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We Came, We Saw, We Left: A Family Gap Year

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What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment. Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?


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What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment. Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?

30 review for We Came, We Saw, We Left: A Family Gap Year

  1. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    In this travelogue, Charles Wheelen describes how he and his wife took sabbaticals from their teaching jobs for nine months, their eldest daughter delayed college for a year, and their two other teenage children left their in-person schools to do work online. So, two adults made the decision to travel with three teenagers in countries that require a slew of vaccinations. They made this decision while neither drunk nor high. I don’t get it either. They were lucky they left when they did—at one st In this travelogue, Charles Wheelen describes how he and his wife took sabbaticals from their teaching jobs for nine months, their eldest daughter delayed college for a year, and their two other teenage children left their in-person schools to do work online. So, two adults made the decision to travel with three teenagers in countries that require a slew of vaccinations. They made this decision while neither drunk nor high. I don’t get it either. They were lucky they left when they did—at one stop, Charles assured their hosts there was no way Trump could become president, until a few months later, when he did. Oops. But the trip predated Covid, a trip they obviously couldn’t take if they’d delayed it. “Fortune favors those who get their passports and go.” The thing about reading travel memoirs is that you can a learn about a place you’d like to visit someday, a place you’d like to learn about but have no desire to visit (the majority of places they traveled to fall in this category for me), or remembering places you enjoyed traveling to so you can see how it’s changed or just remember the trip yourself. This could have been better. It definitely had opportunities to be funnier. The places I’ve traveled even in the United States where I speak the language is often filled with dumb errors like missed trains and misunderstandings, and that’s where a lot of chances for humor arise. It’s a pain in the butt at the time, but later, you can see your errors as funny and, ideally, illuminating. Almost all the humor in this book comes from when he reports the squabbling among the children—their dialogue is hilarious. It also made me so, so grateful I don’t have children that would become teenagers at some point. I don’t know how anyone survives that. The other thing about traveling yourself or reading about it means that when you come home, you appreciate things America does well and what it could do better. In Bhutan, citizens must wear national dress in temples, schools, government offices, and on national holidays. “Imagine the government of the United States dictating what Americans are required to wear on in public on the Fourth of July.” I enjoyed this. It’s worth the time. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book, which RELEASES JANUARY 26, 2021.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    From South America to Australia, Vietnam to India, and so many more countries; Charles Wheelan takes us on a travel adventure with his family. Part travelogue and part memoir, Wheelan describes how him and his family are able to leave behind real life and travel for about 9 months at a time. He explains how he’s able to do so and even though it sounds so impossible, he makes it sound so easy! I love hearing about people’s experiences so I was intrigued how they made their travel plans and where From South America to Australia, Vietnam to India, and so many more countries; Charles Wheelan takes us on a travel adventure with his family. Part travelogue and part memoir, Wheelan describes how him and his family are able to leave behind real life and travel for about 9 months at a time. He explains how he’s able to do so and even though it sounds so impossible, he makes it sound so easy! I love hearing about people’s experiences so I was intrigued how they made their travel plans and where they went. I even wrote down some places I’d want to go once travel is safe (ie: Rotorua, New Zeland famous for it’s hot springs). Wheelan also offers insight on how him and his wife navigated these travels with three teenagers. He talks about how they managed to balance homeschooling and dealing with general parenthood challenges overseas. From normal family fights to flesh eating bacteria and exploding penis’ - this book covers it all. There is even a part where they are teaching their son CJ what consent means. I will admit that the home schooling parts bored me but I feel like parents would find the information useful or interesting. I do love that they took their kids traveling at such a young age and have such a passion for it as a family. Thank you to Netgalley and to W. W. Norton and Company for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    For years I have loved travel narratives and while I can't remember the book that started me on the road of wanting to read the journeys of others (maybe A Walk Across America and One Year Off: Leaving It All Behind for a Round-the-World Journey with Our Children , my ears prick up any time I hear about a new narrative that chronicles people's journeys. I do find, though, that some don't go into enough detail while others go into too much detail, and I confess one aspect I find a little offputti For years I have loved travel narratives and while I can't remember the book that started me on the road of wanting to read the journeys of others (maybe A Walk Across America and One Year Off: Leaving It All Behind for a Round-the-World Journey with Our Children , my ears prick up any time I hear about a new narrative that chronicles people's journeys. I do find, though, that some don't go into enough detail while others go into too much detail, and I confess one aspect I find a little offputting is too much inner reflection of the journey of their minds or inner selves. However, this one was just right with an appealing combo of practical travel details (how to take a year off, sites, lodgings, experiences) and family angst (traveling with a pre-teen and teens - ye gods!). What was particularly appealing was the selection of areas they traveled and with descriptions of the areas along with personal experiences, both good and bad. All in all one of the best travel narratives I've read in years and I didn't want it to end. This is perfect for fans of the two books I mentioned above, and if one is wanting more about family travels, try The World Is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education and How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Imagine having the means and time to take off on a trip around (much of) the world...and then imagine you have to take it with three teenagers. Charles Wheelan's book conveys much of the joy and angst of traveling with his wife and their three kids---two daughters and a son---who seem to be pretty good eggs. From comfortable neighborhood Air B&Bs to cramped travels on overnight busses and trains, the family makes their way across much of the southern hemisphere and part of Europe, finding a lot t Imagine having the means and time to take off on a trip around (much of) the world...and then imagine you have to take it with three teenagers. Charles Wheelan's book conveys much of the joy and angst of traveling with his wife and their three kids---two daughters and a son---who seem to be pretty good eggs. From comfortable neighborhood Air B&Bs to cramped travels on overnight busses and trains, the family makes their way across much of the southern hemisphere and part of Europe, finding a lot to ponder in both the world they experience and in their own company as a family. Full of humor and insight into how much of the rest of the world lives, it's a great read for armchair travelers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    Cute story mainly about the the anecdotes. Not much about their interpretations of the countries they visited. At little bemused on how they thought Germany was nationalistic when in the U.S.A there are guaranteed to be a flag on several houses.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    Charles Wheeler and his wife took their three teenagers on a 9 month trip around the world and this is his travelogue/memoir of the trip. This appealed to me because I really enjoy travel writing, and also because, in these strange times, no one is traveling like this and who know when they can do so again? In addition to the glories of the Amazon and such amazing locales, Wheeler writes about the joys of traveling long distances by bus, the fun (haha) of homeschooling teens as they travel, the Charles Wheeler and his wife took their three teenagers on a 9 month trip around the world and this is his travelogue/memoir of the trip. This appealed to me because I really enjoy travel writing, and also because, in these strange times, no one is traveling like this and who know when they can do so again? In addition to the glories of the Amazon and such amazing locales, Wheeler writes about the joys of traveling long distances by bus, the fun (haha) of homeschooling teens as they travel, the nitty-gritty of keeping to their travel budget--all sorts of details I would never have considered. If I were in Mr. Wheeler's family, I would be somewhat put out by the personal details he writes about, but I have to admit that these honest details make the book more interesting. I can appreciate the unique perspective the Wheelers and their children must have on the world and our place in it. Thanks, Wheeler clan, for taking a trip like this, so I don't have to! Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Endres

