Memoir Chronicling Middle-Aged Woman's Solo Adventures through Africa and Asia Challenges Baby Boomers to Travel Off the Beaten Path

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Explore Africa and Asia's exotic and humble locales in Meg Noble Peterson's exciting new memoir, Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? Unfettered by deadlines, carrying only a backpack, an open ticket, empty journals, and a camera, she sets off to circle the globe making plans as she goes along. Full of rich and unusual details, Peterson's book takes you into the heart of her journey, an adventure that changed her understanding of herself and the world. Visit her website for more information about her recent travels

With 2006 marking the 60th birthday of the oldest baby boomers, the author of a witty memoir chronicling her adventures and self discovery traveling throughout Africa and Asia will launch a multi-city book tour with a message for millions of boomers to get out their traveling shoes.

In the memoir, Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey through Africa and Asia, author Meg Noble Peterson, approaching 60 and newly divorced after 33 years of marriage, sets off alone on an eight-month odyssey across four continents and 12 countries that took her from the crowded streets of Cairo and contentious apartheid South Africa to India's Taj Mahal and the peaks of the Himalaya.

Traveling on a shoestring and making plans as she goes along, Peterson dares to venture off the beaten path, carrying only a backpack, camera and journals. She rides on dilapidated buses through Egypt and Zimbabwe and squeezes into hot, crowded trains in India. In Kenya, she encounters roadblocks and Masai warriors, and in Nepal she finds romance with an Austrian scientist. Abandoned at 14,000 ft. by their drunken guide, the two climb to Everest Base Camp through the snow and ice, and are almost buried by an avalanche before they reach Kala Pattar at 18,500 ft.

"In 1987, after a divorce, a career, and raising five kids, I decided to escape everyday life and travel around the world," said Peterson.

As a woman traveling alone, she confronts male chauvinism and harassment, which tests her ingenuity and ability to fend for herself. Often drifting back to her failed marriage and life in America, the book takes you into her inner journey and the adventures that changed her understanding of herself and the world.

"My memoir illustrates that it's never too late to strike out for places exotic and unknown," said Peterson, now 78. "I didn't let the fact that I was a woman approaching sixty deter me from traveling. I had some of the most exhilarating and thrilling experiences of my life."

Peterson's book encourages the millions of baby boomers entering retirement age this year to take risks and realize that romance and excitement don't have to end with youth.

Since her first solo trip around the world in 1987, Peterson took a similar trip in 1996 back to Nepal and Tibet, Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1999 she completed the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk, hiking alone for 200 miles across England. In 2000, Peterson climbed Nepal's Annapuma Circuit through the Thorang La (17,000 ft), and in 2003 hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. She circumambulated sacred Mt. Kailash in Tibet in 2004, reaching the Drolma La at 18,000 ft., and in 2005 she hiked extensively in Sweden and Norway. This January she will explore Myanmar and Bangladesh, and return to northern India to stay for a month in Dharmasala, location of the Tibetan government in exile. As soon as the political turmoil subsides in Nepal, Peterson plans to trek in the Mustang and Manaslu regions.

On the tour Ms. Peterson will hold readings and book signings in New York City; select cities in New Jersey; Washington, DC; Boston; Los Angeles; Florida; Washington State, and New Hampshire.

Meg Noble Peterson, a freelance writer based in Maplewood, New Jersey, has spent most of her professional life in the field of music education. She's written and arranged 38 books for the Autoharp and classroom instruments, traveling extensively to give lectures and workshops. She also co-authored a play, Thank You, Dear, that was produced in Deerfield, MA, and has had her essays published in the New York Times, Newsday, and The Christian Science Monitor.

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