7 in 7 is a revealing, entertaining, and inspiring travel memoir.
Sven Michael Davison is on a journey in his memoir 7 in 7, and he promises an array of adventures for those willing to travel along. An exciting, diverse, and fast-moving escapade, 7 in 7 approaches the world with appreciation, wonder, and a willingness to engage, even through adversity.
Davison’s project begins with expressions of his feelings of longing—to write, to see the world, and to immerse himself in other cultures. Ultimately, he seeks to forge connections with others. His goals are to work less and travel more.
His accounts of his travels across seven continents in seven years are visceral and engaging. There’s a perceptible sense of excitement surrounding each journey, and no detail is left by the wayside. Davison’s memoir is infused with a style that makes it feel as though a friend is telling you about his latest travels.
His first opportunity to address his goals comes when he is invited to Mexico in search of the real person behind a modern legend. This trip acts as a catalyst for future trips, and he continues to dive in to opportunities as they present themselves. He travels to a childhood friend’s wedding in Ireland, examining his own relationship along the way. This journey for Davison is more than literal; he delves into his emotions as well, analyzing his mixed feelings over not being asked to be the best man for his friend’s big day.
Truly memorable is the Christmas trip he takes to Singapore to see a girlfriend’s Scandinavian family. Particularly interesting are the chance circumstances that led him to cancel a side trip to Phuket, Thailand, in 2004, hours before a devastating tsunami tore the country to shreds. Davison doesn’t bother to sugarcoat his circumstances; there’ll be no more swimming with dolphins or planning romantic trips with girls who claim to be “friends.”
The stories are blunt, even when it’s uncomfortable, including scathing criticisms of an aloof girlfriend and details about altitude sickness that include bleeding lungs. Insights on the devastation that conquering cultures render on civilizations are keen.
The book’s tone is optimistic yet honest, critical but fair. Supporting characters, including travel companions, girlfriends, tour guides, and hosts, are effectively drawn and rounded out with humor and compassion. Descriptions of the sights he has seen spark wonder and curiosity. Davison’s writing style is lighthearted and on point; he manages to sketch out the terrifying ascent of Putukusi, the steep mountain next to Machu Picchu, and to pique interest in the vast expanses of ice that are Antarctica. Arranged in chronological order, each destination is given its own chapter.
7 in 7 is a revealing, entertaining, and inspiring travel memoir that traverses the globe and brings back great stories.
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