Salihah Simone has spent the better part of the last fifteen years living in South America, Africa and the Middle East with brief stints in Europe and Southeast Asia. In “Transient:
Simone started traveling the world with her parents as an infant and by the time she was entering university at seventeen years old, she had already lived as an exchange student in West Africa. So, when a friend called her on a muggy day after college graduation she did not think twice about leaving America for an impulsive trip to Europe.
Traveling through six countries in Europe and North Africa on a $700 budget, Simone revels in the distraction men, dancing, and drinking provide from the life awaiting her in America. After seven months away, a series of impetuous decisions land her back in America without a plan. Calling upon her language skills and art training, Simone rallies finding flexible employment that will allow her to continue to travel.
Slightly wiser, she returns to Europe, West Africa and South America to reestablish friendships and to indulge in a little “amor de praia” (vacation romance.) From shooting a documentary in Cape Verde with a deported drug dealer to sipping grappa in Rome with her Italian lover, Simone tells readers to leave the guidebook behind and experience life with the locals. Her traveling companions, other “colored” polyglots and a couple of quick-witted gays, help to place the story outside the typical female travel memoir.
Simone’s outrageous antics and colorful commentary will often have the reader chuckling aloud in understanding. Throughout the book, she expresses an acute appreciation of the opportunities her American passport and international upbringing afford her.
"Transient” is a unique travel memoir and autobiographical novel because few women of color venture off the beaten path and even fewer write about it. Although Simone’s target audience is young women, the adventures and humor may be enjoyed by teens and retirees alike.
Author: Salihah Simone
Published: February 2013
About The Author: Salihah Simone works internationally as a communications consultant for non-governmental organizations and grass-roots campaigns concerned with women’s health and girls’ education. She has lived and worked in over twenty-five countries throughout the developing world.
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