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Wide-Open World: How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family's Lives Forever Hardcover – February 10, 2015
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“[John] Marshall’s use of rich details locates readers firmly in each time and place, enabling them to sense the adventure, wonder and joy he experienced in his surroundings and in watching his children grow into hardworking, more responsible teens, as well as the frustrations and disappointments he and his family inevitably encountered along the way. A great armchair adventure that should inspire others to consider voluntourism as a way to help others and see the world.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Each new location combines beautiful scenery with a dose of sentiment, a good deal of humor, and some heartfelt consideration of the human condition. . . . His philosophy may not fit everyone and the ending is bittersweet, but this is an enticing call to service.”—Publishers Weekly
“Wide-Open World is an adventure made up of countless small moments of human connection. It’s an armchair travelogue that may well inspire you to do good off the beaten path.”—BookPage
“For anyone who has ever imagined what it would be like to pack up, unplug, pull the kids out of school, and travel around the world, this volunteer adventure is your ticket. Wide-Open World will move, engage, and inspire you, even if you never leave the couch.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
“John Marshall has done it, written a big, honest, charming memoir about the dream—and reality—of escaping it all, on a round-the-globe boondoggle with your family. In Wide-Open World, the pleasures are deep, the sentiments revelatory, and the voice true and funny. And best of all, you won’t have to leave your armchair, or upend your life, to know what it feels like to make your way, with kids, out there in the beautiful, churning world.”—Michael Paterniti, author of Love and Other Ways of Dying
“Volunteering may not change the world—but as we learn in Wide-Open World, it will change you and your family. Let this heartwarming, hilarious, poignant book be your inspiration: Dare to follow in the Marshall family’s footsteps, and give more of your time, effort, and heart than you ever thought possible—and watch the blessings flow!”—Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig
“Compelling, richly detailed, and often laugh-out-loud funny, Wide-Open World is the poignant story of four ordinary people trying to salvage a family while saving the world (or at least making it a little bit better). Sometimes the truest path to self-knowledge is focusing on the needs of others, and this book provides ample—and compulsively readable—evidence of just that.”—Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey
“This invaluable book proves again why travel is the greatest education we can offer both ourselves and our children. If creating compassionate, well-rounded, conscious global citizens of our kids is the true measure of a parent, then John Marshall gets an A+. I read every page with joyous envy. Altruism truly is the best defense.”—Andrew McCarthy, author of The Longest Way Home
“Told with great wisdom and humor, this exhilarating story made me want to pack up my family tonight and go travel around the world on a ‘voluntourism’ stint. Marshall finds wonderful moments of grace when he isn’t expecting them, and his rich, cinematic writing allows the reader to hop on the bus with him and go along for the ride.”—Susan Conley, author of Paris Was the Place
About the Author
John Marshall is a nine-time Emmy Award–winning writer, producer, and director. In addition to his work behind the camera, Marshall has been a familiar face on Maine television for more than ten years, writing and hosting numerous weekly TV shows. Wide-Open World is his first book.
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What I especially liked was John's honesty. He didn't try to sugarcoat anything. The story is raw and real. I highly recommend this book.