Grounded by Seth Stevenson


Grounded is a travel memoir written by Seth Stevenson, chronicling his circumnavigation of the earth without using any aircraft. The book takes readers back to a time when travel meant putting one foot in front of the other, racing to make connections between trains and buses in remote transit stations, and wading through the chaos that most long-haul travelers experience.

The author and his girlfriend deliberately avoided flying on their trip to reconnect with the primal vastness of the earth. They decided to go only by pre-Wright Brothers transport, renouncing the jet’s lofty perspective for the more sluggish and archaic ship, train, bicycle, motor scooter, and automobile.

The book recounts the couple’s progress over five months after they said goodbye to their professional lives in Washington, D.C., and steered a global course guided by this nostalgic premise.

The book’s main themes include the joys and hassles of traveling the old-fashioned, human way, the exotic nature of journeys by boat, train, and bus, and the charm of a nostalgic feel. The author is an excellent traveling companion, observant and appreciative, with a lovely turn of phrase.

What I Liked

This book is one of my favorite travel books. I love the gimmick and everything that comes from it. The takeaway is a bit cliche, but very true.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – great travel book.

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