for the foreseeable future, I thought I might as well keep writing them and compile them into a collection.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am a college professor, so my weekdays are typically spent preparing coursework and helping students. On weekends, I tend to work on creative endeavors, usually writing or photography. Since 2006, I have used my breaks to travel the world. I’m nearing a hundred countries and am itching to get back out there.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I have always enjoyed teaching and am very happy that it has afforded me the time to travel. I did once try to travel while teaching as I was teaching online but found it became more about finding wifi and less about enjoying the sites, so I never did it again.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
There are some incredible travel books out there. Two of my favorites are Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard and Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar. Adam Fletcher has a very enjoyable Weird Travel Book series, which begins with Don’t Go There: From Chernobyl to North Korea. And Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air is not only an amazing read but helped me feel content to just admire Mount Everest from base camp rather that thinking of climbing it.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
I’m a believer in priorities and persistence. Travel is a priority for me, so a lot of my planning and budgeting revolves around that. If I take on an extra class, it’s usually to help pay for an upcoming trip. I also try to find time to work on my photography or writing whenever I can, whether that be on weekends or in the evening. Schedules help, though one needs to be flexible as things don’t always go according to plan.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
While I am a college mathematics professor, I have published four poetry collections over the years and my photography has been exhibited internationally.
What’s next for you?
I’m finalizing a collection of early travel journals that cover my first few years of travel, beginning with Tibet in 2006 and ending with Egypt in 2010. With any luck, it will be coming out in early 2022.