Watch out for Pirates – Tales from a Travel Writer’s Life by Jules Brown

“Left at 11am to go pirate-hunting.” Wait, what?

When Jules reads his grandfather’s diary, he discovers he’s not the first in his family with travel stories to tell.

Looking for his own adventures, Jules crosses continents while learning the ropes as a Rough Guide writer. And because travel is unpredictable, there’s no knowing what his next trip will bring.

Surviving the outback, drunk by breakfast time in Montenegro, asked to sing at a Sicilian wedding, appearing as Santa in a Portuguese school – the life of a travel writer can take a wrong turn now and again.

From scary lizards to Highland warriors, it seems that pirates are not the only things to worry about when you’re born to travel.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publication Date: May 21st 2022
Publisher: Trust-Me Travel


My Review

I was sent a digital advanced review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review – thank you Jules! 

Watch Out for Pirates is volume three in the Tales from a Travel Writer’s Life series and again it is full of interesting snippets of trips Jules has undertaken and adventures he has had. 

Each chapter takes around ten to fifteen minutes to read and covers a different trip and city he has visited. In this way you can easily just read a chapter while having a cup of tea and dip in and out of this book throughout the day, without needing to remember what was happening when you were last reading. 

The characters Jules meets on his trips are often entertaining, such as his host in Montenegro, who may have helped to impair his abilities as a travel writer: 

“If he heard the slightest footstep in the corridor, he’d be out brandishing the bottle, day or night. He was like Burt Kwouk in the Pink Panther films, springing out from doorways and lurking in the shadows; I virtually had to commando-roll out of the building each morning to avoid a rocket-fuelled start to the day.”

The locations are varied – some close to home and some on the other side of the globe. In Yorkshire on the James Cook trail there is a disappointing lack of actual Cook memorabilia – the highlight might have been the discounted romantic getaway he and his friend Ian were treated to by their hosts. 

In Australia Jules and his wife are on the trail of the late Steve Irwin and encounter plenty of wildlife, while in Scotland they are visiting the locations made famous by Jamie Fraser of Outlander fame.

I think the New York tipping guide was a little out of date – nowadays 15% is considered an insult and 18% is the norm. Of course it’s much easier to work out 20% than 18% so in my experience most people leave 20%! 

The hot air ballooning over Luxor sounded scary but something I would love to have a chance of doing and I would also have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the Sicilian wedding party where Jules ended up serenading the group with “On Ilkely Moor Baht ‘At”.

Each of the stories is delivered with typically dry humour and this time there is even a ‘Behind the scenes of travel writing’ section which made for a very interesting read. 

Highly recommended to anyone fancying a spot of armchair traveling! 


About the Author

Travel writer Jules Brown was born in Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa, and grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He took his first solo trip around Europe when he was 17, and has been traveling and writing professionally for over 35 years, starting with a pioneering guidebook to Scandinavia. He continued to write guidebooks for Rough Guides for many years, and if you’ve ever been to Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, USA, Hong Kong or New Zealand with a Rough Guide, he may have helped you out along the way. Unless that restaurant you went to had closed down; in that case, it wasn’t him.

4 thoughts on “Watch out for Pirates – Tales from a Travel Writer’s Life by Jules Brown

  1. Pingback: Indie Spotlight – Jackie Lambert | Sue's Musings

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