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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0-9864208-3-2 B00VVXUS1G
  • 235 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0986420801
  • 322 pages
  • $13.99
Hardcover Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0986420818
  • 322 pages
  • $22.99
Wisdom House Books
Service Provider
The Amazing Journey: True Story of a Father and Son's Odyssey Around the World
Grady Hicks, author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

The Amazing Journey is a fast-paced, true story of Grady and Austin Hicks, a father and son who travel the world for twenty-eight days before Austin attends college. Austin is the first of three Hicks children who embark on this globe-trotting tradition with their father. In the spirit of adventure, their route and activities are kept secret—even from family. They complete daily, self-imposed Journey Tasks that deliberately immerse them into cultural authenticity, and far outside their comfort zones. As the journey unfolds, it becomes clear that these travelers are in store for much more than unfamiliar landscapes. From foreign militaries to spiritual clairvoyance, from serious illness to unnerving dares, The Amazing Journey reminds us to connect with people—be it those closest to you or those across the world—to test your limits, and to trust the Journey.
Reviews
Carly Szabo, Back of the Book Reviews

Cross-Cultural Relations and the Beauty of Humanity

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks is an autobiographical tale like none other. Filled with rich history, touching father-son moments and political tension, this book quite literally travels the world around us leaving its readers pontificating over the very real question:  despite all our perceived cultural differences, are we really all that separate from one another?

Taking place in the transitional period between high school and college for his son Austin, author Hicks plans an around the world trip to teach Austin about the diversity of life and impart global wisdom on him before entering his years at university. Moving from the very commercial Hawaii to the more culturally shocking communist China rather quickly, it is interesting to see how young Austin embraces each experience with an open mind. While not necessarily interpreting the world around them on the same political level his father does, the reader begins to see a change in Austin’s perspective of the world around him.

What is most beautiful about this piece of literature is how openly the inhabitants of different countries accept the American tourists, especially in the very politically-charged China. Where one might expect hesitance of outsiders, there is nothing but an eagerness to learn about the differences in our cultures and an acceptance of one another that transcends the geographical boundaries that separate us.

While the book speaks volumes about the diversity of the world and the bonds that can be formed cross-culturally, there are also political undertones that cause the reader to pause and think about the world in which we live. The differences in what “freedom” means to others. The judgments we place on each other’s ways of living without realizing that for them, this is the norm. There is a very real disconnect in the way we view governments outside of our own, and a very real desire on the part of the author to bring peace to all whom he encounters on his journey across the globe.

By the end of this amazing journey, the reader will long to pack their bags and experience the world around them. This story is more than just about the strengthening of a father-son bond; more than just about imparting wisdom on the high school graduate prior to his studies at university. This book explores the differences and similarities within us all, and sheds light on the beauty of humanity rather than the negativity we all tend to feel against one another. This book will make the reader feel compassion for their neighbor like they’ve never before felt. The Amazing Journey will certainly bring out the travel bug in its audience, while instilling a beautiful outlook on the world surrounding them. By learning from each other we can learn more about ourselves and say, “There is still hope for humanity; we just need to open our eyes and our minds and search for it.” And that is exactly what The Amazing Journey will ask of you.  

Deepak Menon, Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks is the dream that every father wants to live at least once in his lifetime. The author has created an original Odyssey comparable in its own way to the journey described in Jules Verne's immortal classic Around the World in 80 Days which the father and son duo proceed to do in this wonderful book, albeit in 28 days. The name of the first chapter itself is “Phineas Fogg and Passepartout,” indicating something of what lies in store for the reader. The formatting is excellent, the story flows fluidly throughout, and there is a vibrant touch of excellence in descriptive writing with a clear and lucid style. 

