Flat Stanley Inspired Travels

Do you know the Flat Stanley books?

These fictional books are fun stories about Stanley, who was a regular boy until he got flattened by a bulletin board that fell on his bed. Since then he’s had amazing adventures because he fits under doors and through mail slots.



My dream is for my grandsons to be able to travel, albeit it not in a flattened state. I’d love it if, one day, they can come along on some of my travels to schools around the world. I would dearly love to show them Hong Kong, have them meet kids in Cambodia or see life in Dubai. One day I hope I can realize this dream. But for now, I decided to take two flat grandchildren with me on my latest trip.

The boys each coloured a ‘flat Nico’ and a ‘flat Aidan’, giving them the clothes they were wearing that day, as well as an attractive hairdo.
The two flat boys were tucked neatly in our daypack and they came along on the airplane!















They made new friends in a school in Cambodia and visited one of the most amazing sites in the world: the Angkor Wat temple complex.
















Flat Aidan and Flat Nico made a trip on a wooden boat on the Mekong river but mostly they loved the white sand beach of Koh Rong in southern Cambodia.

Then the flat boys visited Hong Kong - they saw skyscrapers and a metropolis of apartment buildings and green hill sides. They saw the Star Ferry and bowls of rice with chicken.


Peace is achieved when people make friends, when cultures understand and respect each other. My dream is to help my grandsons make friends around the world. I can’t wait for that to happen. 

Fun Books for (grown-up) Reading

Usually I share children's books with you here.
This time, I'd like to bring your attention to some books that I have really enjoyed reading for myself. If you are looking for fun reads during spring break or for summer holidays, you might want to try these. If, like me, you not only like reading but traveling as well, you'll really enjoy these (true!) stories.

Two Old Fools series by Victoria Twead.
The first book in this series is called Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools. Victoria and her husband are British but tired of English rain and uncertain summers. They decide to make a major life style change by moving to Spain, where they buy a funky house in a small hillside village.
Throughout the series, you get to know all of the characters in the (real) village: the mayor who has the hots for Victoria, the shopkeeper who loves gossip, the old and the young Spanish people as well as the mules and dogs around the village.

The series is hilarious and as comfortable as a pair of summer sandals. In Two Old Fools on a Camel you go along with Joe and Victoria as they spend a year teaching abroad in Bahrain during a tumultuous time in the Middle East.
Eventually, in Two Old Fools in Turmoil, they move countries again and you will recognize your own travel experiences in her descriptions of lost luggage and paper trails.
All titles are available as e-books.
Check out:
https://www.victoriatwead.com

I was also excited to come across books by Brigid Keenan.
Diplomatic Baggage, The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse is a pretty hilarious account of life as a diplomat's wife in various countries, including Kazakhstan.
Her follow-up title is Packing Up, Further Adventures of a Trailing Spouse. These are fun books about travel and new experiences in different countries, books that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The next book that was an eye opener for me. A woman, turn of the century, traveling alone into the Middle East. She became instrumental in the establishing of the borders of Syria. She was the female Lawrence of Arabia but likely more important to history. She advised Churchill on politics of the Middle East. I loved this book: Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert by Georgina Howell. Hope you will be fascinated with this true story also. Like many good books, it was made into a movie with Nicole Kidman as Gertrude Bell. But... the book is always better.




And, if you love books as much as I do, have you read The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer? Also an amazing true story of how caring historians and librarians saved important ancient Arabic scrolls and books from destruction by Al Qaeda. Learn how an underground network smuggled and moved these important documents throughout northwest Africa in hopes of saving them for future generations. A true, nail biting adventure.

Happy Reading!

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