Julie L. Kessler
lawyer traveler writer

Book Club Questions


  1. What was your favorite story or chapter in the book? Why?
  2. Have you ever had an “ambassador like” feeling akin to that discussed in Chapter 1 while traveling? What was it you defended while traveling away from home? Did you defend a different position after returning home?
  3. Have you ever felt that you have been your own harshest critic? In what circumstances?
  4. In Chapter 4, the author discusses the graduation ceremony at a Filipino orphanage which left an unexpected and lasting impression following a bizarre travel mishap. Have you had your own personal miracle which altered your way of thinking about a given experience?
  5. Do you have an equivalent item to the author’s Big Apple spoon? If so, what did it represent for you when you received it? What does that item represent for you now?
  6. Have you had a personal experience which counters the concept that ignorance is bliss?
  7. If you shared or now share your life with a pet, what is your wildest pet story?
  8. Do you have a childhood experience that resurfaced as an adult in a way you didn’t expect? How so?
  9. In Chapter 16, the author discusses the “General” in some detail. Have you ever had a person like that in your life? How did you deal with him or her at the time? How do you feel about that person now?
  10. In Chapter 23, the author discusses a very difficult decision she had to make about her half brother. If you had been in the author’s shoes then, do you think you would have made the same decision she did? Why or why not?
  11. The author recounts several stories where food played a central role in both her upbringing and many travel stories. What role does food play and what impact has it had in your own cultural/family arena?
  12. In Chapter 40, the author discusses having to leave an important person behind as an “unintentional evolution” in life. Is there someone in your life who was left behind? If so, at the time it happened, were you completely convinced you were following the right path? How do you feel about that now?
  13. What is your single biggest time thief in your life that you would like to rein in? What would you do with the extra time you saved?
  14. Can you identify something (not too fattening and not illegal) that you could do every day for 15 minutes which would bring you a great deal of pleasure?
  15. Was there a time in your life when you flew a different direction than the flock did? How did you feel about that then? Did it turn out to be the right decision for you in the clarity of hindsight?
  16. Is there something you have always wanted to do or try but haven’t?  Why not?