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.
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.