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A Year Off: A Story about Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You
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A Year Off: A Story about Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  32 reviews
"Have you ever dreamed of quitting the rat race and taking a year off—and then swiftly jolted back to reality? If so, A Year Off will give you the inspiration and the courage to make it happen in real life."The Independent

Wait for me... Who knew these three words said to a near stranger would start an international travel adventure?
A Year Off is one part travel guide,
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  192 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this recap of Alexandra and David Brown's travels in the world. This is something I've wanted to do forever. Not sure I'll ever take it to this extreme, but my strong desire in retirement is to go set up shop for 3 months of the year in some of the countries I've visited in the past that I would like to see in depth. There are a number of tips in this book related to planning and budgeting that I will be capitalizing on in the future.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous pictures and a neat story. I may not travel the world as the Browns did, but it does make me want to travel more instead of vacation.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this on a whim and some of the travel strategies in this book are genius. I am going to buy this book as a reference guide. One thing is it is way too hard to read the map in the e-book. The other thing is that you mention relying on Wikipedia for travel information. As someone with a background in libraries, I don't think this is the source you should use or at least the only source you should use. I'll admit I've relied on Wikitravel for introductory information. My favorite strategy is ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I wAs intrigued by this book because I love the idea of just taking off and traveling. It was fun to see how they accomplished their goal if traveling for a year. The book is very beautifully put together and visually a treat. I would have liked more detail about their travels but this was a good entry level book into the idea of traveling for an extended period of time and the ups and downs associated with it.
Lauren Parker Johnson
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read through this book in two days. I laughed, I cried, and I probably dreamed way too much. This book was about the journey of Alexandra and David, who decided to spend a year traveling the world. Ugh talk about ultimate goals! The book was so easy to read, and yet it was full of some really good advice and beautiful stories (and photographs!) from their trip. They even broke down how much the trip cost, how much they spent in each location, and gave some awesome instructions, tips, and ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This travel book made a nice change from my mystery reading. It is full of tips in addition to telling how the young authors took a year away from their jobs to travel the world. Especially helpful are the packing lists not only of clothes but incidentals, the average costs per regions to help plan daily budgets (organized by which regions burn through your money quickly or slowly), and an incredibly helpful world map which tells sunniest months, rainy seasons (moderate or heavy), and tourist ...more
Denise Chojnacki
What an intriguing idea! A year off to travel the world. It's what drew me to this particular title. The book wound up being a little bit of a how-to manual and a little bit of a memoir. Some of the 'things to think about' sections were a little too common sense while others were very helpful and something I wouldn't have considered. The memoir parts were enjoyable to read and make you wonder what parts of the world would be great to visit. The book overall was a fairly quick read. Since I have ...more
Jenny Esots
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
As an Aussie and a traveller from way back I was not won over by this memoir.
I have quit my job to travel when younger, there was no fear in coming back to find a new job. It was not something that I worried about!
This couple from the US decide to spend a year travelling, there is quite a bit of mulling over conflicting desires of travel. Plus not a lot of practical nut and bolts of this process. The budgeting process for instance.
Contain more introspective memoir than revelations on the travel
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, travel
3.5 stars, rounded up because of the GORGEOUS photos. Part travelogue, part guide for planning and executing your own trip around the world. I found the tips useful, as I'll be leaving my home country for a year very soon. Most of the personal stories were quite charming, but there were some that left a bad taste in my mouth, particularly the anti "adventure pants" bit. Major eyerolls.

