Lisbon to Shanghai in Four Summers
Tom Sweeney was thirty-eight years old when he announced his ridiculous plan to ride his bicycle around the world. He had everything an adult is supposed to want: a good job, an amazing wife, and a nice home. But he felt like something was missing, like the humdrum of impending middle age wasn’t living up to its promises of fulfillment.
Over the course of four summers, Sweeney pedaled from Lisbon, Portugal, to Shanghai, China, crossing twenty-two countries and amassing a lifetime of fascinating stories. His memoir, however, is hardly an ordinary travelogue; it is grounded in Sweeney’s everyday life as a fifth-grade teacher in Colorado. Blending humble honesty and subtle humor, Sweeney explores themes of loneliness, perseverance, and the repercussions that come with every choice we make.
Real life, it turns out, doesn’t stop moving just because we embark on some grandiose quest. Sometimes, the answers we’re seeking show up in the most unexpected and ordinary ways.