REVIEW: Castlegar author, world traveler

Rosemary Manarin’s book All in a Journey takes us on several personal journeys around the world

Young Rosemary Manarin, world traveler, in a garden in India. Photo: Submitted

Young Rosemary Manarin, world traveler, in a garden in India. Photo: Submitted

Local writer Rosemary Manarin’s book All in a Journey takes us on several personal journeys around the world – all done when she was a young woman following her desire to seek and to find new realms beyond her life growing up on Vancouver Island. Clearly you’ll enjoy each episode of travel as she describes moving from one country to another. You may be startled when you read about how she was able to do so.

I’ve known Rosemary Manarin for a number of years, mostly as a person involved in causes, especially of those less fortunate that needed help. I knew that Rosemary traveled to other countries quite a bit with church-related and humanitarian groups. Those trips are outlined near the end of the book. However, what I didn’t know until I read her book is that she has been a traveler all her life – and that she traveled world-wide while a very young woman.

Her mode of travel is unusual and fraught with possible danger – hitchhiking. In various chapters she hitchhikes around Europe, across southeast Asia, and many places in between. Many of us would not take the risks she did as a young woman in countries where she didn’t know the language or understand the culture. But that is why she went – to get to know other people on this earth and learn how they live.

One of her first chapters is Hitch-hiking Days, Practise First. She and a girlfriend, Nancy, dreamed about traveling the world, and so they began their journey in their early twenties. Their practice hitchhiking took place across Canada in 1967 with all sorts of exciting rides with interesting people and new communities to explore along the way.

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At the beginning, they set rules to protect themselves: only get rides with single men rather than two, and ask the driver where he or she was going and then decide. Later in her hitchhiking travels in out-of-the-way spots, Rosemary stuck to these rules, and she rarely had a problem. Rides were plentiful in her days of travel, and she gloried in moving on from place to place – Gibraltar one day, Tangier, Morocco the next.

In between of course, she and whatever friends she attached herself to took trains, rode buses, and occasionally took a plane. One of her main strategies was in fact to attach herself to another traveler – male or female. She would arrive at a youth hostel and actually inspect the other young travelers for someone who might make a good traveling companion. Throughout the book, she highlights her travels by commenting upon her various traveling companions – most willing to hitchhike and most willing to sleep outdoors or in vehicles or sheds as the case may be.

Near the end of her book, Rosemary Manarin states that she simply followed her dream, and in her youth she was incredibly happy experiencing whatever happened. Later on, she tells the reader her attitude of helping people from less-developed countries comes from having seen what they didn’t have in contrast to the abundance available in Canada.

Rosemary’s book was a delightful follow-me travelog enhanced by photos inserted in key spots. That her mother kept all her detailed notes and journal entries and postcards made it possible for Rosemary to recreate her early travels for us to enjoy. All in the Journey is available from the author or at the Kootenay Gallery of Art.

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