Jeff's blog

Review of A Map For Saturday

Written By: jeff

Posted On: February 21st, 2011

I had not heard of A Map of Saturday until last year during the planning for Meet Plan Go. I finally realized why: the film came out during the time I headed out for my own travel adventure.  Settling in Bogota, Colombia, further contributed to limited access to the movie.

I had heard a lot of great things about the movie. Several of my travel buddies talked about how real it was, how inspirational it was, etc, etc. I was beginning to fear that I wouldn’t like the movie. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I had been given rave reviews of a movie and then found that it didn’t live up to my heightened expectations.

When I finally saw it last week, I was glad that the movie didn’t disappoint.  There is so much that I could write that I’ve had trouble limiting my review so as not to write on and on about it.

Telling the Story of the Traveler

The powerful aspect of this film is that Brook (the director, producer and star) shows the process long-term travelers go through while on the road. There’s the anticipation and euphoria of letting your boss, colleagues and friends know. Brook takes us to his work to capture their reaction when he shares his plans. Seeing those jaws drop brought me back to my own talks with my colleagues. We see the intimate moment between Brook and his mom at the airport as she reluctantly lets him go to board his plane.  Again, I was taken back to my own goodbye with my mom at the airport.

The film then takes you through Brook’s year, from Australia to Asia to Europe and finally, South America.  The compelling part for me was seeing how Brook changes along the way, both as a person and as a traveler. He delves into the emotional aspects of the travel. In particular, Brook explores in the early days how long-term travelers cope with silence; days pass in which you don’t say much to anyone else…and then that experience changes you, makes you stronger and more confident, more comfortable with yourself.  As time goes on, he shows how the material becomes less important to you and how you learn to appreciate a simple bowl of soup from a simple ramshackle restaurant.  In short, the long-term traveler learns to appreciate the journey as much as any single destination encountered.

Finally, as Brook’s time winds down, there’s the realization that life back home awaits. To call that the ¨Real World¨ would disrespect the time on the road that long-term travelers have. After all, all the travelers and locals met along the way are ¨real¨ and going about their daily life too, right?  I was pleased to see a focus at the end about what happens when you return home and the inevitable anticlimax that comes after the celebrated reunions. Hearing these stories, it makes me wonder if you can consider ¨home¨ to be where you came from after exploring the world.

If I had any disappointment in the film, it was the focus almost solely on a younger set of travelers, except for 73-year-old Will, a man who takes 13 pills every morning. Perhaps these were the people that Brook met along the way. The only reason I say I am disappointed is that given the ¨cast¨, it would be too easy to chalk this experience up to something you do when you are in your 20s. Will’s appearance puts a crack in that notion. But, I would have liked to have seen more people in their 30s and 40s who I know are engaging in this type of travel.  But hey, you can’t have everything, right?

If you want to see what long-term travel is like, this is a great film that will inform, entertain and inspire you.

I’m glad I made the decision to give away a free DVD of A Map For Saturday to share with our Facebook fans. Read the instructions on how to enter. But, do it quickly since the entry date is slowly approaching.  Of course, you can also purchase the movie at Brook’s website for the movie.


I contacted Brook to obtain a copy of the DVD for the Facebook giveaway. The review reflects my opinion about the movie.

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2 Responses to “Review of A Map For Saturday”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sherry Ott, BriefcasetoBackpack. BriefcasetoBackpack said: Via @CareerBrkSecret Review of A Map For Saturday – I had not heard of A Map of Saturday until last year during the … [...]

  2. Erica says:

    Ugh I got all weepy during that preview.
    Erica recently posted..Preparation StatusMy ComLuv Profile

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