Joyce Brooks Travel

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If you have read the book and would like to make a comment, please email me at or mail to P.O. Box 280, Evant TX 76525.

Dear Joyce:

Me and my dad are reading your book titled Around the World in the Middle Seat.

I think it is great! Me and my dad both love traveling. Your book inspired me because you started traveling when you were 40 years old (good job)! Since I am only 12, I wonder how much traveling I can do?

My dream is to travel around the world after I go to college. I want to start from Eugene, Oregon because it is my birthplace. I especially want to visit India, Italy, Easter Island and Indonesia. I've already made up my course. and I think I know how I'm going to get the money to travel.

Right now I live in Japan. I've been here for four years. And lived in Oregon for eight years.

Thank you, Joyce Brooks, for your wonderful book.

I have a question - is your book Seven Before Seventy kind of like your first book? Do you tell the same stories or are there new stories?


Roman Bickel

Dear Joyce,

My name is Tom Bickel. I am the dad of Roman, otherwise known as Peach Boy. We are thankful for your great writing and inspiration to us as travelers.

We look forward to hearing from you.



(Author's Comment: After receiving this wonderful letter, I sent them my "Seven Before Seventy" to Japan and
received this letter).

Dear Joyce,

Thanks for the awesome book! I was really surprised when I opened the package. We will read it soon.

I am sending you two pictures I drew for you to hand on your wall.

Roman Bickel

After reading the first chapter of your travel book,  Around the World in the Middle Seat, I could not put it down.   Your book is a joy to read, and it inspired me to travel as you opened up a whole new world out there for me explore.  Especially, I like your lighthearted stories involving your tour group, and how you were able to solve many difficulties that could have derailed the whole tour.  It gives me a lot of insight on the roles of the tour guide and I have a lot of respect for tour guides now.  Some of your stories made me feel like I am right there with your tour group, and your tips were very helpful.

 Ken Nguyen

Owner,, Matagorda Vacation Rental

Just finished Around the World in the Middle Seat.

What a fun read. My husband John and I are true travelers, but as we do not take cruises, (my husband gets seasick,) we have miles to go before we get anywhere near you and your Keith.

You have made a wonderful contribution, helping others to see places and experience events they would never have attempted. I admire your kindness and fortitude. And your sense of adventure. And your sense of humor.

Judy Marshall
Woodland Hills, California

"Around the World in the Middle Seat" is a delightful book that is often laugh-out-loud funny and full of practical advice - all told first hand in Brooks' wry, no-nonsense style. Joyce Brooks' books - don't leave home without them!

Angel Limb
Artsline Editor
WCVE-FM 88.9
Richmond, VA

I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed your books.  You have truly traveled the world.  I can see why you won the essay contest in high school.  You write very well.

Ruth Lange

Round Rock, TX

"Around the World in the Middle Seat" is informative and inspirational. If you want to get into Group Travel, this is a great primer; if you are already established as a Group Leader, it will reinforce what you are doing and is fun to read. 

Charles A. Presley, President
Group Leaders of America
Salem, Ohio

"Travel opens the door to the world and Joyce Brooks kept that door swinging!  It was a treat to read about her many adventures, trials, and tribulations as she and her bank travel groups explored the world.  As Joyce painted her pictures with expert prose I felt I was along for the ride,  whether she was soaking wet in San Antonio or knee-deep in mud in Costa Rica.  I've led groups for 13 years for my company and I'm sure Joyce will agree that once that travel bug bites, you've got to grab your sense of adventure and your sense of humor and GO!  Great job Joyce ... let's hear more!"

Sandy Stemen
Group Sales Manager
Globus and Cosmos Tours

"Around the World in the Middle Seat" is an in-depth portrayal of travel and life as a group travel coordinator.  Certain to captivate readers, Joyce Brooks' book is born of many years of experience as a successful group leader, and illustrates real-life stories of the excitement and challenges travel offers.

