Collywobblesby Faye Brenner


An irresistible compulsion to travel and a nervous affliction: put these together and you get the collywobbles, that jittery feeling one gets from anxiety. Faye Brenner pursued a wanderlust ever since her high school trip to Europe, anxiety be damned...sort of. In Collywobbles, she takes us on amusing journeys from climbing up to the gargoyles atop Notre Dame to crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam, all the while wrought with multiple anxieties - from the fear of heights to the fear of getting lost. As she seeks ways to overcome her angst, Faye continues to pursue worldly pleasures in the arts, food, phalluses, and, oddly enough, toilets. Collywobbles is part memoir and part travelogue, set amid Faye's often humorous experiences while globetrotting through life, first as an apprehensive student, evolving into an insightful educator, disastrous lover, emerging tour guide, and finally, a happy pensioner. Along the way, we meet her several travel partners who, sometimes, simply add to her angst. Yet, even if there were a cure for her travel addiction, Faye would not consider it.

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The Author:

Faye Brenner is an educator. She has worked in formal education as a high school teacher and as a specialist in advanced academics. Her professional experience in residential summer camping and tour guiding are grounded in informal education. Each of these careers gave her the opportunity to travel the world, globetrotting with students, friends, family, and professional colleagues. Her first book, "Transforming Student Travel: A Resource Guide for Educators," brings together educational theory and practical tips for student tour guides, enhancing the student tour experience. She wrote "Collywobbles: Tales of Travel, Life, and Anxiety" as a way to survive her forced retirement caused by an ankle replacement, as well as the Coronavirus pandemic and the stress of the 45th presidency. Faye lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her two dogs, Zora and Trixie. She has suffered from a mild case of generalized anxiety disorder for most of her life.


ISBN: 978-1951943486
Publication date: December 1, 2020
Page count: 192
List price: $14.95
Formats available:

Ever since I’ve known the author, Faye Brenner (a former colleague and friend, she has been a huge traveler, taking multiple international trips a year. In Collywobbles, Tales of Travel, Life, and Anxiety, written during the pandemic when travel became impossible, she begins and ends with a discussion of her anxieties – acrophobia and claustrophobia as well a general anxiety that manifests itself in worry over getting lost, being assaulted and missing connections.

The author gives an entertaining lived perspective on what could be a paralyzing amount of anxiety combined with a passion to travel the world. Obstacle after obstacle gets in her way and each time you want to turn the pages to see how the issues are dealt with.

Faye Brenner brings her warmth and humor to the reader while desiring her adventures around the world and around her DC neighborhood.

I've really enjoyed Faye Brenner's book. It's fun, interesting, and so real. The author takes us her continual adventures around the world -- while sharing cultural tidbits and history along the way -- and, most of all, reveals her inner fears as she travels on. I don't think there's a serious traveler among us who can't relate to the anxieties she has, the challenges she faces to conquer her worries, and the great confidence she feels when she succeeds.

I enjoyed the book. It was very informative and entertaining. I enjoyed her prospective as a “wandering Jew”. It is not for the prudish as there is an entire chapter on the phallus. Faye is very blunt and honest about her experiences. I know the author.

And informative. Faye Brenner offers her unique perspectives on getting to and touring many diverse locales ranging from famous ones you thought you knew to off-the-grid places you wished you knew. She tells her stories in a very funny and entertaining voice throughout. The book is a great way to visit places we can't get to today and identify interesting ones to visit once we can. I recommend this book highly

Faye is a traveler we all can identify with. Though she had many fears she overcame them with humor and personal growth. I held back one star because I wanted more of Faye's take on her experiences. A great first memio

The book is about Faye's courageous life journey with anxiety and her love of travel. The chapters are candid, revealing, and endearing, as she manages her struggles but loves the life of an engaged world traveler. Her anxiety doesn't stop her adventures traveling alone or as a travel guide. The chapter on the toilets alone had me laughing out loud. Who hasn't been in search of a rest room while traveling? The discussion in our book group was uplifting, lively and entertaining. She has a terrific website with photos, chronology of travels and the Wandering Jew section is worth the time.

If you are an anxious traveller like I am, this book is a must read. Faye knows how to take the fear out of every nerve racking situation and turn it into an experience to learn from or to laugh at. Faye would be the kind of tour leader that I would love to travel with! I look forward to her next book.

This book is a quick and fun read. Learn all about the Collywobbles that come with traveling with anxiety!

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