Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pins on a Map: Book Review

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While we're getting a little culture at Epcot Center, I can't help but think of the section of the book Pins on a Map when author and father David Boesch told his own dad about plans to take his children on a trip around the world. David's dad suggested a trip to visit many countries in just a day or two at Epcot instead.

But David and his wife wanted something more.

I gave up that dream quite a while ago, so here we are in Orlando.

The Boesches, on the other hand, embarked on a most ambitious trip-17 countries in less than a year with their family of five.

That said, we only planned our itinerary last week while they planned over a period of years. If you're not a strong planner, there's something to be said for grabbing the low-hanging fruit.
Pins on a Map is much more a memoir than a how-to manual, still, reading about their ups and downs, the reader can glean more than a few tips about how to pull off such a feat. For example, David shares how to make the most of a family visit to an art museum and, more importantly, how to negotiate daily snacks and allowances for the kids.

Even though my family's faux international trip at Epcot does not require us to use a GPS, I related to Boesch's tales of wanting to throw his TomTom unit out the window. We had a similar encounter with that same brand years ago on a (four-day) road trip.

There are many anecdotes in the book that left me longing for a deeper, richer recounting of their experiences. For instance, I wanted more about the time David knocked his son off of a mountainside during a sort of go-karting experience and two pages was not enough to recall the fear and concern David felt when he thought he lost his family, and possibly a child, at Thailand's 15,000 stall maze-like Chatuchak Market .

That said, with such a large trip, I'm sure it was hard paring down nearly a year's worth of travel stories.

In the end, this is a good and quick read that is sure to ignite your wanderlust.

Well, at least until you get to the end and he discusses the challenges of easing everyone back into daily life in the United States. After a year of intense family bonding (and some fighting) and unstructured days full of physical, intellectual and culinary adventures, coming home, being home, was quite a shock.

At least my big shock is only going to be going from 85 degrees and sunny to gray skies and 40-degree temperatures.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book.

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