Daniel J. Sullivan, Jr. President & CEO
Collette Vacations

Pawtucket, RI

I would recommend your book to anyone!  It is a very good learning tool for all group leaders and I think all should buy it.  I think the value and insight  and information is worth much more than the cost of the book.

Marianne Kraft
Account Manager, Dallas
Fitzgerald Tours, Inc.

Your web site messages makes us read again and again.  What a wonderful fight for life!  Your long years of struggle ending up in a happy memory read by world-wide population will be a sample of how to bring an ambitious goal into reality.  A poor village girl equipped with a hard work effort, never surrendered, but kept looking forward to see the world.


Jimmy Wahantouw

Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia

I finally finished reading your book which I purchased at the Memphis, TN, GLAMER Show.  I don't know how you keep your wits about you in so many situations.  Travel clubs with the banks are a great way for people to get together and see places that they may not be able to see any other way.  This is also a fantastic way to get to know customers on a more personal basis.  Our bank travel club is starting our 13th year and it just keeps getting better!  Thanks for writing such a great book.


Barbara Harmon
Customer Service Officer
Piggott State Bank
Piggott, AR

Just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading both of your books "Around the World in the Middle Seat" and "Seven before Seventy".

I have met you briefly here in Rolla, MO at the Phelps Bank (that's when I purchased the books). These wonderful memories you must have and no one can take them away from you. I always feel sorry for people who have so much money in the bank, but have not seen anything of our precious earth, other cultures and beautiful sceneries.

I admire you greatly and wish you and your husband many, many more wonderful years together!

Irene Hahn
Rolla, MO

I enjoyed your book. Barbara Harmon with Piggott State Bank lent me her copy.

Loving to travel, I ate up your stories.

Good show !

Bert Lewis
Piggott, AR

I've enjoyed going through your book and seeing world travels through your eyes.  But especially, I've loved seeing photos of people just being people even though from different countries and different traditions.  Those smiles are truly an international language!


Claudia Finnegan
Sweeney Hollow B&B

Franklin, TN

I received your book on Friday and finished reading it over the weekend. I greatly enjoyed your experiences with group travel, some of which I have also experienced. It's amazing all of the "hats" we are required to wear as group leaders, from Medical Doctor to Historian, to Comedian, to Psychiatrist. Its nice to know I am not alone in some of the wacky experiences I've encountered in my 4.5 years as a leader. Thankfully most of them have been enjoyable! Your book is a must read for any group leader!

Bill Bennett
Assistant Vice President
Prime Time Program Manager
Monroe Bank
Bloomington, IN

I have read your book and it was so good.  I cannot imagine being in some of your situations, but you had a solution for everything.


I can't wait to read your upcoming book "Seven Before Seventy: One Woman's Quest for the Seven Continents".


Peggy LaCounte
Morrill and Janes Bank
Hiawatha, KS

I truly enjoyed reading your book, although at times I was forced to put it down because I grew too anxious reading about the difficulties you faced in unbelievable situations.  The truth in your stories made me realize the wild and crazy problems that could actually happen while on tour!  Of course, I did pick up the book again to see how you resolved your next problem.


Linda Johnson
East Moline, IL

I just finished your book and enjoyed every page.   While not as well traveled as you, we have visited 78 countries, so you can imagine how your book brought back lots of happy memories for us.  And I think it is absolutely wonderful that you have done the Big Seven!  You are a lucky lady, for sure.  I will look forward to your next book.


Ellen Furtkamp
Northern Illinois

I found your site on the internet search engines.  You are so lucky to go to so many places all the time.


Anessa Chothia
Johannesburg, South Africa

Your book is very interesting and full of humorous tales of your trips. I laughed and laughed at some of your stories.


Lois Martin
Austin, Texas

Your book is terrific and I SO admire your courage to sit  all that time in the middle seat!