    Thank you #NetGalley and WW Norton and Company for the ARC copy of #WeCameWeSawWeLeft in return for a chance to review it. Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: they take a year off to travel the world. This is their story. What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts “how-to” and “how-not-to”—and with an Thank you #NetGalley and WW Norton and Company for the ARC copy of #WeCameWeSawWeLeft in return for a chance to review it. Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: they take a year off to travel the world. This is their story. What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts “how-to” and “how-not-to”—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment. Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong? I absolutely loved this book! The author takes us on a journey with his family to 6 different continents in 9 months. The adventures he and his family have are beyond amazing and the stuff most of us can only dream about. The story is told with warmth and humor, and honest humility. I laughed aloud a few times as he describes the antics of his son CJ and his need to talk about absolutely everything. #explodingpenis. I shared his frustration with his daughter’s teenage obstinance and delay in finishing her schoolwork. I worried about his other daughter’s medical issue and celebrated her coming into her blooming adult independence. The sights and sounds the family encounters in all of the amazing places they visit are the backdrop of this book, but the heart and soul of this book is the family, extended family, and friends that all come together to make this a successful gap year. Wheelan makes me want to be a part of his family even through Leah’s tight budgeting and the not so amazing Airbnb accommodations. If you love to travel, if you have teenagers, if you are part of a family, or if you just need a good laugh— definitely gives this one a read, you will be glad you did.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle

    When I first saw this title, I knew I had to read this book. I love traveling and my husband and I talk about it frequently. The idea of traveling around the world for 9 months with several kids sounds terrifying, even after reading this book, but Wheelan allowed us such an insightful look into the ups and downs of doing just that. Each chapter started out with a little catch phrase of what to expect later on in that same chapter. Some of them were shocking, some of them funny and it was interest When I first saw this title, I knew I had to read this book. I love traveling and my husband and I talk about it frequently. The idea of traveling around the world for 9 months with several kids sounds terrifying, even after reading this book, but Wheelan allowed us such an insightful look into the ups and downs of doing just that. Each chapter started out with a little catch phrase of what to expect later on in that same chapter. Some of them were shocking, some of them funny and it was interesting to follow along to see how he could’ve gotten himself into those situations. I liked how they did most of their traveling in countries that I myself have not visited and do not know much about. It was fascinating to see the similarities and differences to our own lives as well as how traveling this time around compared to the traveling they did as a much younger couple. I very much enjoyed the humor that was sprinkled in throughout the whole book. It also contains a mix of really profound, beautiful sentences with really funny ones. Some of the situations left me cackling while others had me groaning, remembering my own struggles with immigration and government documents. While most of the book was fun and quick though, some of the passages in Germany did rub me a little wrong though. I am probably taking this a little too personal seeing as I am from there myself, but it has always struck me as ironic to hear somebody frowning about nationalism and soccer pride after having attended American football games and seeing flags on every imaginable surface, including underwear and bed sheets, as well as the shows of nationalism itself in the US. But if nothing else, that just shows that it is both necessary to travel around to learn a different perspective as well as understand that even doing that may not grant us all the insights we may expect. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Donna Boyd

    Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. We Came, We Saw, We Left by Charles Wheelan is the story of Charles Wheelan, his wife Leah, their three children Katrina, Sophie, and CJ and various other friends and relatives who pop in and out of the story, as they take nine months off to travel all over the world. Traveling to six continents with just a single backpack each, they trave Thank you to #NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. We Came, We Saw, We Left by Charles Wheelan is the story of Charles Wheelan, his wife Leah, their three children Katrina, Sophie, and CJ and various other friends and relatives who pop in and out of the story, as they take nine months off to travel all over the world. Traveling to six continents with just a single backpack each, they traveled on a modest budget which makes the story even more interesting. At times it will make you laugh out loud, just imagine walking into a scuba dive office and seeing a monkey sitting in one of the chairs just hanging out while your son is reading a dive book in another chair. At other times the book will have you wondering why they don't just call the whole trip off and go home, for example, when daughter Katrina comes down with a flesh eating disease that could be very serious and they let her fly off by herself to be treated in another foreign country and they continue their trip. To be fair, she had already graduated high school and they did offer to go with her and she turned them down. It is a fun, interesting look that will have you wanting to pack your own backpack (or maybe a suitcase) and take off on an adventure of your own with your family. I highly recommend it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Parker

