Travel Writer’s Memoir Puts A Personal Meaning On Departures
Mark Chesnut is well known in the travel media industry for his bylines in many trade and consumer publications and his blog on Latin American travel. LatinFlyer.com.
But recently Chesnut published a new paper that takes a completely different tack. It focuses on his lifelong relationship with his late mother, Eunice Chesnut.
in the “Preparing for Departure: Notes on a Single Mother, an Misfit Son, Inevitable Mortality, and the Enduring Allure of Frequent Flyer Miles” (Vine Leaves Press, 2022) Chesnut delves into childhood and adult memories, most of which relate to his mother. In a Q&A with Forbes, Chesnut opened up about his memoir and how his mother shaped his direction in life.
Forbes: While many members of the travel industry know you for your travel media career, it’s surprising to find that your memoir focuses on your relationship with your mother throughout childhood and adulthood. Why did you choose this direction?
Chesnut: That’s right – people who know me as a travel writer might be surprised that this book goes deeper than travel. It is truly a story about a mother and son and the emotional journeys families sometimes have to take together. When my mother fell ill and it became clear that she would not be around much longer, I felt compelled to write about our experiences. It was a kind of therapy for me, a kind of coping.
Documenting our life together – from my childhood to the last months of her life – provided a platform to explore many issues including parent-child relationships; how misfit children can find their identity and self-worth; how to follow your own passion in life; how family relationships develop after a child comes out as LGBTQ; and how adult children deal with illness and the loss of their parents. It was encouraging to hear how people can relate to different aspects of the book. After all, many of these themes are universal.
Travel is still a big part of the book, of course. It has always been my personal passion and the book shows the transformative power of travel and how it can mean different things to different people. I even explain how I became a travel writer, albeit in a more humorous way that aims to both entertain and inform. But overall, this book isn’t really travel essays or travelogues; it’s about the broader, deeper journeys we sometimes need to take, whether alone or with our families.
Why prompted you to write a memoir?
It really was an emotional and psychological necessity for me, even though I didn’t even plan to write a book. My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her health deteriorated. She moved from upstate New York to a nursing home near my apartment in New York City. It was a very stressful and emotional time for both of us. As a writer, I guess it came naturally that one of my main coping mechanisms was to write about what was happening. But I didn’t know at first that it would become a memoir or a whole book – it gradually happened.
I wrote down all the difficult challenges my mother and I faced and this helped me to deal with them. But then I started thinking and writing about the whole story of our life together – the funny, weird and challenging moments. Memories I didn’t want to lose. I started writing about childhood memories – crazy stuff like playing flight attendant on abandoned school buses when I was fourteen, coming out as a teenager, how my mother dealt with my marriage and many other topics.
After I started taking memoir writing classes and submitting some of my essays to literary journals, I realized that I had enough material for a book and that what I was writing about was resonating with other people. “Prepare for Departure” is really about more than just my mother and me. It’s about universal emotions like love for family, longing for acceptance, and pursuing your passions to build the life you truly want. It’s nice to share something so personal and help give a voice to other people’s experiences.
How did you decide which stories to tell about her in your book?
“Prepare for Departure” is essentially a collection of essays that jump back and forth in time; The so-called “present” is when my mom is in the nursing home in New York City and we deal with issues like illness, constant paperwork, and impending death—but we still find some fun and dark humor in it that helps us get through it . Humor brings such relief in difficult situations. What use are terrible times if at some point you can no longer laugh about them?
The book’s many flashbacks span from the time I was four years old to my marriage. In these chapters, my aim has been to write about specific experiences that were either significant in their impact on our family relationships and our own personal development, or that say something about society as a whole. In many cases, however, I’ve written about situations simply because I found them funny or odd enough to be worth telling. Being weird can be a lot more interesting than trying to be normal.
What would your mother have thought of your memoirs?
She loved speaking and writing publicly and sharing with people, so I think it would tickle her in a way if people read about some of our experiences together. She was really popular in the town where she lived for 60 years – Brockport, New York – and I think she would be really touched to know that these people are still thinking of her and wanting to read about her, and too these new people are introduced to her and get to see how interesting, funny and smart she was.
In a way, I think she would be a little embarrassed to reveal some of the more personal aspects of our lives. But I’ve tried to portray both of us realistically, as imperfect humans who have evolved over time.
You often traveled to and from Kentucky with your mother to see your family. How did these experiences shape you?
Travel was an integral part of our family structure. I grew up in the town of Brockport in western New York near Rochester, but all of my extended family lived in Kentucky, and my mom always made time and money available so that we could fly or drive to the bluegrass state at least three times a year , for the first 17 years of my life. These trips were so important to me. You have helped strengthen my sense of family and I appreciate that my mother understood the importance of that.