Marian Noakes
Orange County, CA

I have just finished reading your "un-put-downable"  travel book, "Around the World in the Middle Seat". I found your variety of accounts of your experiences to be both quite fascinating and amusing.  I shall dip into it often, as I fount it so entertaining on my first "Tour" of its contents.


Luceen Greenhorn
Scotland, United Kingdom

Around the World in the Middle Seat" was so well written that since Keith was in the Window Seat, I felt like I was on your other side in the Aisle Seat along on all those trips."


Rosellen Utterback
World Traveler
Plano, TX

What a great read! Of course, I could relate to so many of your experiences, having in many similar situations myself.. You tell your stories with great style, wit, and sensitivity.


Carolyn Jackson
Group Leader and TV Personality
Austin, TX

Read this review from

Monty and I think of you and Keith so often and talk about the wonderful trips we took with you.  We measure time by those trips, so thanks for including the dates of all the trips in your book - comes in handy.  We so enjoyed your book - a lot of it amazed us at your ability to go to those places and organize it all.  One sure thing was your travelers were in good hands.


Dottie and Monty Monaghan

Austin, TX

I have thoroughly enjoyed your book which I have read several times.  It is great!! Everyone in the travel industry should read it!!


Connie Fortanbary

DSM The Carolinas

Collette Vacations

I have read your book cover to cover, including reading portions aloud to my husband.  We could identify with much of it.  We have threatened to write a book: "Hospitals around the World that We have Known".  You get my drift.  Most of our passengers are also elderly, though we do not deal with wheelchairs on a regular basis.  I immediately fell in love with your book as my two favorite destinations are Paris and Kenya. I have now handed the book to my husband to read.


Carol Heckman

Leader of Detroit Metro Travel Club

Troy, Michigan

Joyce - just wanted to let you know I finished your book and enjoyed it very much.  I laughed at some of your stories because they are so true.  My husband read it before I had a chance and he enjoyed it too.


Jane Jones

Abilene, Texas

My son bought your book at B&N and I stole it from him, read it that night, and had the best time!  You're not afraid of much, are you?  I still don't know how you knew to do so many of the things you had to do, but I guess it is like being a mother to the whole crew you had.  Bravo to you and hooray for such a great book.


Donna McMullen

Waco, Texas

Joyce, I enjoyed reading your bio page.  I just wanted to tell you I love your spunk!! and sense of adventure!!  Your story is inspirational to me.


Carolyn Frahm

Powhatan, Virginia

I'm the other Joyce Brooks that you met at the Poteet Strawberry Festival.  I finished your delightful book.  I envy some of your travels, but wild horses couldn't drag me on others.  It was fun to meet you.


Joyce Brooks

San Antonio, Texas

I LOVED your book!! Can't tell you how much I enjoyed all your stories (really giggled at the bird-shit island).  But, boy, if I ever had ANY thoughts of becoming a tour leader, I sure don't now!  I wouldn't have gone/done half the things you did...guess I'm not the adventurer after all. But I'd have gone with you on the Sea Cloud.

Sharry Buckner, Author
Vanderpool, Texas

Just finished reading "Around the World in the Middle Seat" and loved it.  I can certainly identify with the middle seat - been there many times.  Your book is full of great description, humor and valuable

Sandy Summers
Mt. Pleasant, SC

I just bopped onto you website.  It is very good, and interesting to boot!


Cindy Baldwin
Cody, WY

The book is interesting reading as well as information for a possible career change.  What a wonderful book you have written!  It was a fun, adventurous and smooth reading.  I now feel like I have known you and Keith for twenty years!  If you ever write another book, drop me a line - I have to get it!


Dee Holmes
San Antonio, TX

Your book is a delight!  You surely must be made of iron and steel to have put up with what you had to endure. You are amazing (and Keith, also).  We thoroughly enjoyed our trips with you.


