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Travel with a Stranger

More often, news to us is someone's memories.

Every time we look into someone else's story, it vibrates a feeling that we are going through the journey right beside that particular someone. From different walks in life, we meet at one point, made possible through books written by authors who have the talent to prompt readers to stories we might never own in this lifetime. Tracy Smith is one of those authors, prominent in her written work.

Tracy's book "Dear Chums! I am in Kazakhstan!" published in 2012, came about when she was out in Aktau, Kazakhstan, which has been her boyfriend's (now husband) workplace for over ten years and a place where she used to travel regularly because of her job in Human Resource. The book's contents are a series of letters to family and friends, which depicts an account of her specific real experiences (others exaggerated and fictional) while in the country and recounts some of the cultural differences she noticed and experienced between Kazakhstan and the UK ̶ a country familiar to her.

Tracy, though never lived in Kazakhstan for over three months, has come to love Aktau. She still gets acquainted with the Kazakh friends she met during her regular visit. Her journey became memories, but it clung to her heart, and for every new reader, it appears as a piece of news.

As a genuine believer in enjoying life, she's adept at telling stories enticingly and amusingly while maintaining a simplistic nature. Some readers account for this by giving her book positive feedback:

"Amusing book!... I Will read more of her books. (Grieve, 2013)", "I loved the book. It made me laugh out loud,… I can imagine sitting in a bar with Tracy drinking champagne and laughing at her experiences. It is a short and entertaining read. (Jolly, 2021)", "This is a hoot from start to finish!… Read it with a glass of wine and imagine yourself alongside!" (Rebecca, 2021).

Just like our author, who loves to travel, the constraints brought upon by the pandemic could have devastated many adventurers. However, we can still wander with no risks; just as the saying goes, travel at your own expense! If you're into visuals, indulge yourself with photographs and videos featuring the places you'd love to visit, and if you're a bibliophile, you know what to pick.

Though not intended as a travel guide, Tracy's experiences in the book "Dear Chums! I am in Kazakhstan!" will welcome you to the world's largest landlocked country in Central Asia and some of the Kazakhs' culture while having a light-hearted-read.

In the beginning, as a reader who indulges in knowing an author's story, you allow yourself to travel with a stranger. As you engage deeper, you become a witness to a part of her life that is a by-product of her memories. In the end, you'll discover something new by which undeniably is an author's delight.

Follow and know more about her by visiting her social media accounts: Twitter: @tracy00378913 Facebook: Tracy Sheard

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