Book Reviews

What people are saying about the My Senior Gap Year Book

*****  "...It's very readable and an inspiring tale on how to overcome life's inevitable obstacles. I loved this book! It inspired me to have my own year off work and live life. Chris is a funny and humble man who not only had some big adventures but made a difference along the way...enjoy fellow lovers of life..." - Shelley Griffiths

"I managed to finish your book tonight. It was fantastic. I loved following your adventures and it was so well written. Having known you through the BJC it was easy to also visual your experiences and facial expressions that would have come with them . Of course you would have to include a innovative way for your readers to view your trip first hand as well. Brilliant just brilliant  :)" - Lisa Pietrus

***** "Travelling: it leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller ... and that sums up Chris' book. I loved the potted history of the countries he visited and the whole concept of a gap year ... my only question ... why just a year???" - Dee Mitchell

"I found your book a very enjoyable page turner! Your musings on people, culture and environment are very perceptive and empathetic. I felt you let me share glimpses of your life of decency and kindness. The beautiful photographs I was able to appreciate through the QR code reader was a big unexpected bonus." - Yong Cheong

"Half way through your book, can't put it down! Its great!" - Mark Horwood

*****  "Absolutely loved it, lots of laughs on your wit. It was very adventurous of you and you done it well. Wanted myself to get out there and do more! We are going to Europe in 4 weeks time but not quite to the extent that you did. Russell is now reading the book. Congratulations on a wonderful, adventurous achievement." - Barbara Dunstan

*****  "Absolutely awesome! I find myself in a similar situation to Chris, going through the same range of evaluation.....logic vs emotion. We are never too old. Don't let your dreams be dreams, just do it. Thanks Chris." - Dennis Hoy

*****  “My Senior Gap Year is a readable and exciting tale; the author shares the background to his journey and the impetus for setting off into the unknown. His sociological observations bring a wry smile as we recognise the same behaviours in ourselves, eg, the ‘territorial behaviour’ of airline passengers over the armrests that divide the seating. Similarly, the urge to quickly create new routines for ourselves in novel settings while ostensibly having a break from routine! Although he did not present his gap year as such, Chris Herrmann’s travel with limited planning, could also be seen as a way of dealing with grief and loss. Find a challenge, he says – a big Challenge, one that will demand a great deal of attention and focus. And energy! Reflecting on the author’s journey, I realised that I had done something similar at almost the same age, and for the same reason, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time. What I did was not as adventurous as the story recounted here, but it was a big Challenge for me to do on my own. I built a house – in a new suburb! What these Challenges seem to do is to create space around personal loss through their intense demand for time and attention. The focus required prevents one from being overly absorbed in the pain of loss. The immediacy of the new challenge and the attention required to cope with it, pushes the loss into the background and allows it to be processed at a rate that is emotionally bearable. At the same time, meeting the challenge builds confidence in one’s ability to survive. Chris Herrmann’s recounting of his year of travel provides an entertaining, educational and satisfying read." - Heather Lamont

***** "Top 10 Travel Tips? More like Top 100! This report from the Senior Gap Man (or I should say Senor Gap Man) is full of invaluable and helpful information for travelers of all ages. Parents of college graduates who are about to take off on their own gap year would be very wise to share it with their youngsters. I haven't yet been able to read the book but I followed Senor Chris' blog during his trip and often wondered quite how he managed to survive all of the challenges he faced around the world. Now I know how he did it, and the information he provides in this report is priceless. A must-read for anyone getting ready to venture beyond the beaten path". - Steve Banner

***** "Delightful and very enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing Chris." - Joe Pica

***** "If you love travel or even reading or dreaming about travel then read 'My Senior Gap Year'. It's full of advice, tips, facts and history and insightful observations and amusing stories. It encourages you to follow that road less travelled and to step out from your comfort zone. Maybe that's solo travel for the first time or simply having minimal plans. To experience the unknown and to dig deep when the unexpected happens. I'm thinking of the pop-up ATM cash machine! Chris engages with all he meets and the communities he visits and you feel that you're along for the ride. Using a QR scanning App you're able to follow this unique journey through photo and video clips. With access to a free report on 'Travel Tips and Tips to Save Money' it really is a great buy." - Helen Rabone

