Dream Trip to the Orient

Dream Trip to the Orient

by Katharine Salter Mahmood

Memoir


About the Book

The writer’s voice of Katharine Salter Mahmood invites you to escape from today’s era of group emails and text messages, and slip back in time to listen to your imagination recreate the firm, deliberate rapping of Kate Salter’s fingers pounding through seven carbons and onionskins on her trusted typewriter.

In an emotionally torn and fragile state due to the ravages of post-war Germany, Kate’s strength of spirit drives her to depart Europe and sail from Rotterdam to the Philippines with a determination and excitement that we learn is characteristic of her vibrant personality. Now free of the consequences of war, Kate soaks up the sunshine and attention given her as an American woman on her own. Her infectious enthusiasm grows as the badly needed rest and warmth of the sun revitalize her.

On her voyage, Kate finds herself coming to the aid of her new friend Gay, on board with her six-year-old daughter Sheila, when they learn the crushing news of Gay’s husband’s death, and are confronted with insensitive behavior. Kate is filled with empathy and a new kind of strength emerges, even as she struggles to recover from her own very recent loss.

In Dream Trip to the Orient, Kate journals her excitement, and her sometimes daring exploits aboard the Danish freighter with room for a dozen passengers. Written in letter form with sparkling language to family and friends with her flair for ebullient expression, these paper letters were indeed mailed at the end of her trip.

This fascinating story of the confidence Kate built on her “trip of a lifetime” is an enchanting testament to the tenacity of the human soul, and the soul of Katharine Salter Mahmood in particular.


About the Author

Katharine [Kate] Shepard Salter Mahmood was born in the summer of 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the eldest child of three daughters and two sons born of two very academic parents. Her experiences as a chronic traveler began early in life. As a result of her father’s frequent wide-ranging role as a Visiting Professor at many different universities-from Stanford to Manila-she moved eighteen times in eighteen years, thus establishing the tone for many adventures to follow.

After graduating from Mills College in 1943, she initially worked in the Pentagon in Washington. After the war she was eager to travel and recognized there would be an opportunity for working in Germany. She managed to get a job working at the Rhein Main Air Force Base in 1946 right after the Allied occupation. The fact that she also worked for the American wartime periodical Stars and Stripes as a photographer and journalist in Germany and in the States, gave her the daring to book a freighter from Germany to the Philippines. Her father was teaching at the University of the Philippines, so Manila became her destination.

A person who lived her life to the fullest, she faced adversity with an open heart and an open mind. She believed all was possible. She did not dream her dreams, she boldly lived them.