Today we're going to discuss "The Travel Auction" a wonderful book by Mark Green. I had the most amazing time reading it, really liked it, and I believe you are going to like it too, so read on and then read the book!
On one side we have Jonathan who just broke up with his long time girlfriend, Kate Thornly, because of a nasty cheating shortly before they would leave for a three months' trip to South America. The agency refuses to change the name on the ticket and he can't go alone because of a very severe nut allergy that can kill him (specially in places with new food, different languages, all that). Jon decides to do an Ebay auction, looking for a Kate Thornly willing to travel with him in exchange of being ready for nutty emergencies (no pun intended. Ok, maybe a bit).
On the other side we have Angel. Kate Angela Thornly. Angel is pretty, young and a nurse. Perfect! Jon chooses her... Except she's blind, well, pretty much, can't see more than shapes from very close by. And she didn't really enter the auction or submit her picture, her friend Maria did it for her. They set off to adventure either way, it's not like Jon has much of a choice after KT2 (Kate Thornly the Second) proves she's quite able of both handling herself as well as a possible nut allergy reaction.
They head off to Buenos Aires and, as we can guess, of course they don't get along well at first... It's not easy to adapt to a different place or different people, but adapting to another continent, language, people AND someone with impared sight, that's a very tough job.
KT2 is bubbly, cheeky, funny and likes to use her blindness to laugh at people. Jon is a cold analyst, someone who likes to plan things, organize and follow strict rules and plans. KT2 makes him rethink that.
After their first moments, they start to get more at ease with eachother, with Jon having to describe everything he sees, KT2 having to trust someone she doesn't know and who is, by her book, a very boring person and not at all someone she would choose to be around. Jon didn't know how he felt about the trip before he went on it. His mother incentived him, before she died, and so he, an uptight analyst, goes on a spontaneous and barely planned trip.
What we see, later on, is two people learning with each other and working their differences out. It's a book about boundaries and trust, about seeing the wonderful world around us and not just passing by. It's a book about a blind girl climbing the Inca Trail, up to Machu Pichu, and making me incredibly jealous. I love traveling and I live much closer to Machu Pichu than England and yet -I- have never been there. I would love to live on the road, seeing the world, meeting new people, learning new things, eating different foods. So far, I'm left stuck here, waiting for the start.
What really touched my heart, though, was that the Inca Trail is real (I SO want to climb it someday!) and that there was a blind girl that finished it and inspired the author to write the book. Inspired me to do a lot, too.