Friday, September 27, 2013

A New Favorite - And A Little Crazy Thinking

It's no secret that I love to read.

And most of you know that there's not much I like better than a good mystery.  Give me a killer on the loose, a dead body or two, and a single-minded detective determined to solve the case, and I am a happy woman.

But in the last year, I've discovered another favorite genre that is a close second to my mysteries.  And that category is the memoir.  Specifically, the travel memoir, especially those involving an American who moves overseas, often temporarily, and writes about his adventures trying to adjust to a new life.

Some of my favorites are Paris in Love by Eloisa James,  Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, A Family in Paris by Jane Paech, and Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France by Vivian Swift.

Are you seeing a theme here?

France.  Paris.  Americans exploring the French lifestyle, living as expats, raising their children. and learning about themselves along the way.  Then writing a book about it and making money from their adventures.

I haven't done any official research, unless you count endless hours browsing bookstore shelves, but I think there has to be more travel memoirs about Paris than anywhere else.

So I've been thinking.

Maybe the Rush family should temporarily relocate somewhere exotic, someplace besides France because that has been done so many times.  Then write a book about it.

I'm thinking Venice might work.

Ryan could preach his sermons and have them satellite fed to Austin, almost like we do right now with our multi-site campuses.

We wouldn't need a car because we would get around on gondolas...

or vaporettos, the Italian version of a city bus or subway...

Think of the money we would save not having to pay for gasoline or car maintenance.

We could downsize to an apartment, or to sound more like a local, an appartamento.  See? I'm already getting the hang of this Italian thing.  Just a cozy little place, like this:

Then we wouldn't have to worry about keeping up a yard or anything like that.

We could shop in bookstores like this one, the Libreria Acqua Alta:

The Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice:

Of course, since none of us speak Italian, we probably won't be able to read any of the books but that's a small price to pay.

We would definitely have to ditch the paleo diet because we would be almost obligated to eat pasta and pastries.  I'm sure it's some kind of law or something.

When we went to Italy while I was pregnant with Bird, we discovered that Italians love children.  And pregnant women.  Our big girls, 10 and 13 at the time, and my 5 month pregnant self got fawned over quite a bit.  So while I'm not going to be with child ever again, I can certainly provide a 7 year old kid for my new Italian friends to love.

And they even practice inclusion of special needs children in the scuola primaria, or primary school. (There I go, sounding like a local again.)  Though an ARD meeting in Italian might prove to be a bit tricky.

I'll write about our experience abroad and the book will become a best seller.  Possible titles include "Keeping a Kid out of the Canals:  Our Year in Venice" or "A Birdie Goes Abroad:  Adventures in Venice".

Even better, I could pitch this idea to a publisher who would actually pay us to live in Venice and write about it.  Yes, I think a nice, hefty advance is the best route to go.

So if any publishers looking for their next bestselling author happen to be reading this blog, well... let me just say... an all-expenses paid trip overseas is something I am willing to discuss with you.  And though Venice is a favorite, I am also open to other locations, as well.  Just laying all my cards on the table, my future publisher who is reading this post.

Until then, I'll have to be content living vicariously through those who choose to share their expatriate adventures in the form of a great book.

Now.  What about you?  Where would you temporarily relocate if someone offered you the chance?  And paid for it, of course.  And if you have a favorite travel memoir, please do share!

Have a weekend filled with adventure and fun, even if it's right in your own backyard. 


  1. You had me at the Libreria Acqua Alta.
    Go for the kids love to say (and I can't stand to hear anymore): YOLO! ;)

    1. Books are awesome in any language. :) For some reason, my family is not all in with my great idea...

  2. NO MAM!!!!!! Maybe when you are 60 something.

    1. Miss Deane, maybe you could be our Italian nanny. :)

  3. I like the way you think! What a wonderful idea. Venice can stink too but I'm sure it's only a little bit and not too often!
    I'd say you'd have wonderful tales to tell.
    Now, where would I like to go....... New York. Or maybe Switzerland ;-)

    By the way, I too love thrillers.

    xx Jazzy

    1. I do remember Venice being slightly stinky on occasion but I'm willing to overlook that little flaw. :) I like your suggestions, too - though it's funny to me to think that you would leave Ireland!! That seems exotic to me, too.

      Have you read the Louise Penny "Armand Gamache" series of mysteries? They are awesome. My favorites, for sure.

  4. As a missionary family who lived in France for 5 years, I could definitely write a book :)
    It is a difficult life, especially with children, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    1. OK Megan - I've already caught up on your blog posts. And now my question is, when are you going to catch us up on your latest French adventure??

  5. One of Olivia's dreams (she is 14 and has many) is to live in many different countries, a minimum of one year each. On Wednesday when we were driving home from her ped endo appointment she made a comment about how she wished she was at a cafe in Paris, reading a book (in French of course!) and taking French lessons everyday.

    She was very excited to see your list of books - she added them to her iPod list.

    1. I like the way Olivia thinks - that girl knows how to dream big! There are 2 more Paris books she might enjoy - "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" by Kathleen Flinn and a brand new one, "Mastering the Art of French Eating" by Ann Mah. Enjoy!

  6. My husband and I visited Australia last year (Melbourne), and I would move there in a second. I've wanted to go my whole life, and when the opportunity presented itself (husband got asked to speak at a conference), I told him he wasn't going without me (and thanks to grammy for watching the kiddos.) I felt like I belonged there. It was just gorgeous. I can't even imagine what it would take to actually move there, but we have seriously considered it...sigh.


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