ONE YEAR OFF: Leaving It All Behind for A Round-the-World Journey with Our Children

David Elliot Cohen

ISBN 10: 0684836017 / ISBN 13: 9780684836010
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pub Date: 7/2/1999 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 302 First edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: A year off from work. A meandering, serendipitous journey around the globe with the people you love most. No mortgage, no car payments, no pressure. It sounds like an impossible dream for most people -- too expensive, too many responsibilities, too far-fetched.

But one day, David Cohen, former editor of the popular Day in the Life book series, decided to make this dream a reality. On the brink of middle age -- with a thriving business, a bustling family life, and a hectic schedule -- Cohen came to the conclusion that life is short and you have to live your dreams while you can. Over the course of several months, he and his wife, Devyani Kamdar, sold their house, their cars, and most of their other possessions. They closed their business and pulled their three young children out of school.

Then -- with just a suitcase, a backpack, and a passport each -- the whole family set off on a rollicking journey, full of laugh-out-loud mishaps, heart-pounding adventures, and unforeseen epiphanies. In Botswana, the family's tiny motorboat is charged by an angry hippo. In Zimbabwe, a pride of lions ambushes a Cape buffalo outside the Cohens' small tent. Off the coast of Australia, their young daughter is caught in a vicious riptide. Through all these adventures and many more, the Cohens learn to live together as a family twenty-four hours a day. And David and Devyani get the rare opportunity to enjoy their children without the blare of television and video games, to rediscover the world through their children's eyes and gain new perspective on their own lives and priorities.

In One Year Off, you can join the Cohen family on a trek up a Costa Rican volcano, roam the Burgundy canals by houseboat, take local ferries through the Greek Islands, and discover the romance of Istanbul by night. Later, as the Cohens wander farther off the tourist trail, you can drive through the teeming villages of Rajasthan, traverse the vast Australian desert, and discover the beguiling charms of Cambodia's Angkor Wat and the hidden shangri-las of northern Laos.

One Year Off is an adventure most people want to live sometime in their lives. Reading this humorous, heartfelt story is the next best thing to leaving it all behind.

Review: On the one hand, you've got to like this book. When David Elliott Cohen turned 40, he freaked out, sold everything, swooped up his wife and three kids, and took a year off to travel around the world--from Costa Rica and Burgundy to Zimbabwe, Laos, and Sydney--with clan in tow. This gutsy dive into the non-antiseptic, non-Americanized world (a dream for some), offers an entertaining peek into family life on the road. Written in a personal, personable e-mail style, it's often hilarious.

On the other hand, you may think Cohen is nuts. His kids cause scenes, break bones, and are often bored with the international scenery. Their family travel budget is measly--$60 a day to cover food for parents, children, and babysitter in places like Paris and Zurich. You can't help wondering why Cohen didn't just go the luxe route with the wife and leave the kiddies (including the 2-year-old) at home. While Cohen seems quite likable, as does his wife, Devi, there are moments when you want to report them to a child protective agency. Why are they endangering the lives of their kids--disregarding warnings not to take children into the African game reserve where they are likely prey for hyenas, and trekking deep into nature to see waterfalls and volcanoes with a toddler--just because they're suffering from midlife crises? After reading a year's worth of mishaps and adventures--amusing though many are--you may feel like a grandparent, wishing Mr. Cohen and wife would just take their kids home. More a travelogue than a guide, this unusual book nonetheless is filled with many examples of what not to do if you feel inclined to drag your children abroad for a year. After reading this, however, you may not feel like going at all. --Melissa Rossi

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Title: ONE YEAR OFF: Leaving It All Behind for A ...
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