Mary Lou Brown
Austin, TX

I started to read your book on the plane back to California from Bank Travel.  I am enjoying every page.  I could add a few stories of my own after 18 years in the business.  Thanks for some laughs.

Joan Mason Swindle
first friends
Camarillo, CA

Joyce Brooks gives a very personal and insightful look into life as a group tour leader.  She describes humorous observations about travel and people who travel.  Her account of difficult and rewarding situations along with useful advice about leading group tours make for chuckles and frequently a glimpse of the human side of tourism.  Her dedication and compassion to her follow travelers make one yearn to go along for the trip.  This book is highly recommended for those who travel and find enjoyment and amusement in the day to day aspects of group travel.

Dr. J. Paul Dieckert
Belton, TX

Enjoyed the "Middle Seat" immensely for two reasons: (a) I know you and (b) I've been there and done some of that also!  Doing the content in segments was a good idea, with chapters for anecdotes on a theme, such as "When Nature Calls".  Boy, can I relate to that in many countries!  I love the front cover shot of Wagifa (village in Papua New Guinea).


Janet Barber

Melanesian Tours

Papua New Guinea

I really enjoyed reading your book, and want to see Bora Bora now that you describe it so "deliciously".  It would take a really confident, people-loving person to be a good tour guide as your book describes.  Thanks for writing it, I enjoyed every page.


Beverly McPherson

Dallas, TX

Joyce, your writing skills have a mark of education, yet a mark of humanism. I was with you all the way from first to last.  A well-traveled person can relive it - a non-traveler can see all the delightful sights, people and experiences he has missed.  The unbelievable facet of the picturesque accounts of events is that any human being could experience all the problems and pleasures that you confronted with such wisdom and finesse, and lived through them. You had to be a combination of Florence Nightingale, Pavola and Salome to care for the ill, be agile and sly enough to  keep up with all the doings of such a variety of societies for so many years. 


June Shannon

Author and Joyce's childhood music teacher

Stephenville, TX

I enjoyed your book very much. I had forgotten about the "belly dancers"  I laughed aloud when I read that part.


Marilyn Miller

Austin, TX

I am sitting here with Adri Boka and Darwin Sumang (our guide and driver in Central Sulawesi) after just looking at your web site.  Congratulations on writing the book - something many people want to do but never muster the energy for.


Duncan Neville

Director Nature Conservancy

Palu, Sulawesi

Your book was just great - had a lot of good laughs while reading it.


Janice Culp

Austin, TX

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Book!  Recognized some places we went with you and Keith, and laughed at many of the anecdotes.  Looking forward to the next book.


Jane Bloor

Austin, TX

Really enjoyed the book - I am just happy I wasn't on some of those trips.  We miss traveling with you.


Dottie Gaudin

Austin, TX

How I loved your travel book!  It brought back some mutual travel experiences.


Dorothy Walters

Waiahae, Hawaii

I enjoyed the return to Vietnam and Cambodia via your website.


Molly Schiff

Geeta Tours and Travels

Chicago, IL

Joyce, your book is really interesting. I wondered if you had help-notes of all those humorous details or if you were just a good writer!


Joyce Hoover

Austin, TX

GOOD JOB on the book!. I found me in a few places.


Bill Bomar

Austin, TX

We thoroughly enjoyed your book.  Found interesting about our tour to Costa Rica where on Mother's Day we were all given flowers.


Veronica and Joe Goss

Austin, TX

Your book about your travels and experiences was wonderful.  The whole family enjoyed reading it.


Brig. Gen. Morton Mc D. Jones

Austin, TX

I enjoyed your book. I can certainly relate to that middle seat!


Dorothy Hamilton

Austin, TX

We love your view from the "Middle Seat".


Gladys and Don Gresser

Austin, TX

I have known Joyce and Keith for over 25 years and while reading this collection of adventures, I could visualize every gesture and look on Joyce's face.  I could "see" Keith as the stalwart companion, always ready to step in when needed.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have passed it on to my children, who also have known and loved this dynamic duo."

