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I was given the opportunity by Kuperard Publishing to read and review the newest editions of Culture Smart! Portugal: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture written by Sandy Guedes de Queriroz, and Culture Smart! New Zealand: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture written by Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird. I personally picked out the Portugal and New Zealand books to review because these locations have been on my radar of places to visit lately, and I wanted to get some more insight on each country.
I was really impressed with each book right off the bat. I absolutely loved how small each one was (only about 4” x 7", and ½” thick), because it’s perfect for traveling, fits nicely in any carry-on, checked bag, and even my purse. As a traveler, the fact that it doesn’t take up much space in my bags is very much appreciated. Nowadays everything is online and right at your fingertips- though there is an option to download these editions on a Kindle; it was nice to have the actual paperback book in my hand. I loved the glossy feel of each cover, and the cover photos really captured each country’s essence. With 168 pages in each book, it is an easy and quick read; you can surely finish each book in one day.
These books are amazingly written and make you feel as if you’ve personally visited Portugal and New Zealand. You learn so much about the history, traditions, local customs, and the daily lives of the Portuguese and New Zealanders. As a traveler- and someone who has never been to either one of these countries- learning the ins and outs on arriving and departing each county, when to visit, how to get around, and where to stay was a plus for me. Though sometimes it is great to wing it and go with the flow, it’s also important to plan and have some idea of what to expect when visiting other countries, especially if you have never been before.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books and personally learned a lot. Both authors capture the real and rawness of each country; from the words, to the black and white photos, they definitely take their readers on an amazing adventure through each country where it makes them never want to leave, even if they have never actually been there before. When I do eventually book my flights to Portugal and New Zealand, I will make sure to bring these books along, because I know they will come in handy.
Purchase these books, and others, at www.amazon.com.