At the Temple University Barnes and Noble bookstore, students were treated to readings by author Mark Pearson from his book “Europe from a Backpack” on Tuesday.
Pearson, the 23-year-old graduate of the University of Washington, is co-editor of the book and president of the Pearson Venture group, publishers of the book. Pearson read excerpts from his book to a small group of students and offered advice on how to effectively travel around Europe with only a backpack.
Pearson is traveling around the country sponsored by the travel website www.orbitz.com to schools to promote his book, which was co-edited by Mark Westerman.
“I’m traveling to 40 bookstores in 30 cities. I’ve been to Harvard, Boston University, NYU, Florida State and other schools,” he said. “What I wanted to do in this book is to paint a broad picture of travel in Europe, and bring out these different themes. It’s about learning what to do, learning what not to do, and advice that you could take up from these stories.”
Among the advice given in the stories, Pearson related to the group some story excerpts from the book. Among the topics covered were the experiences of a person who ran with the bulls in Spain, as well finding hospitality and bathrooms in different European cities. Pearson discussed his own experiences while studying abroad in Italy.
“One of my favorite parts about studying abroad is being able to travel on the weekends, and I came back with unbelievable stories,” Pearson said. “One weekend I decided to go out by myself in Italy. This is a place that doesn’t have any hostels.
All the bed and breakfasts were booked and it’s only a town of like a thousand people, so suddenly I knock on the door of the last bed and breakfast and we ended up running into the owner’s sister and I stayed the night at her house with her family.”
Pearson states his intentions for the book to be purely informative for anyone interested in traveling to Europe.
“Every year, there’s 1.7 million Americans aged 18-29 that are traveling to Europe and most of them are going with a backpack,” Pearson said. “As you can guess going with a backpack is a lot different from going with a suitcase. You can get a guide book-it tells you where to stay, it gives you facts and has information on the running of the bulls or partying on Ibiza, but it doesn’t really tell you what its like to be there and experience that.”
Pearson praised Temple University’s study abroad programs and encouraged those students interested in traveling to take advantage of the programs. Students in attendance were also entered into a random drawing held late Tuesday night when Pearson visited the University of Pennsylvania to promote the book.
The winning individual will received a free Euro Pass courtesy of www.statravel.com , whose representative from campus was on hand to help students with any questions they may have about making a trip to Europe.
Joe Redding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.