Beyond the Vapour Trail

Beyond the Vapour Trail


Beyond the Vapour Trail

A two year old girl is abandoned on the streets of Ulaan Bataar with a bag of clothes and a note pinned to her: -Please take care of me ...'

Twelve year old Betty, alone looking after her dying mother, is kidnapped to become a child soldier ...

An Australian aid worker finds himself off the tourist map confronted by the struggles of people in the developing world, across six continents. He discovers the inspirational and the beautiful; people and cultures responding to their changing landscape; the stories and courage of individuals who bring fresh perspectives to life.

And so much that is just funny ...

Brett Pierce works in overseas aid which has taken him to over seventy countries. His work has been instrumental in adapting and remodelling child sponsorship to empower local community-led care and protection and child participation, currently rolling out to over 4.3 million children and their communities globally. When he is not travelling, his home is on the Mornington Peninsula where he enjoys time with his family, harp-building, painting in oils, and the brewing of fine ales.

Beyond the Vapour Trail
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: Brett Pierce
ISBN: 9780994395740
RRP: $29.99


Interview with Brett Pierce

Question: What inspired the book, Beyond the Vapour Trail?

Brett Pierce: When you work in overseas aid, it's difficult to encounter the world so directly and not be affected. Many aid workers have deep experiences, profound moments. But you can't just talk about it all over a barbecue. So you bury it. And I buried it all. The beautiful things. The pain. My personal struggles. The dangerous moments and near misses. The generosity I witnessed and received from the poorest. The sometimes uneducated people who have more courage than I'll ever know. The inspirational. Apparently Monet only painted his own garden for the last decade of his life. I only know that when someone asked me to write this – which I initially refused – all those buried experiences emerged like Monet's garden for me. I saw beauty in every corner. As though it all resolved into impressions of places and conversations and stories… And I met myself somewhere in there – at different ages, different moments.


Question: How does it feel to receive such high praise from George Negus?

Brett Pierce: George Negus has this very matter-of-fact Aussie manner, with such a fresh way of stringing words together. For decades he connected us with the cutting edge of what was happening in the world. So, to be honest, I wasn't sure he would even read it all. I offered him a few chapters to get a feel. I was surprised that he was late with comments because he wanted to read it right through. Yes, I had to read his comments twice to believe that he had said that.


Question: What do you hope readers learn from the book?

Brett Pierce: I firstly hope that they just enjoy a good read. That it's interesting, fascinating, thought-provoking, beautiful, moving and funny. Because that's what my journey has been like. I don't have an agenda beyond that. If they view some corners of the globe with a little more insight, more empathy, or become a little inspired by how beautiful people are across so many cultures, then they've shared part of my world.


Question: Can you tell us about the -Travel mistakes and how to avoid them' included in Beyond the Vapour Trail?

Brett Pierce: I wish my mother had realised, when she so often threw her hands in the air about my slightly disorganised approach to life – that this would provide fodder to laugh at myself in a book. Because I've done some exceedingly stupid things when travelling. Please … don't do these things.


Beyond the Vapour Trail
Transit Lounge Publishing
Author: Brett Pierce
ISBN: 9780994395740
RRP: $29.99

Interview by Brooke Hunter




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