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Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Paperback – February 3, 2015

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you are tempted by the awakening of your own long-dormant wanderlust, Going Gypsy can serve as a primer. . . . The questions [Veronica] poses about 'what next' are relatable ones for all empty nesters." —PBS's Next Avenue

"Any parents who have gotten through the launching stage of life with their sense of adventure (and humor) intact deserve our attention. They got mine! If I could be on the road again—and I guess we really all can—this is how I’d do it. An empty nest just means the kids have learned to fly. How nice to know the parents can too!" —Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

"It's quite a talent to turn a midlife journey into compelling and amusing reading, and the authors of Going Gypsy clearly have that talent. There are as many smiles as miles in this unique travel memoir told in the voices of both halves of a newly nest-emptied couple. Veronica, especially, shares her internal struggle with genuine insight—after all, she's been a very involved mother of three kids. Can a couple really just sell the nest and take off in an RV with hardly any plans? Seems so, and we lucky readers vicariously get to enjoy it all with them." —Susan K. Perry, creativity blogger at PsychologyToday.com and author of Writing in Flow, Loving in Flow, and the empty-nest novel Kylie's Heel

"Warm, funny, clever, and inspiring—makes you see the fun in being empty-nested, whether you take to the road like David and Veronica or stay at home and reinvent your life with the sense of adventure they found on their journey." —Linda F. Burghardt, PhD, author of The Happy Empty Nest

"A thoroughly charming account of a romp across America and beyond by childhood sweethearts who discover life without children, rediscover the joy of thirty years together, and learn firsthand the magic of living with eyes wide open to the wonders of a new and independent life." —Victoria Zackheim, editor of Faith: Essays by Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists

"As soon as I read the dedication I was 'in,' and the rest did not disappoint. I found myself chuckling at every turn. Loved the writing style as well." —Rayya Elias, author of Harley Loco

"Veronica and David's story reminds us [that] when we set out in search of adventure what we really discover is ourselves." —Karen McCann, author of Adventures of a Railway Nomad

"Charming and adventurous . . . Reading their book feels like they are sitting down with you and telling their hilarious adventures over a couple of smart cocktails. . . . A great book to read when you're on vacation." —Arthur Wooten, author, playwright, and creator of The Dizzy Traveler

About the Author

David James was born in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up on the prairie and in the mountains of Colorado. He made his way in the music business as a performer, recording artist, songwriter, and radio personality in Nashville, Tennessee, and St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. After parenting and sending three kids out into the big wide world, he currently lives with his bride of thirty years, Veronica, in a state of perpetual motion. The couple writes about their travels since becoming empty nesters on their popular website, GypsyNester.com.

Veronica James was born and raised in Southern California and was like, totally, a Valley Girl. Against any sane person’s better judgment, she ran off with a musician at age eighteen. After procreating, she became Earth Mama, then Helicopter Mom, hovering over every detail of her children’s lives. She and her husband are the creators of the popular website GypsyNester.com. Veronica has held approximately thirty-three different jobs including writer. She is never bored.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (February 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629147354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629147352
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This really isn't the narrative you want if you're looking for a book about discovering the world in an RV. Most of the book was about the kids and visiting relatives, not any sort of real adventure. I finished it only because I kept hoping for snippets of excitement on the back roads of America and for connections with other road travelers. That did not happen. If you are looking for a book about family dynamics, this is the book for you, but if you are searching for a "Travels with Charley" a "Blue Highways" or a "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," you probably need to keep searching.
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Format: Paperback
I hope Veronica and David James have been practicing their autographs for I have no doubt they'll be scribbling their signatures a whole lot now that GOING GYPSY (from Skyhorse Publishing) officially publishes February 3. Those who read their blog will certainly want to read the book, as will any empty nester seriously considering following their gypsy example—and those simply dreaming of doing so.

And doing so—cutting ties to a permanent residence—takes a very different sort. Or so I thought before reading GOING GYPSY. Funny thing is, GOING GYPSY, chapters written alternately by Veronica and David, shows they're actually very much like any average baby boomer couple whose kids have grown and flown. They aren't outlandish thrill-seekers or uninvolved parents who didn't give a hoot about their kids. Nor are they heirs to family fortune that afforded their desire for an unconventional lifestyle. Nope, David and Veronica are like most of us. They were committed to one another, to parenting, to raising responsible and caring kids. Unlike most of us, though, once the parenting was done, they chose a lifestyle filled with new experiences free of the entanglements of a traditional empty nest couple.

GOING GYPSY, in fact, features far more about parenting and marriage than it does travel. You can get details about their travels on their blog. In their book, though, Veronica and David tell the story of how they first met and fell in love when David played in a band and Veronica became a groupie. They take turns telling bits and pieces of what took them from being newlyweds to raising kids as helicopter parents (at least in Veronica's case—which made me want to hug her for being so much like me) to saying farewell as each of their two daughters then son left for college.
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Format: Paperback
I love to travel and my husband and I are empty nesters, so the Gypsy Nester blog by David and Vernonica James has been one of my favorites in the genre of Baby Boomer travel blogs for some time. When I heard they had a book about their life and travel escapades coming out, I was looking forward to a longer narrative and hoping it would be written in the same breezy, but insightful, style as their blog. "Going Gypsy" does not disappoint and I found it a compelling read.

I enjoyed the writing format where each writes from their own point of view, in their own distinctive voice. This book is not just the story of their travels from place to place, but also chronicles their journey as a couple from itinerant musician and 18 year old Valley Girl, through the raising of their three children with Veronica in frenetic helicopter parent mode, the "spawns'" dispersal out into the world, and David and Veronica's rediscovery of their own relationship over the "gaping hole where the children used to be". While most of us ease into empty nesterhood by not changing everything all at once, David and Veronica found themselves suddenly together pretty much 24/7, living within the confines of an RV named BAMF (Bad Ass Mo Fo). Within the close quarters of the BAMF, they had to figure out how to meld their seemingly incompatible travel styles. David wanted to be on the road,determined to see every "weird, cheesey attraction", while Veronica wanted to savor a more slow paced travel experience. At the same time, they had to figure out how to long distance parent their now adult offspring. Their story is a well written, satisfying read.
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Format: Paperback
The byline almost says it all. . . One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest At All. But what you'll discover in this charming and adventurous book about Veronica and David's travels throughout the world is a breezy conversational style of writing coupled with a huge dose of self-deprecating sense of humor. Two of my favorite mixes. Reading their book feels like they are sitting down with you and telling their hilarious adventures over a couple of smart cocktails. Veronica and David alternate writing chapters so we get a fresh perspective each has on what stage in their emptynestdom they are at. And it’s not just that they are fearless about shaking up their lives and living out of an RV with a plan that is, no plan at all, they honestly go through the doubts and fears we’d all experience. (They’re still much more adventuresome than I am.) And in between the trips across the country to visit loved ones they stumble upon some of the most unusual roadside attractions you could imagine. Actually life is stranger than fiction. And while laughing at their own mishaps or questioning the rearing of their children and then (adult children) you get some really valuable doses of good ole fashioned advice on how to keep a marriage happy and thriving. It’s no surprise that this is a great book to read when you’re on vacation – traveling along the road.
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