In addition, the trips also provided a much-needed escape from life in my own hometown, where I was an outsider. I couldn’t play sports. I went weird, at least according to some kids. And since I didn’t grow up with siblings of the same age, I had better relationships with adults than with children. I think feeling like an outsider is one of the reasons I became obsessed with travel. It represented so many things to me: the warmth and acceptance of a family, the relief of getting away from it all, the glamor of boarding a plane, and the excitement of speeding down a freeway. No wonder I became a travel writer!
Her memoirs contain chapters on advice topics related to travel and various social situations. Why did you decide to split the format of the book?
These little advice sections, which I call “Eunice’s Tips,” are meant to be helpful but entertaining tips on travel, etiquette and life that I’ve learned from my mother over the years. I made these standalone sections because they were written more in her voice than mine—especially when she was yelling at me for mispronouncing the French-sounding names of some Kentucky cities.
Where does the title of the book come from?
The title came to me pretty early in the writing process. I needed a clever phrase that served as an ambiguity. “Prepare for departure,” the flight attendants naturally say as they get the cabin ready for takeoff, so it evokes travel, excitement, escape, and the thrill of getting away from it all, which is a constant theme throughout the book. But “departure” also refers to death, which we all must prepare for at some point.
Since the prospect of my mother’s death was the initial impetus for writing this book, the editors and I felt the title worked well to reflect this aspect of the story – the inevitable mortality – as well as the travel-related themes of the book. “Prepare for Departure” explores the roots of wanderlust and also shows the emotional journeys that life sometimes sends us on.
Pratik Restaurant Best Restaurant In Mumbai
Food lovers, brace yourselves for an unforgettable culinary experience! Amidst the bustling city of Mumbai lies a hidden gem that promises to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Pratik Restaurant is not just another eatery- it’s an institution in itself, renowned for its delectable cuisine and impeccable service. From traditional Indian delicacies to global cuisines, this restaurant has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Come join us on a gastronomic journey as we explore why Pratik Restaurant is the best dining destination in Mumbai!
What is Pratik Restaurant?
Pratik Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Mumbai. The restaurant is known for its excellent food and service. The restaurant has a wide variety of Indian and international dishes on its menu. The restaurant also offers a wide range of drinks and desserts.
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The Different Types of cuisine served in Pratik Restaurant
There are different types of cuisine served in Pratik Restaurant which include North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, and Continental. The restaurant also has a Jain kitchen that serves Jain food. The restaurant has a wide variety of dishes to offer which are all delicious and made with fresh ingredients. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the service is always good. The prices are also very reasonable. Overall, Pratik Restaurant is a great place to eat in Mumbai.
The ambiance and service of Pratik Restaurant
The Pratik Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Mumbai. The service is amazing, and the place has a great ambiance. I ordered the chicken tikka masala, which was delicious. The naan bread was also very good. Overall, I had an excellent experience at Pratik Restaurant.
The location of Pratik Restaurant
Pratik Restaurant is located in the heart of Mumbai, near the Gateway of India. It is one of the most popular restaurants in Mumbai and is known for its delicious food and great service. Pratik Restaurant has a wide variety of Indian and international dishes on its menu, making it a perfect place for both tourists and locals alike.
Why is Pratik Restaurant the best restaurant in Mumbai?
Pratik Restaurant is the best restaurant in Mumbai for several reasons. First, the food is absolutely amazing. The chefs are extremely talented and use only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Second, the service is outstanding. The waitstaff is attentive and polite, and they go out of their way to make sure every customer is happy. Third, the ambiance of the restaurant is perfect. It’s elegant but not pretentious, and it has a warm and inviting atmosphere. fourth, the price is very reasonable given the high quality of the food and service. Last but not least, Pratik Restaurant is just a short walk from many of Mumbai’s best hotels, so it’s convenient for visitors to the city.
These aspects have all contributed to Pratik Restaurant’s reputation as the best restaurant in Mumbai.These factors come together to make Pratik Restaurant the best restaurant in Mumbai.
For all these reasons, Pratik Restaurant is the best restaurant in Mumbai.
Pratik Restaurant is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying meal while in Mumbai. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, the food is fresh and flavorful, and the staff are always friendly and helpful. Whether you want to enjoy lunch with friends or dinner with family, Pratik Restaurant will make sure that your experience is memorable. If you’re ever in Mumbai be sure to check out Pratik Restaurant – it’s definitely worth it!
Experience the Beauty of Switzerland with a Tailor-Made Tour Package
Switzerland is a country that is famous for its stunning natural beauty, picturesque villages, and alpine landscapes. A Switzerland tour package offers visitors the opportunity to explore this enchanting country and experience all it has to offer.