    Equal parts memoir and travel journal, the author writes about the nine months that he, his wife, and his three teenagers left behind work, school, and the United States to travel around the world with a tight budget and very little on the agenda. This idea very much appeals to me (although I’m not completely sold on traveling with my own three kids for so long) so I was excited to read about their experience traveling together. It was delightful at first, as the family worked out all of the log Equal parts memoir and travel journal, the author writes about the nine months that he, his wife, and his three teenagers left behind work, school, and the United States to travel around the world with a tight budget and very little on the agenda. This idea very much appeals to me (although I’m not completely sold on traveling with my own three kids for so long) so I was excited to read about their experience traveling together. It was delightful at first, as the family worked out all of the logistics of being gone so long, set their plans in place and got going. Especially enjoyable was reading about the family dynamics in play as they encountered various bumps in the road. At about the 40% point, it really slowed down for me and started feeling more like a travel journal. I know many people like travel journals; I’m just not one of them. I pushed through, though, and found it picked up again for the last quarter of the book. I will admit that reading this did find me adding more destinations to my bucket list and reeeeeally made me wish that travel was possible right now. Thanks to #netgalley and #wwnortonandcompany for this ARC of #wecamewesawweleft in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I won this book on Goodreads. I was excited to start this book but as I got further along in reading I found my enthusiastic nature waned to the point of not caring any more. I found the eco warrior environmental aspects in the book off putting. For instance when the author talks about how cow flatulence and now also cow burps are contributing to climate change. Come on! Really? I wanted to hear stories of travelling around the world, not about how travel impacts global warming. The author state I won this book on Goodreads. I was excited to start this book but as I got further along in reading I found my enthusiastic nature waned to the point of not caring any more. I found the eco warrior environmental aspects in the book off putting. For instance when the author talks about how cow flatulence and now also cow burps are contributing to climate change. Come on! Really? I wanted to hear stories of travelling around the world, not about how travel impacts global warming. The author states he leans left when it comes to the environment but then why would be take his family on a nine month around the world trip flying all over the world through six continents adding to his "carbon footprint." Although he said he would institute a carbon tax, to me this is still hypocritical and to those who feel global warming is anthropogenic should just stay home. Then at another point in the book he said that the election of Donald Trump is going to take us to "uncharted territory." Again, geez, how so? My God, it was so irritating that I lost interest. If you're going to write a travel book keep it about travel and leave out all the garbage left-wing talking points. I got through 50% of the book and skimmed the rest.

  12. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was around 3.5 stars for me. It took a while to pick up in the beginning and I had a hard time finding a rhythm in the writing. While an experiment in a gap year as a traveling family there's not a whole lot about the places they visit. The anecdotes shared mostly focus on the family dynamics than actual locations. There's also some jumping around from story to story without much of a transition. That being I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was around 3.5 stars for me. It took a while to pick up in the beginning and I had a hard time finding a rhythm in the writing. While an experiment in a gap year as a traveling family there's not a whole lot about the places they visit. The anecdotes shared mostly focus on the family dynamics than actual locations. There's also some jumping around from story to story without much of a transition. That being said there are some funny anecdotes I enjoyed. It's also an interesting perspective to hear from the author as they travel. I was hoping for some more travel-focused stories but they do talk a bit about the places they see. Overall it's a unique take on the travel memoir that was an interesting read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Charles Wheelan, Ph.D. is a professor in Economics and Statistics, yet there is little if any recognition of his family's position of economic privilege to be able to take a family gap year or of the wealth inequity between the United States and many of their destinations that make their stays possible. His inexpensive meals come at the cost of other people's ability to provide for themselves and their families. Mr. Wheelan's attempts at humor seem to come primarily at the expense of his two youn Charles Wheelan, Ph.D. is a professor in Economics and Statistics, yet there is little if any recognition of his family's position of economic privilege to be able to take a family gap year or of the wealth inequity between the United States and many of their destinations that make their stays possible. His inexpensive meals come at the cost of other people's ability to provide for themselves and their families. Mr. Wheelan's attempts at humor seem to come primarily at the expense of his two younger children. As I was reading I kept thinking of how they might feel in a few years when they could look back at the book and see how they were portrayed. He did not seem to be inclined to be similarly unkind to his wife or 18-year-old daughter. An intermittently interesting but unsatisfying and rather irritating book. It could have been better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jane Brewer

