Central Coast author, Laura Maya, has spent 20 years wandering slowly through almost 60 countries after setting off from her Wyoming home at the age of 21.
She has just released her book, Tell Them My Name, an inspiring true story that features four strangers from three countries, with barely a common language between them, who decide to adopt each other as family and explore the world.
The off-beat travel memoir has deeper messages about diversity, multiculturalism, culture and connection.
The book begins as Maya and her French husband, David, travel to Nepal as part of a volunteer team.
The pair is quickly adopted by an Indigenous Gurung couple, Aama and Baba, who live in a mud-brick house set in a remote farming village nestled in the Nepali Himalayas.
From here, the unlikely international family sets out on a life changing adventure, travelling together through six countries as they discover enlightening and often hilarious observations about “normal”.
As the group travels through Qatar, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Tell Them My Name invites readers to experience everything from famous ski fields and the Eiffel Tower to supermarkets and agricultural fields through the eyes of two Nepalese elders.
As a huge advocate for the transformational power of cultural exchange, Maya hopes the book will encourage people to look at their life and culture through a new lens and to see the things they normally take for granted in an entirely new light.
“In writing the book, I wanted to give people the opportunity to connect with my Nepali family, to witness their struggles and their joy, and share in the knowledge that people born into a different part of the world might live a vastly different life on the outside, but on the inside, they share the same hopes, emotions, challenges and dreams as we do,” she said.
Tell Them My Name is available now in all good bookshops and through online retailers.
Media release, Jan 31