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Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  29 reviews
For every reader with wanderlust, and Baby Boomers longing to hit the road, "Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries" is a pleasure to read.

"Gap Year Girl" is Marianne Bohr’s travel journal and memoir telling how she and her husband, Joe, retraced their the travels abroad in earlier years. Bohr describes what it’s like to kiss your job good-bye, sell yo
Paperback, 370 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by She Writes Press
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Connie Mayo
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A travel book unlike any other I know. Who among us would have the courage to do what Bohr has done - sell your house and cars and tramp across 21 countries with your husband, mostly on a shoestring budget? The stuff of fantasies for many. My only complaint is that I wanted more of the before and after - more about the process of preparing, quitting jobs, shutting American life down, and also the assimilation upon return. You can't help but be intrigued by this couple. Written with intelligence ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I want to thank the author, Marianne Bohr, for this copy of Gap Year Girl, and Goodreads for making this opportunity possible through the First Reads program.

An interesting read. Some of it I could relate to, as a 50+ year old taking time to do long distant (ie multi month) hikes of the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail ( - the discovery that less is more; that to simplify life takes a huge load off one's shoulders; that partaking of an adventure
Barbara Donsky
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
For one who has endured a lifelong case of wanderlust, Gap Year Girl is as good as it gets. It’s hard to know which is more fun—vicariously traveling with Bohr and her husband as they visit such old familiar places as Paris, Rome and Istanbul, or tagging along as they stop over at towns and villages I’ve yet to see.

Then, too, there are the ups and downs of travel. Sharing their anticipation, for instance, of a performance of Turandot in the ancient Roman theater at Orange, an hour’s drive north
Dec 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Middle or upper middle class U.S. couple sells everything they own to travel through Europe for a year. Watch them as they eat in France, get stared at in a small town in Southern Spain, struggle with feeling ripped off in Morocco, watch American football at a bar in Italy... yup, it ain't that exciting. It is a light read, which I suppose is what I was looking for while traveling, and I must have gotten this on my Kindle for free. It gets worse, too, as we get exposed to Bohr's fat phobia in Gr ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best travel memoirs I have ever read. The author and her husband, late baby boomers, quit their jobs, sold their house and lived and traveled in Europe for one full year. She blended incredible amount of details of travel, culture and history with humor and intimacy of her life. I discovered the wine of Sancerre through her pages devoted to it. I really enjoyed her depiction of such travel with full blown emotion, but also balanced reality check. She described that seven ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although the premise of this book was interesting, I found the author was a bit sharp-toned and not really a world traveler as much as just knocking things off a bucket list. In particular, her section on Morocco was harsh and very ethnocentric. Lack of understanding of the cultures you encounter leads to unfair statements. I can't recommend this book as I think the author has much to learn about being a true world traveler. ...more
Nancy Mckeown-brand
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never been to Europe, but this book took me on a lovely tour and gave me lots of ideas for when it’s my turn! It’s so great to have an insider’s view of so many cities. Just wonderful!
Nancy Kroneberger
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Positives: I found it fun to read along and virtually travel through Europe with the author. I found it very educational and informative, in that I learned a lot about particular countries, people groups, cultures, geography, etc. that I didn’t previously know. I liked that she both made and shared some wise life discoveries along the way, such as kindness is very important to all human beings, that material things don’t bring happiness, and that there is blessing in simplicity of life. Negative ...more
J.A. Wright
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It's a great story of adventure and commitment to a life-long plan of travelling and living in Europe for a year with a man (her husband) who is just as committed to the plan as she is. It's such a brave thing to do and it's got me thinking that maybe I can too.
Gap Year Girl took me two weeks to read. Not because I didn't want to finish it right away but because I wanted to follow her through some familiar places I've been to as well. Her descriptions of people and places wer
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad to have won this book. As a baby boomer myself it reminds me of my teenage years when from CA I tried to run away to the Woodstock concert in New York. But I did not get there. In the 1960's and 70's thousands of baby boomers put on backpacks and flocked to Europe. Many of them wish they could go back and do it all over again. Well Marianne Bohr was having a midlife crisis and she wanted to have an adventure. She temporarily abandoned her job, sold her house, and took off with her h ...more
Rita Gardner
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time putting this book down. I felt as if the author had tucked me into her backpack and taken me along for a gratifying (and sometimes bumpy!) journey abroad. Having been to several countries she mentioned, I can attest to her emotional connection with (and vibrant descriptions of) those special locales that drew her in to their embrace. I cringed along with her when she and her husband faced the uglier side of humanity as well. "Gap Year Girl" is a satisfying read for adventurers ...more
Terri Naughton
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very good, well-written "armchair travel" book by a woman who made a year-long pilgrimage to Europe; something many would certainly love to do. The author clearly adores France, but has not much love for Germany or Austria. I can understand this as I have certain reservations about these countries myself, but the author tends to paint them with a very broad brush. I have met kind people, and a few rude people too, in every European country I've visited; they are not concentrated in Ge ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun book. I loved the non-traditionality of it all (I'm referring, of course, to the traditions of travel bloggers who leave on a life-changing journey at 22 and fall into a life of reviewing mediocre resorts until they fall offline in their mid-40s). Francophilia aside, Marianne and Joe were fun to follow on their journeys.