    4.5* I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. I really really love nonfiction, travel books and this story did not disappoint. Charlie and Leah take their three teens on a 9-month journey around the world. In this laugh-out-loud story, the family begins their journey by flying to Colombia and touring South America. I loved the dad's perspective. As a mother of four, I could totally relate to traveling with teens. How they managed to mostly stay within their budget and not lose their minds i 4.5* I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. I really really love nonfiction, travel books and this story did not disappoint. Charlie and Leah take their three teens on a 9-month journey around the world. In this laugh-out-loud story, the family begins their journey by flying to Colombia and touring South America. I loved the dad's perspective. As a mother of four, I could totally relate to traveling with teens. How they managed to mostly stay within their budget and not lose their minds is a testament to the strength of their relationship and their family. At times I felt like I was traveling along with them. I would have even recommended this to my 8th graders except for a few sexual references that are not appropriate for Catholic schoolers. I highly recommend this light and funny read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    A wonderful book full of insight and travel tips for those of us planning to take a gap year and travel the world. And, a funny and inspiring book for those of us who are not. "We Came, We Saw, We Left" dabbles into the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of packing up your lives (with three kids and a few just along for the ride), and heading out into our great big world. For fans of travel books, as well as those who love a funny and light-hearted memoir, you won't be disappointed. The a A wonderful book full of insight and travel tips for those of us planning to take a gap year and travel the world. And, a funny and inspiring book for those of us who are not. "We Came, We Saw, We Left" dabbles into the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of packing up your lives (with three kids and a few just along for the ride), and heading out into our great big world. For fans of travel books, as well as those who love a funny and light-hearted memoir, you won't be disappointed. The author's foray into climate change concerns, endangered animals, and teenagers being lost in a foreign country for hours on end, all add up to a highly recommended book that will leave you wanting to take your own similar adventure.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Ann

    This book highlighted a family's 9-month trip around the world (in 2016) through South America, Asia, Africa, and eastern-Europe. Told by the father, the book reflects on their travels while providing information about how they made this trip possible as they navigated finances, schooling, etc. I loved the insight provided as he recounts the great experiences the family had traveling together while also sharing the experiences gone-wrong that required flexibility and sometimes led to complete fa This book highlighted a family's 9-month trip around the world (in 2016) through South America, Asia, Africa, and eastern-Europe. Told by the father, the book reflects on their travels while providing information about how they made this trip possible as they navigated finances, schooling, etc. I loved the insight provided as he recounts the great experiences the family had traveling together while also sharing the experiences gone-wrong that required flexibility and sometimes led to complete family meltdowns! As a traveler, I found myself laughing quite a bit as I remembered my own travels that have been filled of both joyous, life-changing moments and frustrating, tear-filled disasters. Reading this makes me excited to explore more of the world after COVID!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The story of a family with three teenagers traveling for nine months on the cheap around the world sounded fascinating to me, and it was both that and somewhat less. Charles Wheelan does deliver what sounds like an accurate telling of a challenging journey — sometimes breathtaking, sometimes prosaic, sometimes a little too close for comfort to National Lampoon’s Gap Year, with Wheelan as Chevy Chase. My problem with it, I guess, is that Wheelan really does think he’s funny, but calling it dad hu The story of a family with three teenagers traveling for nine months on the cheap around the world sounded fascinating to me, and it was both that and somewhat less. Charles Wheelan does deliver what sounds like an accurate telling of a challenging journey — sometimes breathtaking, sometimes prosaic, sometimes a little too close for comfort to National Lampoon’s Gap Year, with Wheelan as Chevy Chase. My problem with it, I guess, is that Wheelan really does think he’s funny, but calling it dad humor is doing a disservice to dads. Still, he and his family took one hell of a trip. I envy them that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Written by a me-type author - privileged, white, educated, dad-joke wielding father of three for a target audience of me. I loved living vicariously through the author as he and his wife took sabbaticals and pulled their children out of school to recreate an around the world journey they took when first a couple. The subtitle "A Family Gap Year" is right on. I don't have the budget, chutzpah, or language skills to pull off the same trip, but I am now actively dreaming of some good family vacatio Written by a me-type author - privileged, white, educated, dad-joke wielding father of three for a target audience of me. I loved living vicariously through the author as he and his wife took sabbaticals and pulled their children out of school to recreate an around the world journey they took when first a couple. The subtitle "A Family Gap Year" is right on. I don't have the budget, chutzpah, or language skills to pull off the same trip, but I am now actively dreaming of some good family vacations.

