Travels and Tribulations

Travels and Tribulations by Tyrel Nelson

Reviewed by Lily Andrews

An emotional and physical journey, “Travels and Tribulations” is a compulsively readable memoir written by Tyrel Nelson. During the bleak time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tyrel lost his mother whom he had shared a close relationship with, to a kidney disease and thereafter, his job.  Purchase Here.

It was a depressing moment for him pushing him into persistent despondency and it was during this time that he began making a recollection of significant experiences in his life going back from 2008 to 2020 including the people and places that he got a chance to meet and see respectively. This somehow provided a much-needed catharsis for him, relieving him from the agony and grief that hung around him. It was through sorting various compilations that he had written over the years that he penned these captivating vignettes that he shares with us today.

With a unique sense of rare immediacy and keen depth, the author walks us through the memories of his life, his experiences, and his relationships and even goes ahead to share the sorrow that engulfed him during the pandemic period. Part travelogue and part self-reflection odyssey, “Travel and Tribulations” takes us across the physical excursions and super-famous Carnivals in Ecuador, the lowlands in Guatemala, the countryside of Mexico, and back to Minnesota in the United States. Throughout, Tyrel’s voice shines with raw honesty and candidness, not holding anything back, leading us to moments of soul-searching during the reading.

He credits his mother for laying the groundwork and sparking the desire in him to see the world. This is after traveling with her to her homeland, the Philippines for a two-week trip. He does not stop there but goes ahead to celebrate both his parents for instilling in him the values of resilience, compassion, selflessness, and living in the moment from an early age. Across, the author’s writing and travel style are equally affable invoking in his exposition, an inviting feeling of shared thoughts and experiences, both poignant and impactful. “Travels and Tribulations” by Tyrel Nelson is an indelible biography and one that marks the arrival of a quintessential voice in biography writing.


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