Part travel, part romance, part failing at life, The Backpack Years intertwines two memoirs, charting Stef and James's six-year journey from happily wandering to miserably settled and back again.
Straight-laced Stef left America to study abroad in Spain, letting loose and falling head over heels for two things: a handsome local and travel. Travel won out. James had a future in England he felt he'd already destroyed. Fueled by debt and a deteriorating relationship with his father, James fled to Australia and found something better.
After language mishaps in France and a topless night in Tenerife, an awful offal job in Warrnambool and a kidnapped manicure in Bali, Stef and James meet at an Irish pub in Sydney. Though their adventures are pulling them in different directions, they ditch the single life to forge a path together.
Can the two navigate their way through red-tape, relocation, miscommunication, and a last ditch, make-or-break trip to try to save their relationship, or will this be their last adventure as a couple?
Spanning thirteen countries and four continents, The Backpack Years is a story about how far we're willing to go to be with the one we love.
About the Author
James Wilson is a London-based writer. His previous novels include The Dark Clue, The Bastard Boy, The Woman in the Picture, Consolation, and The Summer of Broken Stories. He has written BBC TV and radio documentaries, and is the author of a work of narrative non-fiction, The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America, published by Picador in Britain and by Grove/Atlantic in America, which won a Myers Outstanding Book Award.
"The best part of this memoir is the frank honesty and rawness of the two authors' feelings at different stages of their relationship and their journey... One thing that shone through on every page was their dedication to each other and their determination to see this journey through to the end - together." ✭✭✭✭✭ -Grant Leishman, Readers' Favorite
"What struck me most about the book is how candid it is... Theirs is a balanced perspective in that they show the fun, the friendliness and the fabulous but also the threat and the strain that can come from a life without ties and familiarity." -Rachel Deeming, Reedsy Discovery