Rich’s epic journey across the US, travelling the length and breadth of the country, from the Florida Keys to Death Valley. Accompanied on the drive by his long-suffering wife and haunted by a shambolic cross-country trip with his idiotic friend ten years earlier, he covers over 10,000 miles and follows the famous Route 66. He also goes looking for the very best food that this amazing country has to offer.
In between he also falls in love with a clown and escapes alien abduction…OK, so that doesn’t happen, but he does win a poker tournament in Las Vegas, hides from forest hippies in Georgia and falls out with an Australian. Rich’s hilarious journey is littered with insights into a land best understood with one hand on the wheel and the other on a burger.
Drive-Thru USA Food Guide. This PDF contains a list of all the places we ate at, mentioned in the book. The guide also contains the websites, addresses, foods and approximate costs. So if there was anything you read about that took your fancy, you can find all the details here.
Maps. If you’re interested to see the two routes taken, the first with Jack and the second, ten years later with Robyn. They’re here:
My Reign In Spain
When Rich Bradwell was told he had to give his best man’s speech in Spanish, he did the only thing he could think of: he went to Spain. Despite a near-zero knowledge of the language, he had three months to learn. No problem, or so Rich kept telling himself.
Follow Rich on a hilarious, life-changing trip as he learns about the history, traditions and culture of this fascinating country. He travels through the vineyards of La Rioja, surfs in the Basque Country and frantically tries to speak Spanish at anyone he can find. In Granada, the last outpost of the Muslim Moors in Spain, Rich’s moment finally arrives. The microphone is on and the audience is ready, but is he?
I wrote two articles to accompany the launch of My Reign In Spain, both touching on the idea of learning a language. They are linked below:
Why is it so hard for English speakers to learn another language (and what you can do about it) This was published on medium.com and discusses the unique challenge for English speakers learning a foreign language. Check it out, it has some cool pictures in it, and lots of cool words, too.
Learn Spanish by watching Telenovelas This featured on the language learning website fluentin3months.com. The article discusses Spanish soap operas, which I touched on in the book. They’re an interesting cultural phenomenon, and an excellent way to learn.
Setting out on the famous 500 mile Camino de Santiago walk across Spain, Rich is married, seemingly happy, but with a nagging feeling something is not right. Facing a crossroads in his life, he feels drawn to the journey and excited by the adventure, following in the footsteps of generations of travellers that have gone before.
As the miles crunch underfoot, issues that had been buried for a long time begin to surface. Rich meets other people with their own troubles and reasons for being on the Camino: from a man traumatised by the Iraq War to another whose parents struggle to accept his sexuality. These encounters start to make Rich seriously question why he is walking the Camino, and he’s forced to face up to some uncomfortable truths.
Footsteps is an honest, personal, compelling tale, and ultimately an inspiring story of redemption.