Unlike many travel writers, Bohr confessed to having non-positive feelings on the road. I appreciated it throughout--she addressed bad days, changes of plans, and
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story about France

The author loves France and spends most of her time there. I wish I had known before i picked it up as I am not really interested in France. It seems like a nice country, but meh there are so many others. She did visit other countries, and notes them, but she compares them to France. Again, good book, but please move on from France.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
No adventure.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Marianne Bohr and her husband sold their house and cars, downsized and put the possessions they decided to keep in storage, quit their jobs and went abroad in their mid-50s on a gap-year adventure. Starting out in Paris, they visited a total of 21 countries, mostly in western Europe, during 2011. As a young woman in her 20s, Bohr lived in France for a year and promised herself she would repeat the experience. She and her husband planned their adventure for several years. After their children wer ...more
Jeremy Reppy
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Jealous! Jealous! Jealous! It would be amazing to leave one's cares behind and explore new parts of the world for a year (or even just a few months). While I would not choose the same itinerary, there are many places they travel that I would like to visit.

A strong point of the book is that she does not sugar-coat the experience. Along with all the wonderful things they see and do, she also discusses the unpleasant moments, including feeling homesick or depressed or feeling uncomfortable by their
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
For the most part I really enjoyed the book. This is something I would love to do, but never will be able to. It is great that the author and her husband could live as locals during the trip at times. It was also good to hear the good and the bad about places.

I really enjoyed the book until I hit the part about the Germanic countries. I was disappointed not reading impressions about Prague and Budapest, having been to both places myself and loving them. I was also extremely disappointed with t
Diana Paul
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For the Dream Many of Us Have

Who hasn’t dreamed of leaving all possessions and job behind to travel with your partner or friend for a year, having adventure after adventure? Gap Year Girl by Marianne C. Bohr, in a wonderful journal-like style that is part memoir and part travelogue, introduces us to her Gap Year as she revisits the countries in Europe she had lived in as a college student. Walking down memory lane, Bohr attempts to balance between her nostalgia for the countries as the remembere
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
- The premise is intriguing. Who doesn't daydream about dropping everything and seeing the world?
- Writing is decent.
- Imagery of foreign places is charming, and that’s what I’m here for.

- Did the author intend to rip off Frances Mayes’s beautifully written “A Year in the World”? That’s what it seems like. And it falls far short of the mark.
-The book is more a personal memoir than a travel book. I didn't enjoy the author's focus on her personal life; I prefer the focus to be on the su
Dwayne Wojtowicz
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a giveaway.

If you have ever wonder what is would be like to live in Europe for a year, then Marianne C. Bohr's book, "Gap Year Girl" is the book to read.

Bohr takes you on a trip across 21 countries, along with her husband Joe, and shares with you their adventures. Beautifully written, Bohr gives you the opportunity to imagine the wonderful tastes from each of the countries of their visit; the countries demeanor and customs.

Each chapter leaves you wanting more. No
Ashleigh Marzynski
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and engaging read. Bohr's passionate prose clearly articulates her joy of travel - and readers are in for a wonderful and surprising journey. One cannot help but to live vicariously through her storytelling and vivid and nuanced descriptions of the bucolic settings along the way. An adventurous account of the highs (and lows) encountered on their journey that is relatable and pragmatic - a perfect blueprint for those with similar musings in mind. ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the style of writing. So many times throughout the book felt as though I wanted to experience all the adventures she and her husband were on. I appreciate that she was writing from her own personal experience, therefore I would not want her to change a thing. Enjoyed her perspective of her own experiences. That makes the book unique. Thank you Marianne, you have inspired me to venture out and find my own unique adventures.
Colleen Joyce
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great read for those of us with wander lust! I love her "real" narration of the trip. As we know , it isn't always rainbows and sunsets and she captures the ups and downs of traveling with candor and humor. To be honest, I ended up liking this book a whole more than I thought I would and I recommend without reservations. A brave idea and to pull it off with her husband and include her children at times - BRAVO! ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Their kids have graduated college
They quit their jobs
They sell their house
for one whole year
They tour around Europe
3 continents, 21 Countries
They hike and run a marathon
They are frugal most of the time
They splurge some of the time
they drink wine and admire art
They are brave adventures
That return to a new home and new jobs
They are content to be home for a while...
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved her take on the places she'd been. Crossed Morocco off of my bucket list....added Greek isles....really surprised she didn't talk about Prague which is a fabulous place....of course France and Italy are amazing! ...more
Irene Marston
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
awesome book just makes you want to pack your bags and go vivid details makes you feel your right there seeing and doing everything
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun, honest, and inspiring read. I most appreciated Marianne's personal reflections on her reactions to the various people she met and places she explored. ...more
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Marianne C. Bohr has been married for over 30 years to her high school sweetheart and travel partner, has a grown son and daughter and is the eldest of 11 children. She started her career working for the French National Railroad (the SNCF) in New York, selling Eurail passes and mapping itineraries for American travelers to Europe. She has her MBA; was Senior Vice President of a book publishing and ...more

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