Prepare for Departure
Notes on a single mother, a misfit son, inevitable mortality and the enduring allure of frequent flyer miles.
Publication date: July, 2022
Genre: Memoir | Travel
★★★★★ "Pour yourself a drink, fasten your seatbelt, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime." Robert Adams, editorial director, Passport Magazine
At an early age, award-winning travel writer, Mark Chesnut, learned to dodge discomfort by jumping on the nearest plane, bus or car. That tactic proved especially useful when his single mother made it clear that there was no room for discussion about his gay identity.
Mark, overwhelmed with wanderlust, shoplifts in airports, avoids Southern Baptist salvation, acts like Hillary Clinton in a nursing home, and dresses in drag with his grandfather. He even creates an imaginary airline and flies away.
Now, as 89-year-old Eunice Chesnut moves to a New York City nursing home to be near her son, Mark's obsession with travel takes a backseat as he embarks on the most emotional journey of all.
More than an end-of-life memoir, more than a collection of childhood memories and travel stories, Prepare for Departure showcases what happens when a permissive mother and a mistfit son face death while revisiting life. Buckle your seatbelts for a witty, touching and darkly humorous trip — through time, loss, forgiveness and acceptance.