Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Walt Balenovich, Author of Travels in a Blue Chair, at Party in the Park

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Walt Balenovich, Author of Travels in a Blue Chair, at Party in the Park

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - 5:30pm



Funny things happen when you're backpacking alone around the world! Now imagine doing and seeing it all from my blue wheelchair.

My book of adventures on four wheels is an entertaining new twist on the iconic North American backpacker.

Travels in a Blue Chair - Alaska to Zambia, Ushuaia to Uluru by Walt Balenovich

I have found myself in some amazing, funny and harrowing situations, with only my wits, smile, blue chair and the friends I met along the way to help me through. I have spent a great part of my life exploring the world and meeting the people on it, alone, in my blue chair.

Perhaps you've been to Zambia, maybe even by yourself, but have you ever found yourself with a freshly broken leg, lying in a clinic under the only blurry X-ray machine within 1000 km?

Many people have been to Indonesia, but few have been stranded in the early morning darkness on the terrifying Java Sea, after the boat motor that brought you so far out, just broke down?

I had polio when I was 12 weeks old and spent the first 5 years of my life in the hospital, after finally being released to enter kindergarten, use coloured towels and eat non-flaked potatoes. After finishing school, I became an I.T. consultant, which allowed me to travel after completing one of my contracts, which usually took six months to a year.

Taking a break to plan my next adventure, Blue Chair - Blue World, the ultimate four wheeled, around the world journey, I have put together a collection of short stories to share the amazing adventures and memorable characters I have experienced. Never one to take the easy way out, I have self-published my book through and made it available online.

Six days on a Chilean bus down the Pan American highway to Patagonia, riding and sleeping on trains across Europe alone, trying to find a bus company that would take me to Uluru, in Australia's Outback, attempting to get out of Tokyo's outdated subway system, camping on the Masai Mara in western Kenya, and not being allowed on a plane in South Africa - it all happened to the disabled adventurer in a blue chair.

And much more, including English and Dutch backpackers, recently wed, who insist that I nudged them together!! The story makes for a heartwarming final chapter entitled "The Happy Ending"!

You can learn more about myself and the book at...

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will go to support Rotary International's programme to vaccinate children against polio in the Third World.


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