Have you ever had the thought, “We should just take off and travel for a year?” That’s exactly what author Lisa Shusterman thought – only unlike most of us, she and her family actually did it. And Around the World in Easy Ways: A Guide to Planning Long-Term Travel With or Without Your Kids is her guide to help others do the same thing.
Part memoir, part how-to book, Shusterman’s book is an intelligent guide to anyone who’s seriously thinking about traveling for a month, six months or a year (like the Shustermans did) or more. In the book’s preface, Shusterman writes, “This is the book I wanted to read when I was planning our family’s year around the world. I knew there would be a myriad of details to attend to and I was looking for guidance.”
Would-be long-term travelers will benefit from Shusterman’s guidance. The woman is a natural, detail-oriented planner. For more than 20 years, she dreamed about taking a trip around the world. For two years, she planned for her family’s trip.
Shusterman answers the obvious questions – how long to travel, where to go, how much will it cost, and what do to with all of your obligations at home. But she also writes about things you likely wouldn’t think about – being together with family members 24/7, the need for connecting with others, developing hobbies on the road, and the inevitable emotional hurdles that are part and parcel of a major undertaking like long-term travel. And she addresses the issues she and her family faced with candor and insight.
She writes: “An interesting downfall we experienced with long term travel was the jaded feelings that began to seep into our pores. Looking out over the vineyards of Tuscany was an incredible sight, but so was looking out over the Hong Kong Harbor and the view into the Ngorongoro Crater…the foothills of the Himalayas…One incredible view gets to be just that, one incredible view after another…”
Throughout the book, Shusterman sprinkles actual pages from her family’s year-long blog about their trip. It gives the reader an intimate and honest look at the family’s highs and lows. In a blog post, Shusterman wrote, “…when you are on the road for this long, it is not a vacation, it is a way of life, and your shopping needs are different. Instead of seeking out the local handicrafts, we spent time looking for stores that sell buttons so we can repair the few clothes we brought with us.” And, “After a big event in my life is over, I often get the blues. You know, an event that required a lot of planning, a lot of time, a lot of energy. Then you finally have the event occur and afterwards you are left with a hole in your schedule and a hole in your heart. That’s where I am now.…”
Around the World in Easy Ways is a labor of love for Lisa Shusterman and it shows. Shusterman has poured her heart and soul into this book with the same passion she used to plan and pull off an incredible life’s journey for her family. It’s an easy read and a book others planning a similar trip will find chock-full of useful information.
It is RFT’s hope that this book is picked up by a major publisher, so the book can have a wider distribution. Shusterman’s Around the World in Easy Ways makes a valuable and needed contribution to the world of travel books.
Around the World in Easy Ways is available from the author at www.aroundtheworldineasyways.com