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Book review: Home Sweet Anywhere

Home Sweet Anywhere coverEven wanted to sell everything you own, take off on a never-ending round the world trip and create a new life for yourself? Well this travel memoir is for you!  It’s the story of a couple who sold their house to travel the world, and who now lives “home free” 365 days a year.  By selling their house and furniture, Lynne and Tim Martin realised that their lifelong dream of traveling the world was actually do-able – not just for them but for many others too. After they were profiled in the Wall Street Journal, dozens of readers got in touch asking how to replicate their experience.

This memoir, Home Sweet Anywhere, is a romantic tale of “derring-do” for grown-ups, both an escape to destinations from Mexico to Marrakesh, as well as a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.

As someone who has lived and worked in a few different places and who is always up for travel, I found the book completely fascinating.  I’d be untruthful if I said I hadn’t daydreamed about living a life on the road and wondered whether reading this book might just fuel that wanderlust even more. The book certainly made me daydream about travel, that’s for sure, but at the end of the day, I’ve realised that am too much of a homebody to take on that type of lifestyle full-time at this point in my life.  While I love being away from home, for me, there’s nothing quite like coming home, you know? And not really having a full-time home would make me sad. I think!  There are a few similarities in our stories though – nowadays, when we do travel, we’re more likely to be found with a “home base” of a rental property – our recent trip to Europe was the first “all hotels” trip we have done in a long time and while we enjoyed some of the “housekeeping” aspects (someone else did the laundry!), it certainly was odd not having a “home base” and travelling to 3 different cities in the space of 9 days.  So yes to a “home base” when travelling but right now, no to a different home base every few months.

But the book certainly showcases the amazing bonuses of living like this full-time and is a wonderful resource for anyone who is even kinds-sorta thinking about doing something similar.  Lynne and Tim spend a few months in each of the countries they live in so they really get a great feel for the local lifestyle.  Of course, in order to live this type of lifestyle, you have to be organised and the book, as well as being a wonderful story to read that you will have a hard time putting down, is a very useful resource for anyone who is contemplating this type of big move. There’s so much valuable information in there and it really does highlight how organised you have to be and how planning is crucial so that things go as smoothly as they can.  At the end of the book, there’s a great country-by-country list of things to know about each destination – invaluable for anyone planning to live “home free”.

I’m lucky enough to be sharing a sneak peek of the book today – from the chapter detailing Lynne and Tim’s time in England.

England Tim in Waterloo Station

Tim in Waterloo Station, London, England

By the time we arrived in England, after four months on the road, we knew that buying seasonal clothes in almost any city was easy, particularly since we are not tourists and have the time to shop as carefully and smartly as we would at home. Thus, finding a sweater, blouse or jacket was never a big problem.

Shoes are another matter altogether, particularly for me. My feet have always been a problem because I had worn an American size 11 AA all my adult life. In other words, I have insanely long narrow feet. My shoe size was my one proud connection with Audrey Hepburn. (Did you ever notice how big her feet were?) Thank God my dear husband loves to shop for shoes, because the search for footwear has been an almost holy quest during our entire married life.

I left California without a pair of dressy shoes because my feet had grown from an 11 AA to 11 1/2 AAA , a shocking development for a woman my age. We couldn’t find any dressy shoes before we left home and neither Florence nor Paris offered any solutions. We searched the Internet and finally found Crispin’s, a shoe store in London that specialized in large ladies’ shoes, and my sweet sympathetic husband willingly went with me to shop there.

We boarded our little red train, and negotiated Waterloo to the underground. After several subway changes, we stood within blocks of the store. The traditional Georgian street looked as if Henry Higgins was going to step down out one of the elegant doors any minute. Distinguished boutiques, exclusive dressmakers and chic designer shops lined both sides. It made me nervous because everything was so chic and expensive. Even though I had worn my nicest blazer, I still felt like a bag lady.

Finally, we found Crispin’s. When I told the saleswoman what I wanted, she snapped her fingers and said gleefully that she had just the thing. In moments, she reappeared and my Cinderella fantasies were realized. A pair of Stuart Weismann 11 1/2 AAA black suede wedge shoes, with trimmed bows and a shiny black buckle, slipped on my feet like soft gloves. They were outrageously beautiful – and so expensive that both Prince Charming and I gasped. These treasures were not on sale. But, knowing a maiden in constant shoe distress when he sees one, my gallant man insisted I have them.

(reprinted with permission)

Want to know more about living “home free”?

Check out Lynne and Tim’s website: www.homesweetanywhere.com
Follow Lynne on Twitter and Instagram

And check the book out for yourself: Buy Home Sweet Anywhere for yourselves on Amazon or Amazon Canada. BONUS: If you pre-order the book on Amazon before April 14th 2014, you will receive a signed bookplate with your purchase!

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Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.

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Disclosure: I received an eGalley copy of Home Sweet Anywhere courtesy of Sourcebooks for review purposes. I did not receive any further compensation for writing about this and opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

 

WORLDWIDE giveaway! Click here to win a copy of Sarah Elton’s Starting From Scratch. Ends today, Tuesday April 8th 2014 at 6pm EST.

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6 Responses to Book review: Home Sweet Anywhere

  1. Taryn Elise April 8, 2014 at 17:39 #

    This sounds so interesting – I’d love to read this! I think I’m very much like you, needing a home base. I’ve only been on the road for a week and I’m already feeling home sick!

    - Taryn Elise xx
    blog.sugarpushcakes.com

    • Mardi Michels May 9, 2014 at 16:36 #

      Aw – hopefully you’ll be settled into Toronto soon!

  2. Coco in the Kitchen April 8, 2014 at 18:28 #

    What an adventure. I love a good read. And sometimes, books are the best presents to give to people I care about most.

  3. Ann Mah April 9, 2014 at 08:49 #

    As the spouse of a diplomat, I kind of feel like I am living Lynne and Tin’s life! :) I can’t wait to read their book — sounds like they have wonderful advice and stories to share.

  4. Marcello Arrambide April 10, 2014 at 05:09 #

    Sounds like an inspirational book :-) Can’t wait to grab one for reads!

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