Raluca Barbu, a librarian at the Fox River Grove Memorial Library and the Wauconda Area Library, has recently published her latest book, “American Vacation. 12,000 miles Into the Wild West.”
The Crystal Lake, Illinois, resident is a published author of four books in Romania, her home country. She and her family moved to the United States three years ago, starting a new life on a new continent.
The book is an homage to the great American outdoors and a read that involuntarily makes every American feel prouder of their country. It is the first book that tells the story of a writer from an ex-communist country who experiences the great outdoors of the emblematic American West, with no point of reference and no similarities to her homeland. It is the first time in American travel literature when a Romanian author tells the story of the astonishing US geography after having hiked up and down its trails alongside her partner.
“American Vacation” challenges you to leave behind your familiar universe and carries you 12,000 miles into the Wild West. You will trade your usual city streets for 170 miles or hiking through 7 types of natural landmarks; you will climb from 260 feet below sea level to 14,000 feet of altitude. Starting from The Land of Lincoln, you will take a virtual 45-day tour across 19 states, at times asking yourself whether you’ve left the earth and landed on a different planet; you will ride along 35 national, state, and tribal parks; and you will forget about the concrete buildings, shopping malls, and underground parking lots, discovering instead new corners of paradise hidden deep into the North-American landscape. As a vivid slice of my travel experience, this book stands witness to a small fraction of this world’s flawless beauty, which has taken hundreds of millions of years to perfect.
The book is currently available on Amazon in paperback, and Amazon Kindle Unlimited as an eBook. The beauty of all relief features are captured in high-quality photos (accessible only in the eBook) to document the essence of the journey. It is the perfect read at the beginning of a new year.