J. Maarten Troost is the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific. His essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, theWashington Post, and thePrague Post. He spent two years in Kiribati in the equatorial Pacific and upon his return was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. After several years in Fiji, he recently relocated to the U.S. and now lives with his wife and son in California.
How did you get started traveling?
One of my earliest memories is taking the train from Holland, where I was born, to Prague, where my grandfather lived. I must have been three or so, and I can recall thinking something along the lines ofWhoa, this is different. It was like stepping into some alternate reality full of soldiers and crumbling buildings and rusting Ladas. This was only a few years after the Soviet invasion and there was a heaviness to the air that we just didn’t have in Holland. Growing up, we moved around a bit from Holland to Canada and then on to the United States. Summers were spent in Europe, where my father lived. It was an agreeable way to grow up, having one foot in North America and the other in Europe, and it made travel and movement seem very natural.