Descending the Cairo Side, a novel of the traveling life by Kit Herring
Danny White is a young man who falls off the continent of Europe into Morocco, becoming a true vagabond. He begins his story in Descending the Cairo Side, “I didn’t know how long the journey would take, what exactly my route would be, or with whom I might share the adventure. I took no guide books; any expectations obtained from advance research would only hinder the spontaneous nature of the experience.” His meandering tour introduces him to culture and memorable places including campsite, sweaty bus rides, new lovers and new friends.
Kit Herring’s first novel inspired me to take a camel safari in Merzouga, Morocco and will inspire the reader to think about travel, to get out and travel and to read more about travel and political situations.
Herring’s work reminds the reader of Paul Theroux’s books where the traveler’s senses are inspired by lush surroundings. When he writes: “The shouts of children and touts, calls from the muzzeins in the mosques, throbbing antique motors, and a complete din of human activity all assaulted my ears. I was completely entranced…” I wanted to be in that scene. While reading, I had to remind myself the story was not yet a movie.
Herring skillfully shows us situations and travelers who make a large range of choices and have run-ins with locals, police and other nefarious characters. Danny White’s conclusion that “the law does not care to distinguish intentions from actions, and we are judged not by how we see ourselves, but rather by what effects our actions have on others,” could be about the law in any country and how we fit into our own society or another we are visiting in our travels.
Descending the Cairo Side grapples with choices we all must make whether we stay at home or choose to travel. And whom we choose to love. What actions are worthy of our time and attention? As a society, we often feel constrained to make the correct choices without landmarks for what is right and wrong. At a time when so many people spend their time in online communities with no human contact, it is refreshing to read about characters boldly setting out to discover new territory in far away lands. In the end, Herring tells us more about who we are and where we started from, than about the new lines we draw on our map.
While traveling we learn about ourselves and while he says, “so never mind the insecurities and fear. Sometimes trusting strangers is the best option of all,” most travelers really learn to trust themselves. I relate so well when he says, “Who can say what happens when we interrupt our lives with new choices and take a sudden detour?” Travel allows us the opportunity not only to explore new places but new parts of ourselves, to fully become the person we are meant to be.
Descending the Cairo Side, published for the first time this month (October 2010), is available as an e-book on Amazon.com.
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After exploring 99 countries and sailing for seven years on the high seas, Lisa Niver is ready for more active adventures! Find her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.25 million views on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and YouTube.
Her stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra and WWII for Saturday Evening Post and Smithsonian. She is verified on both Twitter and Facebook and is the Adventure Correspondent for The Jet Set TV.
Her latest projects are 50 new things before she is 50 and Facebook Live for USA Today 10best. She has run 13 Travel Writing Awards publishing nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries and this summer is the first We Said Go Travel Photo Competition.
She was a winner in the 59th annual 2016 Southern California Journalism Awards for her print column in The Jewish Journal. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans with American Express and Starwood Hotels.
She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize and a finalist in two categories for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards.