This is not your grandfather's idea of a travel book.
Swimming to Angola is a gregarious look at how to help improve Third World conditions, and make it back home safely from 96 countries -- with all limbs hopefully attached in the right places.
It tells what to do if challenged by machine gun-waving security forces, or if Gypsies are getting a little too close for comfort. Readers can learn how to drive from the USA down to South America, or even the length of the African continent.
Tips include how to manage local currency fluctuations to get the best values, while avoiding a myriad of scams that are designed to separate travelers from their resources.
The destinations in these pages have rarely, if ever, made it to those high-gloss volumes of global travel literature. And for a good -- or at least logical -- reason: most people in so-called 'advanced' countries looking for 'exotic' locales to spend time in, normally wouldn't want to go here. These are places that we might consider deep in poverty and hopelessness, where civil wars rage, where dictators confiscate land for their own use, where babies starve, and where travel itself is crimped by men in battle fatigues carrying automatic rifles.
It also highlights real danger, moments when less luck or less wise on-the-spot decisions might have been life threatening. However, this is an occupational hazard for any hardy world traveler with a yen to veer off the well-beaten path.
Traveling light in the pocketbook, in fact, is one of the rules of this book -- the reason being that you don't want to stand out and become a target, especially in the Third World. Being Western looking enough as it is, you don't need a sign around the neck reading: "Free money for everybody, right here."