Jane Wilson-Howarth

Non Fiction Books


Travel Narratives

People fascinate me. Perhaps that is why I love working as a GP. When I travel, I always want to ask questions and know what life is really like for everyone I meet. Sadly, I am not much of a linguist but I smile and gesticulate a great deal and make the effort to communicate. Given enough time, it is remarkable how connections can be made

I explore, try to understand and write about difficult issues including corruption, prejudice, exploitation, caste and poverty. I know that for some this makes uncomfortable reading and even risks demystifying and undermining the image some travellers have of the simple natural existence of the rural poor in emerging nations. Nevertheless I fervently believe these issues should be understood by all who travel so my aim is to present the facts as sympathetic engaging stories about real people. I am frustrated by the look-and-point approach to travel, but I hope I don't preach. I write of my adventures and enthusiasms and of colour and beauty so that my readers can enjoy my travel experiences as much as I do.

Travel Health Guides

Within minutes of arriving in the sleepy town of Khairpur in Sindh, I was faced with a medical crisis. I'd been qualified as a doctor for a few years but was new to expatriate life, and I was travelling with my firstborn, three-month-old son. A guy who was expecting to work with my husband announced that he needed to be evacuated because he was desperately ill. I introduced myself as a GP and offered help. Quickly I realised that my new friend was not suffering from some horrendous tropical pox but that he just had a nasty attack of sinusitis. It made him feel awful with frontal headache that recalled having a screwdriver rammed into his eyeball. Labelling it with a diagnosis made it less scary, though, and we found that the correct antibiotics were readily available over the counter in the local bazaar. By the next day my patient was well on the way to recovery.

That was the first time I really had to think about travel health. What this, my first real travel medicine ‘case’, made me realise is that even the calmest and most sensible of travellers will nearly always become disproportionately worried about themselves when taken ill. In my friend’s case, he didn’t know much about the local health service and didn’t know where he could find a doctor he could trust. He just wanted to get home to his friendly British GP. That experience showed me how liberating and empowering information can be and motivated me to start writing accessible straightforward travel health advice. I began work on a manual that was distributed amongst expatriate engineers, and soon after wrote my first travel health feature for Wanderlust magazine. It was - of course - on diarrhoea.



Lemurs of the Lost World

“excellent and exciting”

Good Book Guide

How to Shit Around the World

"an evacuation manual of sorts.... gives straightforward advice… a great bathroom read. But the best reading, if you are into potty humor, are the travelers’ anecdotes."

The Washington Post

50 Camels and She's Yours

A book well worth 50 camels. The launch at Heffers bookshop showcased the ability of each writer, who read excerpts from their chapters and had the audience by turns laughing and also slightly anxious – maybe that was just me – about the extreme situations they find themselves in, especially Jane, who describes being stuck in a very deep cave in Nepal.

Cambridge Independent newspaper

Your Child Abroad: a travel health guide

This superb, informative and easily read guide should be familiar to every family doctor and a necessary component of all practice libraries. Travel to sometimes remote places is increasingly undertaken for occupational reasons but also for family vacations. The steep rise in the number of airborne family journeys testifies to the attractions of far off places. These places are usually safe if the traveller is aware enough and properly prepared to avoid sometimes common assaults by insect vectors and other potential hazards. From extensive personal experience and with a magnificent skill at presenting necessary information on page and website in preparation of an overseas trip, the authors make an extremely clear presentation. Indeed they are to be congratulated on a major contribution to the travel literature. This handbook should ensure that experiences of travel abroad will be as safe as they are pleasurable. I am delighted that an updated e-version is planned for later in 2013.

Prof B.W.M. McGuinness, MD