Book Review – One Year Off

I recently finished the book One Year Off – Leaving It All Behind for a Round-the-World Journey with Our Children by David Elliot Cohen, I really enjoyed this book.

David and Devi took their 3 children (9, 7, and 2 – I think) on the road for 13 months. I liked David’s writing style, it felt very intimate, I felt invited into their family. The book is a series of emails sent by David to family and friends, which would explain the honest and intimate feel of the book. The writing immediately caught my attention and I was quickly drawn in by the book.

One example of the honesty of the book and the people is that David and Devi tried to home school their children, a common theme for families that take an extended trip. I’m not a fan of home schooling (aside from the whole pulling your kids out of school for a year then you obviously have to do something). It seems like many families who take extended trips around the world were at least considering switching to home schooling if they weren’t doing it already, so home schooling wasn’t a jump for them. David and Devi are not that type of family, they tried and failed at home schooling and put the kids into school in Austarlia for 4 months as their education. It’s honest and human, and they found a solution to the problem for thier family.

What did I learn?
France is not a good place to take children. Sardinia is a good place to take children. African safari’s are good for children but not 2 year olds. Take the babysitter, they help manage the kids and allow you to have an occasional dinner without the kids.

What was missing from the book?
I would have liked a little more information on the families re-entry into “normal” life.

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