Judi Hewett
Austin, TX

I LOVED the book.  It was such enjoyable reading, and so many interesting stories! I forgot about almost being left behind in Macchu Pichu!

Cindy Bednar
Elgin, TX

I've just finished your delightful book.  Thanks so much for recalling many pleasant times we had together!

Eloise Loveless
Bastrop, TX

I bought your book at the Texas Book Fair.   You are "that special person".  I would never survive as a group leader. After reading your book I see that I am a guest and not a guide. I thoroughly enjoyed your book.  Loved your adventurous attitude.

Elinor Stephens
Austin, TX

"I would like to be grateful for your website where you put my picture. I have sent also your website address to my friends and colleagues in Europe.  I hope they buy your book. We hope the situation of the world will better soon in order to we can meet again for the next trip. There is now No Problem for American and other nationalities in  Central Sulawesi. May God bless you and hopefully give you health and long life in order to we can meet again one day."

Adri F. Boka (Our guide in Sulawesi)
Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Joyce. we love the book.  What an accomplishment! Iím very flattered to be in the book.

Terry and Mitch Mitchell

Milwaukee, WI

Enjoyed your book very much.  I could almost put myself in some of the trips and recognize others.  Had a few laughs and also enjoyed the many trips you took to places I would not have chosen.  You told the story so well - I almost felt I had been along.  As I read the suggestions for future tour guides, I was reminded just how much time and energy to be good at this, and you were.

V.A. Bowling

Austin, TX

It was a great book.  takes a real special person to handle it as you and Keith did.  Interesting from beginning to the end. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share some of your travels with you.

Joe and Flo Web
Ruidosa, NM

Thanks for the wonderful voyages I made with you - I never got to travel very much in my later years being a dedicated career woman who couldn't leave her job - but on the 5 trips I took - oh what a wonderful time. They were like precious gifts to myself. Now I can reread all the wonderful trips made by all in your exquisite book.

Joann Utterback Phillips

Austin, TX

Some of the stories I've heard from you, but it was such fun reading about them.  All I can say is - I don't know how you continued.  I would have thrown in the towel, lacking your patience and stamina.  Guess those are rare qualities that made you such a good leader.


Diana Zumwalt

Austin, TX

I have read your delightful book "clean through" and enjoyed every line of it!  I think the title was inspired!

Anne Durrum Robinson
Creativity Connoisseur and Former Group Traveler
Austin, TX

Your book is wonderful and you are so smart to have kept such details of all your trips. You have traveled more than I knew would be possible.  I was with you only one trip, but it would have been an honor to go with you on many others.

Gladys Longoria
Austin, Texas

Joyce Brooks travel memories, the good, the bad, the Sour Puss - are a terrific read.  So many destinations and such varied experiences. Ms. Brooks generously offered tips to those who may wish to become travel mavens are useful to any entrepreneur.  Essentially, she says to do your homework, keep the customers happy, find and cultivate good resources, and you can't beat free advertising.  I've read many business books that didn't pack as much useful information in the whole book as she does in that one chapter.

Becky Milner
Vintage Books
Vancouver, Washington

When I wish to be someplace else, I look at one of my trip albums and
relive the experience.  Now this can be done by viewing your web page.
Thanks for the memories!

Doris Sanders
Austin, Texas

Nella and I both have just finished reading your book, and we want to commend you for a job well done!  It was easy reading, informational, interesting, amazing and well written. ... Also, we just visited your web site this morning and started to view your fine collect of pictures.  What a nice way to share your travels!  I think it is better to read the book before you view your pictures.

Best regards,

Harlan Blount

Louisville, KY

Just finished your book, and touring the world with you again,  Some stories recalled many happy memories of places and things we did.  Others, enjoyed reading about and glad we weren't there.


Willie Mae Pfulger

Pfulgerville, TX