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Cooney World Adventures Backpacking with Teens Through Latin America (Volume 1) Paperback – February 11, 2015
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The Cooneys decided to do what so many of us say we dream of: They shucked it all -- sold the house, sold the stuff that fills the house -- and took off to explore the world. That involved yanking three teenage sons out of school for a year. This book chronicles the first part of the family's two-part journey, which took place in Central and South America. A book about the rest of the globe will follow.
The book is both interesting and funny. Cooney dips into how healthcare is different in these countries than in the U.S. and shares tales of horriblu abusive wars we never heard of north of the border. That's the serious stuff. He shares details of his family's relentless hassles -- the machete-wielding tour guide, the questionably safe hostels, the plumbing issues on long-distance bus trips. He makes those stories funny. He'll get you giggling about an electric frying pan, for heavens sake. And when his tall, handsome sons encounter flirty teen girls, you glimpse an unexpected Hollywood-like element, too.
In the end, I took away two lessons from this book: 1. Anyone can make a dream like this come true. 2. I'd only do it with more cash for comforts.
The book is written in a casual, breezy style, yet toward the end I couldn't put it down. I read half of it in one leisurely evening. I'm eager to sit down with the sequel. If the Cooney kids could befriend a rogue dog in a South American park, I can't image what happens when they get near Africa's elephants.
If you read this book, you will not only learn quite a bit, but, also, the next time you think about taking a chance on something you really want to do but are holding back because you are anxious, think of the Cooneys and you might be encouraged to take that first step.