***** - Ros Byfieldt

***** "Loved the book, Chris is able to paint a very vivid picture and it almost feels like you are there." - Kay Svensson

***** "I found this book very easy to read and whilst taking a lighthearted look at traveling as a senior a lot of practical advice was provided. Not being that tech savy the bar scanner did pose some problems."- Les Marrable

***** "Congratulations Chris on an informative book of your year of travel. I enjoyed your description of the landscape and history of each country you visited. The amazing people of all ages you encountered and communicated with. To see an opportunity on a mining site to salvage new bedding that was being disposed of with the help of Rotary was a testament to your humanity. Then to visit the orphanage in Thailand and see the bedding in use and be personally thanked is showing the reader what one person can achieve. The book makes you want to get out of your comfort zone and see the world. I highly recommend the book!" - Rhonda Kremmer

***** "After attending the Book Launch of My Senior Gap Year I was very keen to get home and start reading the book I had just purchased. Once I started reading I found it hard to put down. Each chapter was filled with such interesting information and Chris writes in a conversational style that made it very entertaining. Each chapter is accompanied by QR codes that open to reveal videos and photos which add another dimension to the stories so vividly described by Chris. One could almost feel as if you were accompanying him on his amazing journey. The Top Ten Travel Tips, which accompany the book provide excellent, practical advice in regard to Travel arrangements, finance and communication. The pages are full of wonderful ideas and express a sense of positivity which is quite inspiring. I loved the book and thanks for the beer cake recipe!" - Anita Howard

***** "Chris Herrmann is a modern day Meriwether Lewis. Not content with just visiting places, he immerses himself in the cultures of his various destinations. His respect for his fellow humans, and his appreciation for the differences as well as the similarities between us all, coupled with his ability to adapt to almost any situation, and laugh at himself when plans go awry, make him a natural wanderer. A wonderful read!" - Doug Greene

****"Enjoyable, easy reading" - Anonymous

***** "Inspiring read. So well written. Feels like your there. A code to show pictures at the end of each chapter is a great addition. Well done Chris - Tim Gordon

****"Chris, I admire your courage for both completing this journey and for the writing and publishing of this book. You have given me much food for thought and much insight into what lies out there for those game enough to pursue. Your references to Helen are very moving - she would be so proud of you - as I am." - Judi Sweatman

****"A very good read Chris but a thought that going to more detail would have made the book excellent. has wet my appetite for more traveling" - Robert Mulhern

***** "Congratulations on a well written book, Chris. An excellent read and I felt as though I was also on the journey. Funny, witty, moving and above all, a great inspiration. The Humanitarian work you organised and participated in is a reflection of your personality. Well done and I look forward to hearing about your future adventures." - Christine Cormier

"I found your book a very interesting read, not at all what I expected, but it was different, revealing your rare sense of humour, deep thinking, obvious care for our planet and its people, with overall a great ability to tell a good story, with a real message. We both found the presence of your Helen with you on the coach tour on her birthday very touching and meaningful!" - Rod & Judith Dunbar

"Good read, good tips." - Dennis Hoy

"LOVED it Chris! The encouragement offered in the final paragraphs will get us all up and grabbing our backpacks. I love your very honest sense of humor and humbly making fun of yourself! The scene of the granny on your back giving you that massage - I was shrieking with laughter at the airport!" - Charmaine Wheatley

"Chris, who is in his early sixties, lost his wife to cancer about 3 years ago. He decided he would take a senior “gap” year and go backpacking. Having made this decision, purchased an around the world three stop open flight airline ticket covering 12 months. The idea being that would give him flexibility to stay in new destinations for as long or as little as required.
His journey took him to Europe, North America, Central America, South America, South East Asia. Most of the backpackers he met were the young and the restless so to speak. As a senior he was a bit of a standout. The book is not long, and is not just a travelogue, but gives his personal insights from a mature age perspective. He has also included brief photo and video clips with each chapter using the QR scanning app. The book is entertaining, and insightful. A good read. Well crafted and descriptive without going over the top." - Jon Lawrence

