“When you carry little, there’s lots of room for time.” (Towards Unity, Chapter 1; The Bangkok Story)
This thought can perhaps carry with it a multitude of different connotations, with its relevance varying in perception based on individual experiences. To me, as I read it in the book, it personally resonated with a deep sense of need anyone craves for, to create room for more meaningful space in our lives. To Stuart Hastings, it may have meant more or may be, could have been a fleeting thought during his journey across the world to understand regional integration.
In his book, that was recently launched through the Prolgoue and chapter 1, Stuart Hastings kicks off the story of his travel around the world that began in an attempt to understand and document his experiences drawn from the conceptual relationship between humans and our need for a united front through a federated existence.
A series of personal incidents created a built up to this decision but with the perspective of a minimalist and an objective of an optimist, he started this journey then. Today he is telling the story of that journey through this book.
What I’m loving about it in its initial phase is the honesty and humility that is at the root of how it all started and evolved one country at a time, telling not just the story from a writers eyes and words, but through the heart of every stranger he met along the way, every moment he lived with them and every thought he questioned during some of those melancholic moments. After all, more than ever, it is the people and not the places that make any story that you want to tell.
His meticulous description of his surroundings does not only do justice to vouch for his presence of mind but simply helps the reader draw a mental image of the story and its characters, adding life to it. Add to it the not so overpowering political and historic backdrop that lies behind each of these stories.
Im not going to give away too much since I know the book will speak for it self.
The best part about the book is the adrenaline it will create without overwhelming the reader as it plans to be released chapter wise, with 1 chapter every week. This gives enough room for time, especially in a day and age where one’s attention is being juggled across several reading material and media forms.
So do check it out and leave your feedback, even if critical. Nothing excites a writer more than constructive feedback.
You can read the book here