Andorra to Zimbabwe and 98 Countries in Between

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Places I Remember. Andorra to Zimbabwe and 98 Countries in Between

Lea Lane’s “Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 Countries” is a travel memoir you’ll remember for a long, long time.

It’s funny how life works. A few years ago, I met Lea Lane when we were both on a panel at The New York Times Travel Show invited by our mutual friend, April Merenda of Gusty Women Travel.  I felt like a bit of a fraud, because I am not a travel expert, but as a lifestyle editor, I was able to talk about travel trends. Lea, however, was the real deal. A travel writer for many years for guidebooks like Foders and magazines and newspapers including The New York Times and, she was at that time also author of eight books. She regaled everyone in the audience with her delightful travel stories and many solo travel adventures. I left the event hoping our paths would cross again.

Well fast forward. The Three Tomatoes launched a book publishing venture this summer just as Lea Lane was finishing her travel memoir, with wonderful stories of her fifty years of travel adventures and the most beautiful photo illustrations from her photo collection over the years, recreated into works of art by Greg Correll, a former illustrator for The New Yorker. I loved her book immediately and was honored when she asked if we would publish it. So full transparency, this is a biased review, but I would not have published the book if we hadn’t fallen in love with it, and I think you will too.

I love her courage and heart! Funny, poignant, wise and woke−an ideal travel companion.” Joan Walsh, The Nation, CNN

Places I Remember is a unique combination of travel memoir, travel almanac, personal journal and an illustrated album that also makes it a beautiful coffee table book. It’s organized in alpha order by country and goes back in forth in time over five decades. Lea is a beautiful writer and an insightful traveler who was always willing to leave the most traveled path in search of adventures. She has a thirst for wanting to know the real country, not just the tourist spots. The reader will find many lessons along the way and you will relish the journey.

Here is just a little sampling:

In the Chapter “France, the Righteous Village” Lea tells the poignant story of the residents of the town of Le Chambon and the surrounding area who joined together to conceal and rescue Jews and French Resistance fighters, at great risk to their own lives, during WWII.

Places I Remember. Andorra to Zimbabwe and 98 Countries in Between

“An older man with his dog came to say hello. He would have been a young man during the war. He had kept the secret.” (Photo from Lea Lane’s travel album, illustrated by Greg Correll.) ©2019. Lea Lane. All rights reserved.

With her charming essays and these delightful illustrations, Places I Remember speaks to both travelers and wannabes—including the growing numbers going solo.” Bella DePaulo, author, Singled Out

In her chapter on Israel, Lea recalls her first trip there when she was in her twenties. At that time desert and sandy scrub covered most of the country, and Lea thought about the fund in which she had placed her allowance money to plant trees in Israel. She wondered where her tree was. When she returned forty years later, Israel was carpeted in green – “A lesson in patience.”

Places I Remember. Andorra to Zimbabwe and 98 Countries in Between

An old, old wall in Israel from Lea’s photo collection, illustrated by Greg Correll. ©2019. Lea Lane. All rights reserved.

When Lea and I talked about this book, she said she wrote it because she wanted to leave a legacy for her children and grandchildren. Well she has given us all a beautiful gift. Here’s to wanderlust and all the roads less traveled.

Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 Countries,” by Lea Lane, published by The Three Tomatoes Book Publishing is available in print and eBook on Amazon.

Read an excerpt: “Madagascar: Looking for a Lemur”


  • Cheryl Benton

    The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more.

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