The Amazing Journey begins with the father and son duo of Grady and Austin departing on the first leg of their around the world journey to Hawaii. Leaving no indication of the route they would follow, they were on their own, mapping their own local routes at each stop as they set out to complete the many 'tasks and challenges' at each destination they have planned. After exploring Hawaii, their journey takes them on hitherto untrod pathways through a maze of culturally different places - through Korea, China, Tibet, Nepal, India etc, with unstinting and illuminating descriptions of different cultures, all the way back home to America. A memorable quote is: “It makes me wonder what creative Tasks and Challenges must be attempted in order to set children off into life,” as the author evaluates the emptiness of communication through technological products with the richness of real life interactions with people across cultures. Because this book is way more than simply being a travelogue with its rich story line and emphatically telling descriptive style, it deserves a 5 star rating.

Gisela Dixon, Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey: Book One by Grady Hicks is nothing short of amazing. Grady Hicks sets out on a world voyage with his eldest son, Austin, and the experience is life-changing for both of them. The father-son duo sets out to explore the world, and thus bond with each other as well as “find” themselves in the process. This is really more of a quest than just your average travel tour. That is part of the reason why the mother and wife, Belinda, is kept out of the loop in the beginning regarding the exact itinerary. Their voyage takes them far and wide and literally ends on the “roof of the world”, a region comprising the Himalayas including Mt. Everest, Tibet, India, Nepal, and the Pamir Mountains among others. During this journey, Grady and Austin deal with people from all walks of life, interact with government officials in various regions, meet with mystics, and more. In fact, after reading this book, I felt that every parent should try to do something like this with their child.

Grady Hicks has written an outstanding travel book and the best part is this is only Book One. Towards the end of this book, Grady states that he has planned similar quests with his other son and his daughter as well, and I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to Book Second and Third in this wonderful series. Grady’s writing style is really simple and genuine that anybody can easily connect with. The actual journey itself is described in a way that brings vivid images to mind and paints a true picture of the places visited. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and especially to all parents out there.

Jack Mangus, Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey Book One: A True story of a father and son's journey around the world is a travel memoir written by Grady Hicks. In 2011, the author's eldest son, Austin, would be graduating from high school and due to start college the following fall. Hicks decided to make the most of some free time while Austin was still at home. The two of them began planning their amazing journey, a 28-day trip around the world. It would be filled with new places to see, challenges to overcome and tasks to be accomplished. No one would know their itinerary but themselves. In June, they set off on their voyage. The knapsacks on their backs contained several changes of clothes, an iPad and other tech gear, and were the only luggage they carried. Their first stop: Hawaii.

Grady Hicks' travel memoir, The Amazing Journey Book One: A True story of a father and son's journey around the world, is a well-written and very entertaining record of a remarkable journey. Grady and Austin eschewed the typical tourist version of world-traveling and created for themselves an unforgettable set of experiences. Armchair adventurers will love seeing Asia and Europe through the eyes of these intrepid travelers. I particularly enjoyed reading of their experiences in Tibet and Nepal, and envied them their early morning views of Mount Everest from the Base Camp. The Amazing Journey is also special because the author records his son's coming of age and his own delight in seeing a diffident teen expand his world view and getting to know him as a man. What a marvelous journey The Amazing Journey is! It's highly recommended.

Jane Finch, Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey by Grady Hicks is the story of a twenty-eight-day journey he takes with his son, Austin. But not just any journey. After much planning, the pair set off on not just a trip, but an adventure. A trip that was all the more intriguing because the locations were kept a secret from the family waiting back home. This was to be an experience that neither father nor son would forget. Traversing oceans and continents to stand in awe at the foot of Mount Everest is a feat in itself, let alone the journey to Nepal and the people and cultures experienced along the way. The author’s descriptions of the many unexpected situations they encountered, coupled with the viewpoint of Austin in the epilogue, makes this book so much more than a travelogue. 

I didn’t expect this book to be so packed full of the unexpected, making it almost fictional in its telling. This journey was truly a life-changing experience for both father and son, and the way that they resolved problems and worked together towards their ultimate goal is amazing. This is the stuff that memories are made of. I thought it a great addition that Austin had added his take on the journey, showing the impact those twenty-eight days had on both of them. For both the author, Grady Hicks, and his son, Austin, this was a learning and life experience that could not be bettered in the classroom. Truly a page-turning read but, on reflection, I would rather have tucked up in front of a cosy fire and let Grady and Austin tell me about their amazing journey. This is a book that will appeal to any aspiring traveller.

