Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel.
And not just travel.
I crave adventures.
Obviously, I’m all about jet-setting to Paris and London. But eating dinner at the restaurant on the Eiffel Tower was every bit as amazing as eating baleadas while sitting on a beach overlooking the Caribbean on a remote island that had no electricity.
My dream would be to leave my 9 to 5 behind, load up a backpack, and take off for parts unknown. I’d just have to find a way to convince Chris to come along.
Well, I just finished reading a book about a family who left everything behind for 6 months to volunteer their way around the world. Can you even imagine?
From Goodreads: John Marshall needed a change. His twenty-year marriage was falling apart, his seventeen-year-old son was about to leave home, and his fourteen-year-old daughter was lost in cyberspace. Desperate to get out of a rut and reconnect with his family, John dreamed of a trip around the world, a chance to leave behind, if only just for a while, routines and responsibilities. He didn’t have the money for resorts or luxury tours, but he did have an idea that would make traveling the globe more affordable and more meaningful than he’d ever imagined: The family would volunteer their time and energy to others in far-flung locales.
Wide-Open World is the inspiring true story of the six months that changed the Marshall family forever. Once they’d made the pivotal decision to go, John and his wife, Traca, quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school, and embarked on a journey that would take them far off the beaten path, and far out of their comfort zones.
Here is the totally engaging, bluntly honest chronicle of the Marshalls’ life-altering adventure from Central America to East Asia. It was no fairy tale. The trip offered little rest, even less relaxation, and virtually no certainty of what was to come. But it did give the Marshalls something far more valuable: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conquer personal fears, strengthen family bonds, and find their true selves by helping those in need. In the end, as John discovered, he and his family did not change the world. It was the world that changed them.
I know. Sounds too good to be true, right? After all, they must have been rich to be able to finance such a trip.
Nope. They weren’t rich. They took out a substantial loan, rented out their house to cover the mortgage, and opted for the most cost-effective measures along the way. And they were able to make it work.
The book is well-written. It draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. I loved it. I felt like I was sitting down, listening to a friend tell me all about their grand adventures, rather than reading a book about total strangers.
It’s a fun read, a quick read, and just….good. I love their story. I love their trip. And I love that it really has changed their lives. After returning home, John decided he was done with the corporate world and now runs a foundation that helps fund projects supporting orphaned children around the world.
This is a book worth reading. And I hope you’ll check it out.
For more information about John Marshall and the work he’s doing, you can visit his website.
**I was able to read this book through NetGalley for free. Reviewing on my blog wasn’t a prerequisite, but I still felt like I should mention it anyway. And also, if you’re not on NetGalley yet, get over there!