Ship Leaves Harbor: Essays on Travel by a Recovering Journeyman

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9780692681336: Ship Leaves Harbor: Essays on Travel by a Recovering Journeyman

Still scarred by the theft of his belongings in Barcelona, the author returns stateside to deal with the trauma and to reclaim his love of travel. Starting with short trips along the eastern U.S. coast, he eventually heads back to Europe with his family, revisiting Paris and exploring a new city, Lisbon.

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Review:

You know that moment when you're seeing your friends for the first timesince they got back from their epic vacation and they start to reach for their vacation photos? It's inevitable,
sometimes exciting, butoften incredibly boring. And, sadly, so are a lot of travel memoirs. But if you're looking to follow one man's travels that won't leave youglancing longingly toward the exit, you can pick up Wesley R. Mullen's Ship Leaves Harbor with full confidence.

Mullen immediately draws you in by treating you as a friend when he lets you in on a little
secret: he had a very bad experience while traveling in Barcelona and it shook him to his core.
"When I ventured back out into the world to travel," he admits, "I found my mind's view of
carefree journeying at odds with the realities of the dangers that could face me."

Ship Leaves Harbor is a fun travel memoir that takes its readers all over the world, from
Pittsburgh to Paris, while also paying special attention to the greater themes of fear and aging,
things most people can relate to on some level. As Mullen reflects, he takes you along on his
adventures. You're there when he enjoys paella in St. Augustine, accidentally sits in a rocking
chair on Jekyll Island (oh no!), and introduces his family to a 400 year oldtree. His explorations are sprinkled with commentary, memories, andhistorical anecdotes and the pace flows right along, urging you to read"just one more chapter".

Mullen's trip to Lisbon is a highlight (though it's difficult to choose just one) and provides the
perfect opportunity to let his skills in creating beautiful mental imagesshine. In the end you will likely be inspired to plan a trip or two ofyour own and you may even gain a bit of insight
into the way you look at the world around you. Not bad for a collection of travel stories, right?

While Mullen never goes into great detail about the bad experience that threatened his beliefs
about travel, you might wonder why he chooses to make it such a mystery. Asyou get closer to the end you keep thinking that all will be revealed in some sort of ultimate moment of trust
between author and reader, but it never comes. A little disappointing, though that
disappointment could be assuaged by a few more paragraphs of reflection at the end of the
book that address our new friend's feelings toward Barcelona, fear, and impending old age.

Ship Leaves Harbor is a wonderful collection of travel stories that are fun, revealing, thought-
provoking, witty, and even educational. Better than your friend's vacation photos any day.
- Rebecca Ross, MyFirstReview.com

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