Check out the official Wide-Open World trailer, culled from over ten hours of video I took on the trip. From Costa Rica to India, it’ll give you a little HD peek inside the book.
In the end, I think it represents the fun and diversity we encountered on the road, and I hope you like it.
Oppressive heat, grueling bus rides, backbreaking work, and one vicious spider monkey . . .Best family vacation ever!
John Marshall needed a change. His twenty-year marriage was falling apart, his seventeen-year-old son was about to leave home, and his fourteen-year old daughter was lost in cyberspace. Desperate to reconnect with his family, John dreamed of a trip around the world, a chance to leave routines and responsibilities for a while. And though he didn’t have the money for resorts or luxury tours, he did have an idea that made world travel more affordable and more meaningful than he’d ever imagined.
Wide-Open World is the inspiring true story of the six months that changed the Marshall family forever. Once they’d made the pivotal difficult decision to go, John and his wife Traca quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school, and embarked on a journey that would take them far off the beaten path, volunteering their time and energy in the service of others. It’s called “voluntourism”—and it might just be the future of travel.
Here is the totally engaging, bluntly honest chronicle of the Marshalls’ life-altering adventure from Central America to East Asia. Along the way, they lived with free-range spider monkeys in Costa Rica, labored on farms in New Zealand, helped orphans in India, and persevered through a violent uprising in Bangkok to teach English to Thai villagers.
It was no fairy tale. The trip offered little rest, even less relaxation, and virtually no certainty of what was to come. But it did give the Marshalls something far more valuable: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conquer personal fears, strengthen family bonds, and find their true selves by helping those in need. In the end, as John discovered, he and his family did not change the world. It was the world that changed them.
Like life, Wide-Open World is both uplifting and bittersweet, examining with humor and honesty all the changes that can occur when an ordinary American family decides to take the most extraordinary family vacation ever.
MONTHS ON THE ROAD