I read It’s Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels for book club and found it funny at times but ultimately sort of a let-down.
The book is a travel memoir written by a girl who leaves her job in Hong Kong to take a six week bike ride across Spain. As with many books in this genre, the book includes a lot of history woven in about the places she visited. I really enjoyed that, as it gave a well-rounded sense of the areas she visited. At times the narrative is funny, if a little snarky.
At book club, someone asked if Evans changed over the course of the book. Once I finished it (I hadn’t read the whole thing when book club happened but did finish it later) I had to conclude that other than losing some inches due to biking a lot, Evans ended the trip in much the same state she began it, at least from what we can gather in the book.
Truly, not every trip is a voyage in self-discovery, but one would imagine that six weeks spent biking in a foreign country all by oneself would have some effect or one might wonder why to write a book about the trip. I think this was ultimately my issue with It’s Not About the Tapas–at the end of my reading I knew more about Spanish history but didn’t feel like I got much of a narrative.
I did, however, enjoy the concept of combining exercise with travel. I don’t think I’d enjoy biking day in and day out, but I’d love to tromp around the countryside and wind up in a different town with different cuisine every night. I think I’d be terribly lonely going around by myself though so I’d probably take a friend.
If you enjoy travelogues, what is your favorite?
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