USA Today Review Travel writers put their hearts into it
By Ayesha Court, Special for USA TODAY
Travel can be exhilarating, tiring and sometimes life-changing — like falling in love. This summer, several travel writers have made this connection directly, while another has gathered her essays celebrating her life-long love affair with Europe.
Written by and for twentysomethings, Avoiding Prison is more of an exotic diary than a travelogue — from a time when Wendy Dale was on an emotional roller coaster.
Don't expect cultural description or sightseeing, as Dale is almost entirely self-focused. But even when things get serious, she quickly shifts back to more lighthearted territory, mostly to good effect. Bored with her writer's job (and the corporate cafeteria's weekly specials) at Hughes Aircraft, Dale takes a vacation to see a friend living in Beirut.
Hooked by the heady adrenaline rush of danger mixed with exotic people, she then goes to Cuba and Costa Rica. And though she finds a boyfriend at each stop, it's when Dale visits a prison in Costa Rica that she falls in love with a Columbian man on the inside, and it will change her life.