  19. 4 out of 5

    RyReads

    ...The Wheelans had set out on a "family gap year."In fact, we would only be traveling for nine months, but why mess with a good slogan? "We Came, We Saw, We Left" is funny. From page one, you sense the wit of this well-written travelogue. That on top of the heart-warming family dynamics of the Wheelans leaves you feeling thoroughly entertained. Look no further for your next nonfiction read! -thank you, Goodreads for the free copy of this book ...The Wheelans had set out on a "family gap year."In fact, we would only be traveling for nine months, but why mess with a good slogan? "We Came, We Saw, We Left" is funny. From page one, you sense the wit of this well-written travelogue. That on top of the heart-warming family dynamics of the Wheelans leaves you feeling thoroughly entertained. Look no further for your next nonfiction read! -thank you, Goodreads for the free copy of this book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laranda

    This was a very enchanting story of a trip around the world that I can only dream about. I love these sort of humorous travel stories, especially so far off the usual path of people from the western hemisphere. Find myself laughing quite a bit and could really feel like you could picture the family in all these scenarios. Really enjoyed this story!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I enjoy a good travel journal narrative. Charles Wheelen packed up his family, which includes 3 teenagers, and took a 'gap year' to travel the world. Well written, easy to follow, but did bog a bit in the middle. Overall, a fun experience tagging along with this family's adventures. Thank you, Netgalley, for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 Stars I enjoy a good travel journal narrative. Charles Wheelen packed up his family, which includes 3 teenagers, and took a 'gap year' to travel the world. Well written, easy to follow, but did bog a bit in the middle. Overall, a fun experience tagging along with this family's adventures. Thank you, Netgalley, for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 Stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gina T

    I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks to WWNorton. Very enjoyable account of a family that took off 9 months to travel around the world. I enjoyed the journeys and destinations and interesting family dynamics. I LOL'd in several places-oh, the joys of teenagers and their snarky comments. I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks to WWNorton. Very enjoyable account of a family that took off 9 months to travel around the world. I enjoyed the journeys and destinations and interesting family dynamics. I LOL'd in several places-oh, the joys of teenagers and their snarky comments.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

    A humor filled, interesting account of Charles and Leah Wheelan, who go on a gap year with their three teenagers. They spend 9 months traveling the world. This is the kind of vicarious traveling that I love, homebody that I am. Recommended for those who love travel memoirs.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Imagine travelling in close quarters with your 3 teenage children for 9 months. Many are not brave enough to try but this is exactly what Charles and Leah Wheelan do. Not only an intriguing travel book but also a book about family and the strengths and weaknesses that pull us through when we work together. Were there glitches along the way? Almost always. But there was beauty and excitement as well as they experienced the beauty of Matchu Pichu and the Great Barrier Reef to the cities of Calcutt Imagine travelling in close quarters with your 3 teenage children for 9 months. Many are not brave enough to try but this is exactly what Charles and Leah Wheelan do. Not only an intriguing travel book but also a book about family and the strengths and weaknesses that pull us through when we work together. Were there glitches along the way? Almost always. But there was beauty and excitement as well as they experienced the beauty of Matchu Pichu and the Great Barrier Reef to the cities of Calcutta and Capetown. In these times of covid all we can do is dream about such a trip but one day........

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    I really enjoyed taking this 9-month journey with the Wheelans. Reading this book was an excellent way to travel during the pandemic. The Wheelan family is delightful to read about as portrayed by the dad. I needed this escape.

  26. 5 out of 5

    This Feral Housewife

    Loved this book!! Such a great look at family and travel. It’s real and raw and perfect. Definitely one to make you laugh and make you think.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I'm looking forward to reading this book I'm looking forward to reading this book

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette

    Great!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    What a delightful book. Loved the family dynamics, their foibles, their sense of adventure. The book is an easy read with never a boring moment.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcella Wilson

    The Wheelans take a family gap year. 9 months, 6 continents, 3 teenagers. Wonderful travel adventures, engaging writing, interesting places I had never heard about! A great read.

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