Jeannette Nikolova, Wondrous Books Blog

It truly is an amazing journey.

I received The Amazing Journey through NetGalley for an honest review and once again, visiting the GoodReads page, I’m shocked that I’m one of the few who have expressed interest. I should state that I’m not even a big fan of memoirs, neither do I often read non-fiction books.

But I do love travel, listening about travel, watching pictures and so on. I honestly don’t think that there is something as amazing to do as to see the world. In my opinion not even reading is as marvelous, simply because when one is reading as book, they are imagining themselves having the same adventures. Traveling – that’s living the adventure.

Grady Hicks and his son Austin plan a trip before Austin goes to college – they start from their home in Texas, then travel to Hawaii, after that they have a short stop in South Korea, then China, Tibet, Nepal, India, England, France and home again. FAN-TAS-TIC!

Honestly, if I were offered the opportunity to do this trip, I’d be on the plane as fast as you can say “plane”.

The most amazing thing about this book is that it’s sort of like a guidebook, but also filled with many personal views of the places the Hicks visit, recommendations and must-see’s. If I were to find myself in any of the places they visited that I haven’t been to, I’d definitely reference the book about places and restaurants, as Grady and Austin seem to always have a very good luck with the places where they can grab a bite.

This is not a book about struggle, although there is some, nor is it about saving the world, one African country at a time.

This is a book about exploring, about embracing the world and the variety of people and cultures there are out there. It’s a great trip through many different nations with different political and belief systems.

Caution: it can make you want to pack your bags, sell your house and go to Nepal or something. 

One of the things that made a great impression on me in The Amazing Journey, was actually Austin Hick’s behaviour. At first, I’d have to be honest and say that he was super annoying. I’m probably the same age as he is, and yet I’m not a brain-dead texting machine. I do text, but not for a moment would I think about spending half my trips in Hawaii and China texting. I was really hoping that he’d go through some sort of a catharsis and that he did, or at least I hope so. The scene with the pencil was quite endearing. I can’t be sure that his dad didn’t idealize him a bit, including his thoughts at the end of the book, but I’d be kind of proud of him if he managed to change his views a bit. It really bothers me that there are so many people in my generation and younger who have ABSOLUTELY no idea what’s going on in the world. People who just have it all and are not even giving any value to the things they have.

Mamta Madhavan, Readers' Favorite

The Amazing Journey Book One: True Story of a Father and Son's Journey Around the World by Grady Hicks is an exciting adventure of a father and son who take an intellectual and spiritual journey for twenty-eight days without revealing their complete plans to their immediate family. The book takes readers along with Grady and Austin through many diverse landscapes and cultures. The journey connects to readers physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and takes both Grady and Austin to new lessons in life, new observations and stretching beyond their own limits. The poignant and thought provoking moments and incidents in the book will broaden the perspective of readers, especially those who love traveling and discovering new places.

I found the book exhilarating, and packed with adventure, a sense of optimism and excitement. The descriptions are detailed and the author has methodically described from the planning stages to the traveling part and finally the completion of the trip, giving readers a feeling of being there and experiencing it in person. Traveling, seeing new places, and experiencing different cultures and cuisines is an education in itself and the book tells us the valuable lessons learned by Grady and Austin.

The story is motivational and inspires readers to take up challenges and tasks in life for personal growth. The book helps in understanding life, learning new things through traveling, and the value of personal interaction instead of connecting through gadgets and keyboards. I can't wait to read about their next journey!

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0-9864208-3-2 B00VVXUS1G
  • 235 pages
  • $9.99
Paperback Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0986420801
  • 322 pages
  • $13.99
Hardcover Details
  • 06/2015
  • 978-0986420818
  • 322 pages
  • $22.99

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