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Excess Baggage: One Family's Around-the-World Search for Balance

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Tracey Carisch thought she had it all. As a wife, mother, and successful executive, she seemed to be living the modern American dream. But one night, a panic attack sent her tumbling into an existential crisis and questioning everything about her life. That’s when she and her husband made a decision that shocked their family and friends: they sold everything they owned, pu ...more
Published August 14th 2018 by She Writes Press
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In most people's eyes, Tracey was living the dream: 3 healthy children, a nice home, well-paying job, but along with the status and benefits came lots of stress. So after much deliberation, the family made the decision to sell most everything they owned and travel the world for at least a year (turned out to be 18 months). I have been envious of those who chuck it all to travel the world but never had the courage to try, and Tracey and her family did just that with the idea that visiting other c ...more
Sara Strand
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know why I picked this book, don't you? If there is anyone who has been on the edge of saying "screw the man", chucking deuces, and going off the grid, it's me. But I have the same hangups you have, a mortgage, bills, jobs, kids, schooling, a life and obligations. The Carisch family had all of that too but once a few years had gone by since the plan they had was thwarted by their first child, Tracey and Brian have a come to Jesus moment where they realize that this isn't the life they wanted ...more
Leslie Lindsay
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One American family. 18 Months. 24 Countries. 6 Continents and a complete life-altering adventure in this debut memoir.

Tracey Carisch thought she had it all. She was living the American Dream with her husband and three young daughters. They had good jobs, a 4,000+ square foot home, and everyone was happy. Or, were they?

At 37, Tracey has a panicked moment, sending her into a midlife crisis of sorts and questioning everything. What would happen if they gave up their jobs, sold their home, their
Amy Nakos
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tracey Carisch and Excess Baggage deserve 5 Stars. Not just for the quality of this book, but for being bold and brave enough to undertake the physical and spiritual adventure she describes so eloquently.

I think if you are a woman in your mid-years, you have had at least one existential crisis. Or maybe many – I know I have. Carisch had her own when experiencing a pinot noir panic attack akin to the, “is this all there is to life” feeling of being trapped in the American rat race. Instead of sw
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, funny yet sobering. Needs an update after getting back to US.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book definitely makes me want to quit my job and travel around the globe with my family for 1 year or two (not that it takes much to make me want this...) I found Tracey Carisch to be a more relatable Tsh Oxenreider. Out August 12th, 2018, it'll get you thinking about your next summer (or longer!) vacation.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC.
Billy Buttons
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: Excess Baggage: One Family's Around-the-World Search for Balance
Author: Tracey Carisch

Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 17
Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 10/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 10/10
Of the 17 readers:
17 would read another book by this author.
17 thought the cover was good or excellent.
17 felt it was easy to follow.
17 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 10 f
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
An Adventure Can Change Your Life

Tracey and her husband, Brian, had an enviable life: two great jobs, three healthy daughters, and a beautiful house filled with stuff. It was the stuff and an anxiety attack that kicked off the crisis. For Tracey, life had become a treadmill. The whole family was running as fast as they could, but where were they going?

It took some soul searching, but Brian and Tracey decided to act to fulfill a dream they’d had for years. They sold their house and all the stuff,
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the nonfiction account of a family who sold their home and everything they had and set out to travel the world, to escape the stresses of life and reconnect as a family. They were gone for almost two years. This was possible to do because the husband was able to do his work wherever an internet connection was possible.
I liked her honesty. At the beginning of their trip, they started out in Norway and she became annoyed with kids when they were cranky and didn’t appreciate the beautiful s
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I expected that “Excess Baggage” would take me around the world. What I didn’t expect was the profound shift her experience would have in my own life. While I may not embark on an around-the-globe expedition myself, I truly felt I shared the adventure with her family. I grew spiritually, and am left with a deeper understanding and compassion for myself. I didn’t want the journey to end as I was enlivened—sometimes laughing in hysterics and other times touched deeply by her vulnerability, relatin ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It is as easy-reading and descriptive as fiction, but isn’t, and Tracey and her family are so relatable. If you loved Eat Pray Love, give this one a read. Even if you didn’t love that one, give this a go. It moves more quickly and is so well-paced and full of adventure and discovery of self and others. Highly recommend!
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written memoir of a young family's travels around the world. I followed the author's blog while they were on their big adventure a few years ago, and this book is not merely a rehash of her blog. Very honest account of their struggles (mostly hers as mom, to which I can relate!). I laughed. I cried. I was inspired!
Sarah Edwards
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wound up with an advanced copy of this book and could NOT put it down. Such a fast and fun read. Read it in less than two days, which is unusual for me. I find myself thinking about the ideas brought by the author all the time. Almost daily. Definitely a thought-provoking and inspiring read. My husband loved it too, but I can't convince him to set up a Goodreads account to rate it.
Karen Palmer
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful ride on an extraordinary adventure. Tracey does a great job of revealing all the highs, lows and in between of her family’s journey. I appreciated the insights and life lessons we can all relate to. Journey around the world without leaving your couch.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Insightful and beautifully written, definitely a fun read. I thought it was witty and descriptive. It's a good story about an average, every day person going on the adventure of a lifetime. The story is perceptive, thoughtful and colored by different cultures and people from around the world.
Erin McMahan
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of laugh out loud moments. Fun and thoughtful read. Not exactly our story but I could relate to much of it. Highly recommend, but you may end up selling it all and packing your bags!
Dena Moes
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a funny, upbeat travel memoir. I enjoyed reading it and recommend it for someone needing a light but engaging vacation read.
Cheryl D.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Charissa Hansen
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really intriguing story full of insights about life, figuring out what you want, and the courage to start over again mid-life.
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Jamie Waldhoff
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grab a bottle of wine and take a journey around the world!
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