Monday, March 9, 2015

Wide-Open World: How Volunteering around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever - John Marshall

Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever
  Random House
Release Date:
  February 10, 2015
Non-Fiction, Memoir, Travel
352 pages
My Rating:



 About This Book (from Goodreads)

Oppressive heat, grueling bus rides, backbreaking work, and one vicious spider monkey . . . Best family vacation ever!
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 received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGalley.  Honestly, when browsing NetGalley the cover looked interesting and the description sealed the deal for my request.  As I’m currently following a blog writer and her family as they travel the globe and have a long-time friend who just set off on a 6-12 month backpacking trip overseas, those things might have played a role as well.

My Expectations about This Book
I didn’t really have any expectations for this book.  And I thoroughly enjoyed what I received as a reader. 

Marshall gives a little background of his family and the interest in making a trip volunteering around the world.  It is enough to get you engaged with the family but not so much that it bogs down.  You as the reader really are off and traveling with them fairly quickly. 

The book is fast-paced and kept my attention throughout.  I enjoyed both the humorous encounters and the more serious moments as the Marshall family volunteered and traveled through Costa Rica, India, and more.  Marshall is an entertaining writer throughout.

I appreciated the epilogue at the end to tie up all the loose ends.  While it all didn’t go as I’d hoped, it is their real life. 

Kudos to the whole family to have the courage to uproot for six months and head into the great unknown.  I would like to be so brave. 

Questionable Content
There is some foul language sprinkled throughout the text. 

·         Engaging page turner
·         Easy to read
·         Marshall writes in such a way you can picture and feel yourself there

·         Some foul language
·         I wish it was longer J

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