In the process of preparing my latest book (A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation) for publication, I have been blessed to work with many excellent professionals. One of these in particular, Deborah Brady (no relation) served on the final editing staff. She took it upon herself to write a most excellent review of the book that was so pleasing to me, not only because she has a cool last name, but also because she "gets" the book, and therefore the review rings true with what I was trying to accomplish. In anticipation of the release of the book in a couple weeks, I hope you enjoy Deborah's review provided below. Thank you Deborah, for such warm sentiments!
Do you dream of traveling the world, going on fascinating adventures, meeting new and interesting people, discovering and admiring treasures of art, history, and architecture, marveling at the many varied landscapes and scenes of nature that can take your breath away, relishing the peace and tranquility of those scenes, and experiencing life from the perspective of a people and culture uniquely different from your own? Have you ever taken action to make those dreams come true? Or have you, like I have, let life get in the way of truly living and stuffed your wanderlust somewhere deep down inside in the realm of Someday, which you know may never come? Have you gotten to the point where your focus has become so myopic and your vision so limited that you aren’t even sure anything outside work and your normal routine even exists anymore, or how you could possibly find the time, energy, and money to take advantage of it if it does?
If you are anything like me and your wanderlust has been suffocating for so long that it’s barely breathing, I have good news for you. Your dreams can come true. And I want to introduce you to a book by NY Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Chris Brady entitled A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation that will not only prove to you they can but will also demonstrate how, all the while removing any guilt you might be inclined to feel at such a prospect by illuminating the many-faceted benefits of vacationing.
Brady’s book details the one-month-long “trip of a lifetime” (what he calls a “radical sabbatical”) to Italy that his family took in order to enjoy quantity as well as quality family time; entrench themselves in the authentic, day-to-day life of a rich, fascinating, and warm-hearted culture; and “sharpen the saw” by, as Brady explains it, going “slow in order to go fast.” With wit and humor that will have you smiling, chuckling, and sometimes just bursting out laughing, Brady shares the highlights (and some not-so-highlights) of their month in Italy, illustrating how such a break from his normally frenzied life invigorated, rejuvenated, inspired, renewed, and changed him for the better, making him even more productive after his return. Within one year of Brady's sabbatical, he relocated his family home to another state as he had long dreamt of doing, founded a multimillion dollar company with several of his best friends, and wrote a best-selling book—not bad for the clarity provided by just one four-week break!
The author expresses his own frustration at not being able to truly and sufficiently capture and portray the wonder, awe, and amazement of the whole experience with mere words or even photography. But with as much skill as is linguistically possible, Brady takes you along on his family’s journey to Italy. You will feel the ground beneath your feet, the radiant sun on your skin, and the breeze in your hair. The aromas and tastes of pizza, pasta, cheese, wine, and gelato will fill you up and bring you sweet satisfaction. You will relish the suppleness of fine Italian leather and admire all of the beauty that surrounds you everywhere. Claustrophobia and motion sickness might set in as motorcycles whiz by you as you maneuver around tight curves in a big, white, clunky minibus. A competitive spirit will arise in you as you count Smart Cars with the kids. The weight of the locals’ stares will engender feelings of embarrassment at your obvious foreignness and humbleness for your lack of knowledge of the local area and its rules, customs, and language. But their accents, loud conversation, and sweeping gestures (and, trust me, you will catch yourself trying to imitate these!) will amuse you, and their warm hearts and smiles will welcome you. A profound sense of smallness and yet interconnectedness will overtake you as you consider the vast array of others who have trod that land before you and all of the history that has taken place there. The extreme heat and sweat will be oppressive as you climb many stairs and towers, and you will be enraptured and enthralled by the sight of all of the breathtaking, majestic views. In fact, you will feel so certain that you witnessed and experienced it all with the Bradys that you will realize your dreams are not lost.
“Hello, Wanderlust! I hear you breathing. You are alive and well!” And that is when you will start planning. And even here, Brady assists. In true leadership fashion, he offers some extra features to go along with his book to ensure that you are not only inspired to imagine but will also have the necessary tools to plan, prepare, and take your very own vacation getaway (or “radical sabbatical”) that you have been dreaming of for so long…and to do so without feeling even the tiniest bit of guilt!
Where will you go on your sabbatical, and what will you be inspired to accomplish when you return?