SIHPROMATUM (Sip-row-may-tum): A blessing that initially appears to be a curse
I love travel stories. Family travel stories are even better. And a family travel story as told by the kid? Pretty amazing.
The book starts off when Savannah’s comfortable teenage world is shattered by the announcement that her family is about to take off for a year of travel. Her teenage angst, rebellion, and utter devastation at the fact that her life was about to fall apart was an interesting take on the family travel idea. For me, as the parent in the traveling family unit, her tales made me wonder just what was going through Davy and Daryl’s minds when we talked about leaving it all behind for our travels.
I really enjoyed the book when Savannah and her family first arrived in Asia. Her vivid descriptions of what I’ve come to accept as typical third-world mayhem and pandemonium took me back to my early days of travel. Once upon a time, I, too, wandered the streets in wide-eyed amazement, taking in all the exotic sights, sounds, and smells of a new world. It’s been so long I had forgotten all about that sense of wonder.
Savannah also brought me back to my teenage years (way back in the dark ages!) with her stories of boy-crazy shenanigans. I guess it’s only natural that Savannah and her sister – both teenage girls – would fall madly in love with young men they met throughout their travels, but I had completely forgotten about those times. She had me giggling, thinking about what it would be like to go through that period while traveling rather than being in a stable environment where I saw the same boys every day.
There was really one aspect of Sihpromatum: I Grew My Boobs in China that I wasn’t thrilled with. Savannah is a gifted writer and has a knack for painting a beautiful picture with her words, but she hasn’t quite learned when to stop. The first few chapters of her adamant refusal to head out were wonderful; by the time they finally hit the road I was saying, “Enough already.”
The same was true in China. Those first few days were told in delightful detail, but eventually the detail was no longer necessary. And in Mongolia, it was the same. I found myself skipping over pages of narrative looking for the next section where she moved the story forward.
The end of the story was somewhat of a disappointment as well. It just… ended. After a few months of travel in China and Mongolia, the family was ready to move on to Russia – and that’s it. I would have liked some sort of conclusion; a wrap-up of the lessons she learned, a summary of how her travels had changed her, or something along those lines. Instead, we got nothing. I understand she is writing another book in the series about the next few countries of their travels and I think the intention was to set us up for that, but I found myself wanting an actual conclusion to the book.
Overall, I would recommend this book to a friend. It’s a charming story, told by a giddy teenager, of a fascinating family adventure.
- North St bags – Grocery Pannier
- Subscription to Women’s Adventure
- The Man Who Cycled the Americas
- Be Kind to Cyclists– T-Shirts
- Kryptonite lock
- ibex – 2 wool jerseys
- Bottles to Backpacks: The Gypsy Mama’s Guide to REAL Travel With Kids – ebook
- Light & Motion – bike light
- Novica $100 Gift Certificate
- Car Rental
Three winners will be chosen. Each winner will receive a subscription to Women’s Adventure Magazine and their own copy of Changing Gears. Remaining prizes will be divided among the finalist.