A new travel book from an award-winning Letchworth-based writer will take readers all around the world.

The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels is a compilation of Vitali Vitaliev’s articles throughout his 30-plus year career.

The Comet: The cover of The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels - Thirty Years of Globe-Trotting (1990 – 2020) by Vitali Vitaliev, published by Thrust Books.The cover of The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels - Thirty Years of Globe-Trotting (1990 – 2020) by Vitali Vitaliev, published by Thrust Books. (Image: Thrust Books)

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Vitali takes armchair travellers on a global exploration, encouraging readers to let their minds travel.

“As a professional travel writer whose wanderlust has seen me spend most of the last 30 years on the move it would be easy to succumb to pessimism and ennui with the current restrictions on movement,” said Vitali.

"However, as an experienced ‘armchair buccaneer’ I have an instrument to make confinement bearable – travels of the mind.”

At a time when real-life voyages remain off limits for most, The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels enables anyone to journey vicariously, and explore virtually the places that self-confessed ‘dromomaniac’ Vitaliev has visited.

The Comet: Travel writer Vitali VitalievTravel writer Vitali Vitaliev (Image: Thrust Books)

The book includes hundreds of locations across five continents ranging from the more familiar – reimagined – to the completely obscure, all brought vividly to life by the author’s amusing and inimitable writing style.

It chronicles Vitali’s first trip outside of the USSR, when he took a train from Moscow to Britain, through to a final journey in March 2020 to Slovenian/Italian town Nova Gorica/Gorizia, just as lockdown was making the open and all but imaginary border real and visible again for the first time in 13 years.

In between the first and ‘last’ trips, the author takes the reader on an unforgettable journey around islands, across micronations and quirky enclaves, atop mountains into valleys, and through all shades of weird, wonderful, sublime and ridiculous.

The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels transports readers around the world from the comfort of their armchair and provides plenty of travel inspiration for the future.

Among many other journeys, readers can join Vitali on his explorations pre- and post- lifting of the Iron Curtain, around Italy in pursuit of a bad meal, ‘chasing ghosts’ as he follows in the footsteps of his favourite authors, and at some of his favourite destinations including Alaska, South Korea, Nevis, the Falkland Islands, Mount Athos, Tasmania, Venice and Montreuil-sur-Mer.

Hertfordshire also features a number of times in the book, with a whole section about Wallington and George Orwell. Wallington was the place where Nineteen Eighty-Four author Orwell “spent the happiest and most prolific several years of his life".

Hitchin and Letchworth are specifically mentioned in other sections of the book.

Letchworth inhabitant Vitali will be giving an online talk for Letchworth Settlement on Thursday, February 4 from 7.30pm.

His talk – '30 Years of Globetrotting with Vitali Vitaliev' – will give virtual attendees a whirlwind tour of some of the themes, discoveries and stories he chronicles within his new book's pages.

For more details, visit www.letchworthsettlement.org.uk/workshops/

The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels will be available in paperback and for the Kindle through Amazon UK and Amazon US from February 1, 2021.