Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book review from an International reader

Thank you Lubna for taking your time to review our story, and for your readers' encouraging comments.  And I was grateful for the opportunity to pass forward two copies of our book for your school project in India.  For a former teacher, any chance to encourage reading in youth is a rewarding action, indeed.

The Bookworm Review:

To get our full story, you can either download the six novellas on

Or it is now available internationally on Amazon as a complete set:

When writing, an author puts her soul on paper, open for the world to read.  It is even a greater risk when the subject is not fiction, but her own family who is exposed.  I suppose that is why there is no biography in our story.  It was my hope you would learn to understand the characters though the five months of spending time together as we explored the world in our journal.  Plus, how do you sum up those you love in a few introductory paragraphs?  It is something I continue to struggle with each time I am asked to write a biography.

We are not defined by what we do, or what has happened to us in the past.

We are, I suppose, a hard-working, determined, active living family.  We are blessed to have a lot of opportunity, and the drive to capitalize on it.  We are Western Canadian, and I guess following in that stereotype, we say please and thank you a lot, we drive pickup trucks, can tolerate really cold weather (though we do not like it) and we are self-sufficient and resourceful.  We like both country and rock music and strong-minded, intelligent conversations.  And though we can plan ahead, we are spontaneous, quick thinking and decisive.  We like to have fun, and love to laugh.  And can find humour in the worst of situations... that came in handy on our trip.

Are we rich?  I think everyone is rich if he is counting the right things.  Travel can be done in many ways, and not all of them are expensive.  It costs very little to go camping in the woods.  Hiking is free.  And groceries cost the same (or even less) in any place you may eat, including home.  Did our trip require an investment? Yes.  And a series of choices.  Everything is a trade-off.  It required sacrificing one set of things for another.

Mostly, it required the courage to change our priorities.  And to put time spent with our children first.  Everyone has the same 24 hours in every day.  It is a matter of choosing how you will spend them.  And everyone makes that choice each day.

Time is our most precious resource.  Thank you for spending yours reading our story, and taking the time to encourage others to do the same.  I wish every family could share the world with their kids, like we did with ours, and yet realize that is not always possible.

That is why I wrote the book:  to encourage, to entertain, to educate, and to share the world with you, and yours.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heartfelt letter from a non-Reader

I opened my email this morning, and received the best present any (new) author might wish for.  Truly, I have read this letter several times, and each time my heart sings anew.

Thank you Pat for taking the time to write to me... I am thrilled you enjoyed our story, and the teacher in me rejoices that I could share with you the world in a book :) You truly made all the (blood, sweat, tears) months of work, worthwhile.  You reminded me why I had to write, and why I shouldn't stop.   Thank you for being my inspiration.  Cheers!  Lisa xox

Good Morning Lisa,

Pat here.

I have just spent the last two weeks with your beautiful mother and I have to say it has been an amazing time getting to know your mother and learning more about each of her two children whom she loves tremendously.  When we were talking about the vacation, I was wondering what in the world I would do for two whole weeks away with doing not much than R&R.  Most people that go away especially women tend to bring a couple of books and read, relax and enjoy quiet time.  Well I would not be one of those women, you see at the age of 56 I have yet to read a book from front to back, as I hated reading in school and was not encouraged when growing up.  Reading to your children is so important when they are young; this gives them a basis of enjoying books and wanting to read more.  

With books you can go anywhere in the world you want.  What a gift any author can pass on to the very young and old.

Well, your aunt Denise had her copy of your book at the Villa we stayed at.  So I thought what the heck I will give it a try and see if it would keep me interested enough to at least read a couple of chapters.

Well my dear Lisa, I have to thank you for taking me around the world in eight days on such an adventure. It is beyond my wildest dreams that I would be so fortunate to complete reading a book of 454 pages in one week.  Your writing is amazing, as it is very very easy to read, and while reading your story I laughed, was scared for you and your family, as well as was speechless at some of your adventures.  

There was a lot of teasing by your uncle as the book went everywhere except to dinner with me.  This is something that is new to me and something that I felt would truly never happen in my life. I did not like reading in school as I was a slow reader and could not complete some exams because of my reading so slow.  That became a thorn in my side and I just left it at that.

Your book has given me a reason to continue to find books like yours that has taken me on adventures that I could imagine in my mind.  The colors were so vivid to me while reading, it was almost like a movie in my mind.  I could not put the book down, as I could hardly wait to see what was going to happen next.  Your writing is so clear and helped me to visualize so much of the world that I will probably never see, other than through the words in your book.

Your children are so very fortunate to have parents that put their day to day lives on hold so that the family could really get a chance to know each other on such an intimate level that would have never happened at home with everyone being so busy.

Lisa my dear, your book has inspired me at 56 years old to start to read books, a whole new world has been opened to me just waiting for me to experience journeys that only one can imagine while reading a book.  How my life would have been enriched if I would have been fortunate enough to have had a teacher like yourself while attending my first years of school.  You have a gift for writing, I hope you continue to write and open up the world of reading to lots of others that are just like I was before reading a book cover to cover.

Mom! There's a Lion in the Toilet, has opened a door for me that I have never opened. Now I don't want to close it. I am beyond grateful for your book and your decision to write it.  WOW I had such an adventure, all because of going on holidays with your mom.

Again, thank you and take care. I am using your mothers Facebook because I don't have one.  Too much confusion for me. LOL

Pat Racine

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Travel Tips - Educating Kids through Travel

Our kids were thrilled this week to find themselves on the front cover of the Edmonton Journal, our largest newspaper in our local city.

Chris Zdeb spoke to us about the impact of long term family travel, and how leaving our traditional school setting for extended travel may have hurt our children's education.  It seems some people hold the belief that the only place learning can happen is within the walls of a classroom.

Thank goodness our school district disagreed.

Deciding to take our children on a trip around the world was a personal decision.  It came from a deep realization that life was worth living, now.  We worked, and had worked hard, for many years.  And though we had built a great "normal" life, we were not completely satisfied.  It seemed that life was passing us by.  I love the quote "we travel not to escape our life, but so that our life does not escape us."  That pretty much summed it up.

Our schools, thankfully, understood.  Yes, it did help that as a trained teacher, I was able to assure the administration that the five months away would not be a big "waste of time."  But truly, I didn't need an education degree to be able to teach our children about the world.  I believe strongly that life is about learning.
Every day, we should learn at least one new thing.
Seek out knowledge.



It is our philosophy of life.

The knowledge our children gained may or may not have matched the specific curriculum of each of their grades in our specific region of the world.  But they learned about culture, history, geography and life in a way that was relevant and meaningful.  And not to mention, fun.

And most importantly, they learned how to learn, which for us was the most important lesson of all.

Try these Family Travel Tips to make your next vacation a learning one:

1. Choose a new destination.  If you love to travel, you can share that love with your children.  It doesn't have to be only "kid places" like Disney.  Choose activities you love, and pick a new place to try.

2. Do something new.  Pick an activity your family hasn't done before, and learn it together.

3. Don't overpack.  Kids don't need to have everything from home. Laundry is done everywhere, and you are their favorite toy.

4. Hire a local guide.  Often the cab driver or waiter would love to share his city, or take you to her family's favourite museum or surf beach.  Don't be afraid to ask to discover the best local "haunts".

5. Let the kids help with the planning.  Older children can have great ideas, and will often enjoy the trip more if they are given some control.  You will share in their interests, and they just might surprise you!

And my favourite place for recommendations:  TripAdvisor.  Just search for the "Top 10 things to do with families" in your destination, and let the ideas inspire you!

Happy Travels!  6 Andersons 1 World