I wish this book had gone more in depth with both the tips and their own travel experiences, but for a beginners
Ms Mathilde
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read: lovely love story of two people on a great adventure and very practical advice that makes the planning and dreaming to recreate it easily imagined. We are very inspired to try to plan our dream trip as well based on info provided. Easy to find graphics and sections to really think thru. Makes it all seem less daunting which is wonderful to foster our imagination. Thanks for sharing your story Alexandra and David.
sssnoo reads
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, travel
Not fine literature but this book delivers on its mission better than most travel books. The book is full of practical formation including good advice on the emotional side of long travels - front and back end. I don’t think I have come across a thorough re-entry discussion before. If you are dreaming about or planning a lengthy trip this is a good book to add to your reading list.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. At first I was a little put off by the "tips" -- I just wanted to read their story and glean my own takeaways -- but by halfway through I started enjoying the way the pulled the insights out. For anyone thinking of taking time off from "regular life" to travel extensively, this is a great read. Thanks to Patte Shetler for the recommendation.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I generally enjoyed this book. It gave some good food for thought and the stories were good. But I was disappointed that, as other reviewers have said, the tips were very high level. I wanted more. At least it would've been nice to include a bibliography of resources, websites, etc that could help folks planning such an adventure (like me) to dig in deeper with the planning.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not only are the photos and general presentation of this book excellent, but the information is highly useful and practical stuff. It is less a travelogue and more of a guide on launching your own excursion and what to expect both from you and others. Many other books dance around these topics but few take them on, head on and in an enjoyable way.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
My husband and I are about to embark on a six month trip and this book gave insight into the emotional challenges of leaving and returning, as well as how to plan the trip. It’s a bit more how-to than I was expecting, which was appreciated by me. If you’re not planning a trip though, this may be too tactical of a book for you.
Jessica Goodman
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book about a couple who took a year to travel the world and included a few well-written essays by each of the authors, lots of travel tips and lovely photos. I hope they write more - would be fun to read a more detailed version of the book, plus if they could give their perspective on the same situations, that would be fun too. More please.
Judy  Monchuk
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Breezy memoir from a couple who opt to take a year and travel the world. Lovely photos plus high-level travel tips and observations about how to quit your job, the emotional rollercoaster one may go through and the difficultly of returning to "real life." I found the book empowering and encouraging, not preachy or prescriptive. They didn't seem to have any relationship meltdowns or travel disasters, so perhaps they were truly superior planners.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book because I've dreamed of taking the leap, quitting my job, and traveling the world! It was a joy to hear their story and made me consider what it would take for me to embark on travels of my own.
Deanne Townsend
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
There was nothing wrong with this book. I just didn’t enjoy it very much. I was wanting more of a story telling of the couple’s travels, but that wasn’t what this book set out to do. It was more of a how-to guide for traveling for a year.
Dave Humphrey
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found the authors (especially Alexandra) alternately whiny and braggy. Too much emphasis on how they were able to do it (half the book!) and not enough about these amazing adventures they bragged about in the first half. Definitely one of the least enjoyable travel books I've read.
Evan Swingholm
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you're thinking about taking time off to travel during a gap year, sabbatical or after retirement, read this book! It's full of solid advice on a number of issues that you'll confront along the way. Full of good data, advice and authors' vignettes, it's a wonderful, easy read.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book chronicles the year the authors spent traveling. It also details how they were able to do it, and how the reader can as well. Some of the personal stories fell flat, but overall it was an interesting read on travel with some good tips for travel of any length.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: around-the-world
This was full of tips for your own round-the-world trip; not being an international traveler, I didn't get much out of these. I came for the travel stories, and liked those.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
A skimmer of a book. Not much useful info other than a peek at their budget. Mostly like hearing a stranger's travel stories...not that interesting.
Jeri Neumann
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Makes me want to start traveling even more.
Hazel Leu
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun advice and great tips!
Collin Rhea
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pleasure
A little self-helpy, but good encouragement that it's possible to pull off.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book offers zero insight or introspection. It's a shallow look at taking a year off to travel the world, which is generally a privileged fool's errand. The layout and design are nonsensical. To be fair, I read this while I was recovering from a concussion.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can’t wait till my girls are old enough to take months off for an adventure like this!
Megan Tristao
*I am not assigning star ratings in 2019 as a personal experiment*

Interesting book - not a ton of new information as far as long-term travel goes, but there were some good "how-to" tips, and I loved the photos. The authors also seem to be pretty honest about what they didn't do well on their trip. Fun fact: They embarked on this trip after only knowing each other a few months. What a trip!
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