Changing Gears: A family odyssey to the end of the world

Nancy has done the impossible.
And I don’t mean cycling from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina over three years with twin boys who broke the Guinness World record for youngest persons to cycle the continents. That’s entirely doable, as is clearly evident by their success. The impossible is encapsulating the scope of that epic adventure into a 350 page book and transporting the reader along every inch of the Pan American Highway.

Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World will take you on the adventure of a lifetime and make you fall in love with this family and their adventurous spirit. I can’t do it justice. I can’t sum it up in a way that wouldn’t fall far short of the sweeping landscapes Nancy paints, the hair raising close calls, the big hearted generosity of strangers, the quiet family moments in tents, and on hillsides where the real work of raising kids and crafting an education takes place.

Far from being just another “travel book” this is a dream you can hold in your hands

  • It’s an instruction manual in perseverance and crafting your own epic adventure can be drawn from an examination of their careful preparations and how the journey unfolds.
  • It’s an inspirational volume that will motivate you to make the most of the day you’ve been given, and the childhoods that you curate.
  • It’s a window into homeschooling on the road and what that looks like in daily life.
  • It’s a lesson in gratefulness for the little things: roofs over head, stoves to cook on, washing machines and the internal combustion engine!
  • It’s a treatise on the goodness of humanity, as person, after person, after person reminds us all that the vast majority of humanity will bend over backwards, not only to help someone in need, but to bless the socks off of someone for no good reason but paying it forward. Nancy calls these people her “Road Angels.”

This book is a lesson in the value of doing hard things, keeping on when the odds are stacked against you and every fiber of your being cries out to just quit, to lay down, to give up, maybe even to have a nervous breakdown, or die. It is a page turning experience that will motivate you to push hard, and then push harder, because at the very end of your world, is the victory. Why do we trade so many things for the ultimate victory? The Vogel’s didn’t, and Nancy is painfully honest about the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, and the mixed bag of emotions that go with eventually getting the thing you want most in the world. I can’t pick a favourite part. I will tell you that I had tears in my eyes before I was through the prologue and a lump in my throat on the very last page. As someone who lives on the fringe of adventure travel with a family I appreciate her honesty; she hasn’t white washed a thing.    

Posted by | Comments Off on Changing Gears: A family odyssey to the end of the world  | March 26, 2013
Category: Family Travel, Travel Writing

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