Book: Crossing Borders
Author: Michael Ferris
Published: April 15, 2009
The first line: “After high school, I was a typical small-town red-blooded American boy in Michigan, working for my father who had a small music store located in Benton Harbor.”
When I initially read the synopsis of Crossing Borders, I was instantly intrigued! As a student who studied aboard and travels a lot myself, I was drawn to the idea of an innocent boy going by himself to a foreign country and finding not only himself, but a whole new set of experiences that would shape him into a new man.
“Cultural misunderstandings, crazy and dangerous situations, inter-cultural friendships, love and disappointment and the excitement of exploring. Crossing Borders tells the story of living and becoming an adult in a foreign country away from friends and family.
This narrative is not a simple travel log of pondering curiosities; it unites the weirdest, most interesting and funniest experiences from twelve years living abroad. The story starts out with the author’s experiences of his first adventure in the heart of Europe-in German-speaking Austria. Dreams of going to study at the Viennese Academy of Music go up in smoke when the protagonist fails the entrance exam. The protagonist not only ends up living in a mountain village in the Alps, but also discovers traits and virtues in his new Austrian friends that he never thought possible.
From almost getting shot in Cairo, having his bride kidnapped on their wedding day, to getting blackmailed by a Moroccan snake charmer, each chapter takes the reader on an extraordinary cultural trip, a book for anyone who likes to travel, whether in their mind or reality.”
The writing style is simple, yet captivating, and I was able to read the entire narrative within a few hours. It was, simply put, hard to put down. I loved how Michael’s own innocence echoed in his writing; I couldn’t help but feel bad for the poor American boy getting himself into one crazy situation after another.
As someone who typically steers clear of memoirs, I would highly recommend this book. It would be a good fit for anyone who has a knack for traveling, both physically, and mentally, as in “traveling” outside of one’s comfort zone.
As Michael beautifully discovers, it’s through the exploration of other cultures, languages, and new experiences that one can finally and truly understand themselves and their place within the world.
Check out the awesome video book trailer:
About Michael Ferris:
Michael Ferris, originally from St. Joseph, Michigan, started working in his father’s music store, Ferris Music Center, at the age of sixteen and started playing the classical guitar at the age of seventeen. Having had many wonderful teachers, not only with great talent but also great souls, he moved on to study at the internationally acclaimed Mozarteum University for Music and Applied Arts in Salzburg, Austria (*-Die Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Mozarteum) where he completed his M.A. in Guitar.
Michael studied under well-known guitarists Maria Isabel Siewers de Pazur, Joaquin Clerch, Augustin Wiedemann, Ricardo Gallen, and the world-renowned player Eliot Fisk. In doing so, he has not only learned the instrument, but lived out his dreams.
Having the chance to gain an array of experience during his travels in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, he is now able to speak several languages fluently and works at an international company in Vienna. In addition to this, he still teaches guitar and holds courses in Business English at a local college on the weekends.
Connect with Michael: