I was visiting my son, Rich, at his home, when he handed me a book he received in the mail. It was a journal, Ryan’s Journal, written by his good friend Ryan Anderson. Ryan died in August of 2009. He was a Captain in the United States Army.
It was a bittersweet read for me. I knew Ryan for years as he and Rich were good friends as kids. Every high school band concert Rich performed in, Ryan performed in. Different instruments, same band. Ryan shared Thanksgiving with my family and visited before and after his journey to 34+ countries.
Rich shared Ryan’s journey early on by joining him in South America for about three months, from February - May 02. (May 7th to be exact, he surprised me by returning on my birthday!) Ryan writes in detail about their adventures. So this part of Ryan’s Journal was the best for me!
While reading, at times I laughed, other times I cried. Ryan wanted to accomplish so much in life, and to have it taken from him so early is just so wrong. But the book is about what Ryan did accomplish. He wanted to travel and so he did. I’m glad he took the time to write down what he learned; from meeting different people, experiencing different cultures, and understanding different religions. (Ryan went to Az. State College and studied Religion/History.)
Ryan fell in and out of love, tasted new foods, and got caught up in government politics. He was an avid reader during his journey, reading up to four books a day!
I recommend Ryan’s Journal for anyone who would like to travel to foreign countries and get a first-hand insight into daily life. So much is shared by Ryan that you will feel like you knew him in his short life. He was 34 years old when he made his last journey.
Book Review by Mary Crocco