For some, traveling is a dream come true. For others it's a nightmare. Either way, traveling has a way of testing one's mettle. Where each of us falls on the scale of "ability to cope" varies. Nancy coped while in China, but not always with spirit and resilience. She's more of a reluctant traveler, an accidental tourist. In this memoir, she visited China three times, not because it was a lifelong dream of hers, but because of her son. She spent two weeks in China when he was a student, then one week when he was the groom and, finally, five weeks when he was the Chinese language high school teacher taking American students to China in a foreign exchange program. Each trip brought many and varied challenges. During the first one, Nancy learned to set aside her instinct to use chopsticks as a fork and knife. During the second, she was unexpectedly called upon to speak publicly and, startled, stuttered and sputtered her way through a congratulatory speech. And during the third, each time nature called, she was reminded that something had drastically changed since her first trip 14 years earlier-her leg muscles, which used to easily raise her up from a squat, betrayed her. Now, thanks to Nancy's second photo-studded travel memoir, Welcome to Here: A Reluctant Traveler Goes to China, you can experience the country in all its glory and challenges without leaving your favorite reading place.
Nancy Yuktonis Solak is an award-winning writer and editor, and author of the travel memoir, A Footpath in Umbria: Living, Loving & Laughing in Italy. She is also a certified instructor of the Amherst Writers & Artists method and facilitates writing workshops. A member of Detroit Working Writers since 1987, Nancy lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with her husband Rich. The couple has two grown children and three granddaughters.