This book clearly describes multiple methods of travel
and why you might decide to choose the method which he calls "threading." A method of travelling that many backpackers who have taken multi-week trips or longer might already be familiar with, but clearly outlined and compared with other methods.
The author also describes route planning, and living on the road. While I have not read these latter two sections yet, the quality of writing and advice in the 1st section is good enough for me to warrant giving this book 5 stars.
As an earlier reviewer stated, most will find many nuggets of information, save for the most seasoned of travelers. Even for those - it's nice to hear another voice. This book is how-to book, not what.
In a friendly tone, albeit occasionally repetitive, Otteson offers real, valuable, practical advice (how to bargain, what to pack, how to deal with bribery, etc). Some of this stuff you'll find tucked away in Lonely Planet guidebooks, but Otteson's editorial sense makes his advice easier to find, and it applies globally. Backpacker networks abound with "how to's" for various scenarios. It can be overwhelming. But Otteson has gleaned the gentlest, most useful, and most intelligent tips.
The newest concept Otteson brings to the table is HOW to make a journey. This was very useful to me. He gets the reader to really think about what is important... do you want destinations only (sleep on trains as you go?) or do you want to get a feel for the whole of a region, and travel only in daylight hours (what he calls threading). You may opt for a combination of the two styles, but he makes an excellent argument for the latter.
Within the pages are wonderful glimmers of enthusiasm for travel itself; reader will be bitten by the travel bug... So if you are not really sure you should get off your duff or if you are trying to convince a homebody to join you on a trip, this book will whet the appetite for the adventure of the open road.
Now, more than ever, does the world need to see the face of the American traveler.