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Thursday, October 9, 2008

12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time

12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe, by Mark Jacobson

I can’t remember when I heard about this book but I remember thinking that it sounded like a fun read so I ordered it from PBS. And it's been sitting on my shelf since May. When I finally picked it up I couldn’t figure out why I waited so long to read it – it was a real treat!

Author Mark Jacobson has three children and a wife. On the whole they are an average American family. But one day Mark realizes that his children are “succumbing to popular culture” and “dumbing down” and he decides to take action: this calls for a trip around the world! Mark and his wife did lots of traveling in their hippie days and he’s SURE that travel will “cure” his children.

If my parents suggested a trip around the world I’d expect it to include Australia , lots of European countries, China , Japan , maybe India . Call it cultural bias, but that’s what I’d expect. Mark had a different plan for his family … they would circumnavigate the globe from West to East: Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Jordan, Israel, and France.

This is a story about an odd, but strangely familiar family thrust into the World (as they call it) and learning to BE a family. Interwoven through are looks into Mark’s childhood that illuminate his decisions regarding his own children. It’s about taking what’s good in your past and recreating it and taking what’s bad and making something better for your own kids.

I really enjoyed this book. The Jacobsons are very different than my family but some things are constant in (almost) every family – parents love their kids, parents and kids have a hard time relating to each other, and things get out of balance quickly. But pulling a family through all the craziness is SO worth it … and that’s what this book is all about.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a good book and a fun trip. I wish I had the money to take my family around the world.

Ti said...

This book reminds me of a recent article that was published in Wondertime magazine. Here is the link:

http://wondertime.go.com/parent-to-parent/article/a-familys-year-abroad.html

I would love to take my family around the world. It would be a huge trip for sure and would require a lot of planning.

Dawn said...

Taking my family to NJ for the weekend requires planning worthy of a presidential entourage -- I can't imagine this journey! :)

I'm wondering if I'd be inspired by the feat, or if I'd feel intimidated by reading about what this family did.

The bottom line message is what it's all about ...

Matt said...

I love armchair travel books. This one sounds very fun, it's almost like taking a family on amazing race!

I've traveled about half way through the world on my own, in the rain forest of Malaysia, temple hopping in Thailand, admiring the resplendence of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, visiting sushi chefs in Japan, laying down on a hammock in Bali Indonesia...would love to visit India, Middle East and Egypt.

I'll have to get this book! :)

Stephanie said...

Hey, this sounds good! :)

Have you ever heard of PBS's (the tv channel PBS) Pole to Pole with Michael Palin? I haven't seen the series, but I read the book a few years back and it was pretty darn interesting. Great armchair traveling. :)

Bybee said...

sounds like a plan for you, hubby and kiddo! lol

Kim L said...

I wish my parents would have packed us up for a trip like that. Although that is looking backwards. As a teen, I would have probably hated it.

Sonya said...

When I was ten my family drove from Montana to Alabama in a Subaru filled with smelly vegetable muffins (to save money on food) and the car broke down along the way. ....why couldn't I have been born THEIR kid!

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