"My Senior Gap Year is a journey not a destination or a bag full of stuff. An unexpected change to the journey of life leads the Author to reject 100 reasons why not to go and only one prompt that said GO. Twelve months, twenty three countries, one hundred and twenty two different places of abode, screeds of people and uncountable heart connections later, a hilarious journey of teaching about the way we view the world and what we can do about that evolved.
Excellent use of visual input takes you to the moment and destination... and the shirt that remains the same in most shots, after being washed daily I am told... is testament to the human need for waste. Delightful quick wit in predicaments exposes the Aussie Ocker message of Chris Herrmann's clever book." - Linda Henderson (Autumn Leaves Books and Writing)

A brilliant detailed descriptive account of his travels. The historical events are beautifully told, about the people, places, events & occurrences. It was nice to bring in his family stories that tied in so nicely with events throughout the journey. And so poignantly and sensitively expressed, such as “you are not alone”. One gets a real sense of the urgency and anxiety with some of the difficulties and dangers encountered, such as the border crossing drug check, the loss of wallet resulting in no cash and the hairy motor bike ride in Myanmar. Through his travels, he also heightens our awareness and concerns of significant social issues such as drugs, terrorism and waste, especially plastics. Chris’s hope is more will get up to go and explore and enjoy the pleasures of sampling other cultures, their customs, traditions and the wonderful experiences and values it will give them. - Wendy Howlett

I really enjoyed the whole tale. Your concluding chapter rounded the journey up beautifully. Your book is about a man and not just his travels. It has many layers, in the way you have written it. Many thought provoking comments and moments. I am a fan! Loved it! - Linda Claydon

Congratulations Chris. I enjoyed the read and the video commentaries. I love reading travel. What stood out was your style of speaking to the reader rather than a literary exercise. The humour in all your situations also gives a light-hearted overview. I particularly enjoyed it when you brought into the journey your in depth personal reflections and experiences. I can relate to your journey having enjoyed the similar culturally immersive style of travel. Particularly the many benefits of solo travelling. Thank you for sharing your gap year. Don’t stop now! - Maureen Roberts

"Following your journey was exciting. To read the book was inspiring. A great example of getting on with life no matter what life throws at you." - Nicole Campbell

"Sometime we are lucky to have someone who comes into our life quite unexpectedly and they leave a big impression, well that for us was Mr H. 
We meet him early on in his travel in Valencia Spain,we thought he was very brave in embarking on a gap year let alone a senior one, is there any difference apart from the practicalities of knowing you are not immortal and the concern of falling sick without the heath service most of us are lucky enough to enjoy. This book is a joy he gives the right flavour of a country with the history but its the human stories that really let you get under the skin and with the amazing photos showing the beautiful and enchanting side of a place as well as often the harsh reality of war torn countries and environmental conditions. So for those who are simply not brave enough to take a senior gap year this is the perfect book to get lost in or maybe pass on to someone younger to ignite their interest in travel and then maybe they too will see how big the world really is." - Sheila & Peter West (Valencia Spain)

"I found this book inspiring and moving. Chris through his travels created an awareness of world issues often not appreciated by those who remain within their comfort zone. A very brave and comprehensive narration of a journey undertaken through true love of family and friendship." - Judi Sweatman

***** "Chris is a magnificent example of a human being. His warmth, friendship and always-do-the-right-thing attitude makes his story all the more special. He writes with self depreciating humour and frankness that makes his book an easy and uplifting read." - Shane

*****  "An inspirational book for us middle aged boring bastards moving toward a boring retirement. It gives you faith that you really can live life to the full whilst traveling to all sorts of exciting destinations. I loved it." - Tracy Bishop

***** "An excellent read. I enjoyed reading about Chris’ adventure. His story is about how young you choose to feel rather than how old you actually are which often stops us from doing what we otherwise could be enjoying." - Jannice Middleton

"....I wanted to thank you and let you know you have inspired me and influenced me. My kids are so proud of me and I know I have happy adventures ahead..." - Jeni Walsh...."

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