CANMORE – Nancy O’Hare’s latest book Searching for Unique, is a continent spanning companion for anyone who has the wanderlust to someday set out on their own treks across the globe.
Starting with the Bhutanese “Snowman trek,” the book – released Thursday (Nov. 22) – transports its readers across five continents, 14 countries, and 25 locales.
Composed of small vignettes about locations, festivals, and the people she’s met, O’Hare’s book is a window into places that are a world away. It’s through this travel and exploration, that O’Hare hopes to bring people and cultures closer together.
“I think there’s a lot of fear of going out there into the world,” said O’Hare. “Not with everyone, but fear of what’s different and fear of going some places you’re not comfortable with. And where you don’t know what’s going to be different from what you know, I just think you should go out there and experience it for yourself.”
To help release and promote her book, O’Hare is giving two readings and signings in Canmore. The first takes place on Sunday (Nov. 25), from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Café Books in downtown Canmore, and the second is on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Canmore
Searching for Unique is O’Hare’s second travel book, after last year’s Dust in my Pack, and like her first published work, it is a book designed by a traveller with travellers in mind.
There is a subtle distinction between a traveller and a tourist for O’Hare; a tourist merely sees the surface of a location while a traveller will do their best to experience the bubbling undercurrents of life, culture and beauty that live within it.
“This tends to work well if you want to maybe see more of the non-tourist side of a country, where it’s the essence of a country,” said O’Hare. “Trying to get to those kind of lesser visited places that are still really impactful and gorgeous and nice to see and show what the country is about without the crowds, without the mass tourism side of things.”
To help search for those hidden gems in countries, O’Hare and her husband Chad O’Hare do plenty of pre-research of countries, searching through old travel books, online blogs and message boards, and then pass along that research to the reader with sections of each chapter dedicated to what to bring and where to go for additional information. The book is also full of wonderful maps and photos to help illustrate the locations the O’Hares travelled.
Copies of the book retail for $25.99 for the black and white version, and a colour version of the book will debut later for $42.99.
Locally, Searching for Unique can be found at Mint Health & Drugs, Café Books, and Valhalla in Canmore, and at Indigospirit in Banff’s Cascade Plaza. There is also an e-book version of the book that retails for USD $6.99.