Convenience and Time-Saving
One of the main advantages of booking a Switzerland tour package is the convenience it provides. Planning a trip can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the country. A tour package takes care of all the logistics, such as transportation, accommodation, and itinerary planning, leaving you free to simply enjoy your vacation.
Moreover, Switzerland tour packages are designed to save time and ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the country’s must-see attractions. With a well-planned itinerary, you’ll be able to visit all the top landmarks and experience the best of Switzerland without having to worry about logistics or navigating the country on your own.
Switzerland tour packages come in a variety of options, catering to different budgets, interests, and preferences. Tour operators can customize packages based on individual needs and preferences, providing a more personalized and unique experience.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly package or a luxury experience, there is something for everyone. You can choose from packages that include sightseeing tours, scenic train rides, cable car rides, and more. If you’re a first-time visitor, a comprehensive tour package that covers all the country’s highlights is an excellent choice. These packages typically include visits to popular landmarks like the Matterhorn, Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Alps, along with other attractions like the Rhine Falls, Chillon Castle, and the city of Zurich.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can opt for a package that includes activities like hiking, skiing, and paragliding. Some packages focus on specific interests like food, wine, or culture.
Value for Money
Switzerland tour packages offer excellent value for money. By bundling transportation, accommodation, and activities into a single package, tour operators can negotiate better rates with hotels and attractions, which they can then pass on to customers.
Moreover, tour packages often include additional perks like complimentary meals, airport transfers, and free entry to select attractions. These inclusions can add up to significant savings, making a tour package a cost-effective way to experience the best of Switzerland.
Expert Guides and Local Insights
Another advantage of booking a Switzerland tour package is the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of expert guides. Tour guides are typically locals who know the country inside out and can provide insights and tips that you wouldn’t find in a guidebook.
They can help you navigate the country, avoid tourist traps, and introduce you to local customs and traditions. Moreover, they can provide a deeper understanding of the country’s history and culture, making your trip a more enriching experience.
Safe and Secure
Switzerland is a safe and welcoming country, but like any destination, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Booking a tour package ensures that you’re in safe hands, with experienced operators who prioritize safety and security.
Tour operators use licensed drivers and vehicles, and ensure that all activities are conducted in compliance with safety regulations. Furthermore, many tour packages provide travelers with a local SIM card, making it easy to stay connected with loved ones and emergency services in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
In conclusion, Switzerland is a country that offers endless opportunities for adventure, luxury, and relaxation. Booking a tour package is a convenient, affordable, and safe way to explore all that this vibrant destination has to offer. With a wide range of options available, there is a Switzerland tour package to suit every budget and
9 Interesting facts about Himachal Pradesh
If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, consider visiting Himachal Pradesh. This beautiful state in northern India is known for its stunning natural scenery, vibrant culture, and welcoming people. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 interesting facts about Himachal Pradesh that will inspire you to book a Himachal Pradesh tour package from Chandigarh and explore this incredible region for yourself. In addition to being India’s top tourist destination, Himachal Pradesh has a lot more to offer
The highest cricket ground in the world-
Cricket is a beloved sport in India, and fans of the game will be thrilled to learn that there’s a unique cricket ground in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh that’s worth a visit. This cricket ground is not just any ordinary cricket ground – it’s actually the highest cricket ground in the world, situated at an altitude of 2,444 meters above sea level. The cricket ground is located in the small town of Chail, which was once a summer retreat for the Maharaja of Patiala. The ground was built in 1893 and is surrounded by stunning mountain views. It’s a perfect spot for a game of cricket, but playing at such a high altitude is not without its challenges. The thinner air can make the ball travel faster and higher, and players may find themselves getting tired more quickly due to the lower oxygen levels.
Land of the Gods-
Himachal Pradesh, a state in northern India, is known as the “Land of the Gods.” This beautiful region is nestled in the Himalayas and is home to many important Hindu temples and pilgrimage sites. One of the main reasons Himachal Pradesh is called the “Land of the Gods” is because it is home to many important Hindu pilgrimage sites. The state is considered a sacred place by Hindus, and many people come here to pay their respects to the various gods and goddesses worshipped in this region. Some of the most important pilgrimage sites include the Brajeshwari Devi Temple in Kangra, the Bhimakali Temple in Sarahan, and the Hidimba Devi Temple in Manali.
The Taboos Village himachal pradesh-
Nestled in the remote Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh lies a unique and intriguing village called Taboos. This small village is known for its rich cultural heritage, unique architecture, and stunning natural scenery. One of the most striking things about Taboos village is its unique architecture. The village is home to an ancient monastery that dates back to the 10th century, and the buildings in the village reflect the traditional architecture of the region. The Taboos Monastery is one of the main attractions in the village, and it’s easy to see why. The monastery houses a valuable collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures, and the walls are adorned with beautiful frescoes and paintings. Visitors can explore the monastery and learn about the history and culture of the region.
Held India’s first Paragliding competition himachal pradesh-
Himachal Pradesh, a state in northern India, is known for its stunning natural beauty and adventure sports. In 1986, the state made history by hosting India’s first-ever paragliding competition in the beautiful town of Bir. Since then, paragliding has become one of the most popular adventure sports in the state, attracting visitors from all over the world. The town of Bir, located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, is considered the paragliding capital of India. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and valleys, making it an ideal location for paragliding. The first paragliding competition held here in 1986 was a major success, and since then, Bir has hosted several international paragliding competitions, cementing its reputation as a premier destination for paragliding enthusiasts.
A smokeless zone-
Himachal Pradesh is known as a “smokeless zone” due to its strict laws and regulations on smoking in public places. The state of Himachal Pradesh takes its status as a smokeless zone very seriously. Smoking is banned in all public places, including restaurants, bars, hotels, and parks. The state government has implemented strict penalties for those who violate these laws, including fines and even imprisonment in some cases. The designation of Himachal Pradesh as a smokeless zone is significant for several reasons. First, it helps to promote a healthier environment for both residents and visitors.
Has two world heritage sites-
Himachal Pradesh, a northern Indian state, is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are recognized for their cultural and historical significance and attract visitors from all over the world.
The first World Heritage Site in Himachal Pradesh is the Great Himalayan National Park. Located in the Kullu district of the state, the park is known for its stunning natural beauty and biodiversity. The park is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the snow leopard and the musk deer. Visitors to the park can enjoy a range of activities, including trekking, camping, and wildlife spotting. The second World Heritage Site in Himachal Pradesh is the Mountain Railways of India. This UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises three different railway lines, all of which are located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. These lines are the Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Kangra Valley Railway, and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. The lines were built in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and are considered engineering marvels for their use of innovative technologies and materials.
A major hydropower generator-
Himachal Pradesh is a major hydropower generator in India, thanks to its abundant natural resources such as rivers and mountains. The state has the potential to generate up to 27,436 MW of hydropower, and currently has an installed capacity of around 10,000 MW. Hydropower is a renewable and environmentally-friendly source of energy that uses the flow of water to generate electricity. Himachal Pradesh is blessed with a number of rivers and mountain ranges, which provide ideal conditions for the generation of hydropower. The state has several large hydropower projects, including the Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station, which is the largest hydroelectric power plant in India, with a capacity of 1,500 MW.
Nature’s ice skating rink –
Himachal Pradesh, a state in northern India, is home to several natural ice skating rinks. These rinks are formed during the winter months when the temperature drops below freezing, and provide a unique and exhilarating experience for visitors. One of the most popular natural ice skating rinks in Himachal Pradesh is located in the town of Shimla. The rink is situated in the heart of the town and is surrounded by beautiful colonial-era buildings and picturesque snow-covered mountains. Visitors can rent skates and enjoy skating on the rink, which is open from December to February each year. Another popular natural ice skating rink in Himachal Pradesh is located in the town of Dalhousie. The rink is situated in the Khajjiar valley and is surrounded by beautiful pine trees and snow-covered peaks. Visitors can enjoy skating on the rink, which is open from December to February each year. Manali, another popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh, is also home to several natural ice skating rinks. The most popular rink is located near the Manali mall road and is open from December to February each year.
Khajjiar, a small hill station in Himachal Pradesh, is often referred to as “Miniature Switzerland” due to its stunning natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. The town is located at an altitude of 6,500 feet above sea level and is surrounded by dense forests, rolling hills, and a beautiful lake. One of the main attractions in Khajjiar is the Khajjiar Lake, which is surrounded by lush green meadows and tall deodar trees. The lake is crystal clear and reflects the surrounding mountains, creating a stunning and picturesque scene. Visitors can enjoy boating on the lake or simply sit and relax while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Himachal Pradesh is a truly unique and special place, offering a wide range of experiences for visitors to explore. From natural ice skating rinks to picturesque landscapes, from world heritage sites to hydropower generation, the state has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in adventure sports or simply want to relax and enjoy the natural beauty, Himachal Pradesh is a must-visit destination. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Himachal Pradesh truly deserves its title as the “Land of the Gods”. It’s a place where visitors can experience the magic of nature, learn about the local traditions and customs, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, if you’re planning a trip to India, make sure to include Himachal Pradesh in your itinerary. You won’t regret it!
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