Taking the Risk: My Adventures in Travel and Publishing

by Hilary Bradt

£20.00

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    Non Fiction - Travel

    Hardback

    9781804691847

    Published by Bradt Travel Guides

    Published May 2024

    Taking the Risk is Hilary Bradt’s engaging, insightful, amusing and sometimes alarming memoir about serendipitous adventures in travel and publishing. A travel industry trail-blazer who co-founded Bradt Guides, Hilary looks back on 50 years of escapades, surprises, mishaps, disasters. and success. From her first solo trip aged three (on a British beach), she revisits six decades of hitchhiking, feeding the travel habit by working abroad, and starting a successful travel publishing company where knowing nothing proved a surprising asset.

    Barely into her twenties, Hilary Bradt thumbed lifts around the Middle East for three months before spending four years working and travelling in the US. Between 1973 and 1976 Hilary explored, and worked in, South America and Africa with her then husband George, often journeying through literally uncharted territory in their quest to find new hiking routes. The discovery of an ancient trail to Machu Picchu unexpectedly inspired their first guidebook.

    From 1977 the pair wrote several backpacking guides, and set up Bradt Guides. This was just as well, because Hilary’s career in occupational therapy ended when potential employers noticed that time taken off for travel exceeded periods of employment. During the 1980s, Bradt Guides grew and became successful – but that didn’t stop Hilary travelling, including as a tour leader.

    Join Hilary as she relives in detail the rigours of travel before the days of the internet or mobile phones, including smuggling her husband across an international border and frequently getting arrested despite efforts to be responsible tourists. Learn how Hilary’s lack of experience made the early days of publishing quite unlike those of any other successful publisher. Laugh (or cry) at Hilary’s ability to court media disasters while seeking the limelight, including waving around condoms on BBC TV.

    Taking the Risk comprises the collected stories of an inveterate, intrepid traveller whose joyous exploration of the world has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people – anyone who has owned a Bradt Guide. A unique book from a unique individual, it will delight anyone who has ever travelled or ever wondered what goes into making the books we read.

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