Reading Smiling at the World is like taking a year-long journey around the globe and making a new best friend in the process. Major unfolds her extraordinary adventures with vivid descriptions of colors and smells. She does a wonderful job of creating a sense of time and place. The reader gets to rejoice with the author over achievements and fell the pangs of loneliness. As the story evolves so does its author and it is nice to see her character change. Intentionally or not, Major also makes a good case for volunteerism. The idea of giving back while traveling seems possible, practical and responsible when described and lived by the author.

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