Last year at the Travel & Leisure Show in Chicago, actor and travel writer Andrew McCarthy gave an amazing presentation. Discussing his thoughts on travel with his book The Longest Way Home as a focal point, McCarthy mesmerized the audience, including me.
Through years of writing travel pieces for several publications, McCarthy proved he had passion for travel and the necessary writing chops to be taken seriously. McCarthy successfully added writing to a lengthy resume of acting and directing successes.
Citing travel as a necessity, McCarthy differentiated travel from vacations. He emphasized travel taking us out of comfort zones and conquering fears.
Being familiar with many of his travel articles and thoroughly enjoying McCarthy's talk, I purchased The Longest Way Home. I was so engrossed, I finished it in one weekend. It is a perfect blend of introspection and travel, with each enhancing the other.
When I saw McCarthy wrote Walking With Sam, about a journey with his teenage son, I was immediately intrigued. I reached out to McCarthy for an interview for Global Traveler.
The interview started with McCarthy discussing discovering his love of travel and how it led to a writing career. He talked about being taken seriously as a writer and his writing career progression. He expounded on a few main points from last year's presentation.
Talked turned to his books. While The Longest Way Home was a solo trip and a journey for self-reflection, Walking With Sam is the story of “a father, a son, and five hundred miles across Spain.”
As his eldest son neared adulthood, McCarthy hoped to create a meaningful connection with a trek of 500 miles across Spain's Camino de Santiago. It's the story of father and son traveling across a country and toward each other. The intimate, candid tale has travel as the backdrop.
I find it fascinating McCarthy turned to travel for two of the most important points in his life. The first was a period of self-discovery, while the second was building on his relationship with his son. He chose travel on both occasions.
As you will learn in the interview, McCarthy has unique and intriguing views on travel. Those thoughts are woven throughout his books, too. Through his writing, I learn about McCarthy and spectacular places, as well as a bit about myself.
Before finishing the interview, I asked McCarthy for his travel advice. McCarthy's response was another example of his deep respect and passion for travel. This wasn't a Hollywood star spouting taglines. This was a person speaking from the heart about a subject rooted in his very being.
Walking With Sam is released today. I preordered mine and can't wait to dive into it. McCarthy's book tour starts, too. He said Chicago is on the list and I promised to be there to see him again and talk a bit more travel.