Maddy Kendrick is teetering on the verge, stuck between the desire to be safe in a life that she knows or to toss it all to the wind. Terrified of flying and caught in a crumbling marriage, Maddy reluctantly goes on a trip with her husband. She quickly learns that budget travel is arduous. Trekking, mummies, and floods bring out the best and worst in Maddy. Alone and adrift, she follows the backpacker circuit through Europe, India, Nepal and Southeast Asia. Her journey takes her from the arid Egyptian desert to the impoverished streets of India. Seasoned travelers captivate her with stories of horror and delight. Through a mixture of blunder and luck, Maddy discovers the secrets to finding delectable local fare, wisdom on averting death in the Himalayas, and to treasure the most important things in life.

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Through the Ganesh Gate Sampler


The passport slipped from Maddy’s fingers and her world blurred for a moment. The crisp, blank pages fluttered for an instant before they collided with the cold tile floor. She stood at her kitchen counter staring down at it. The passport was new, stiff and formal; the gold eagle embossed in profile. She lifted herself, pressed her palms to her forehead and leaned into her hands with a groan. What had she gotten herself into? She was not a world traveler, or any kind of traveler for that matter. Why had she agreed to this trip?

And then there was Richard. They barely got along at home even with all the built-in distractions. How were they going to travel together without killing one another? Maddy felt a sickening panic rise in her chest like a kettle nearing a boil. She wanted to scream, to run, but as always, she took a deep breath to slow her racing heart. She wiped her watering eyes and picked up the passport again. She would find a way to get through this. Maybe she would even enjoy seeing the world. If she could make it to Nepal, she could walk and walk for days. She would just have to hold it together until then; everything will be alright, she muttered.

Melanie Serpa
Through the Ganesh Gate