Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World Paperback – Mar 25 2014
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"Nearly every page has some crack piece of travel wisdom ... an accessible, inspiring journey." - Kirkus
"Martin never sugarcoats the challenges involved ("I ache with longing for my family occasionally"), but she concludes: "Every day, we learn something, see something, plan something, meet someone or solve some brand-new problem." A good trade-off. And an even better book." - The Wall Street Journal
"An enchanting account of how one couple fulfilled a dream of living abroad one country at a time and invented a new vision for a second lease on life" - AAA Home & Away
"The author writes in an engaging, descriptive style that makes the reader feel s/he's been invited along for the journey. And what a journey it has been. ... The book is not just about travel, it's about embracing the life you have and living it to the fullest." - New York Journal of Books
"Engaging, witty, and insightful ... This book will make you want to pick up your penand duffle bags!and start writing your own unique path to life." - Great New Books"
"Read [Martin's] tale of travel and get inspired to change your life!" - Jewish Journal
"This terrific book gives hope to everyone who desires the fun and freedom of dropping everything and hitting the road to foreign ports." - Jeri Sedlar, co-author of Don't Retire, REWIRE!
About the Author
In 2010, Lynne and Tim Martin decided to sell their home, disburse most of their belongings and travel the world for the rest of their lives. Lynne's popular blog, homefreeadventures.com, chronicles their nomadic life, which was the cover article of The Wall Street Journal's Next" section in October 2012, and was featured on the front page of Yahoo.com, as well as in the Huffington Post, Fodor's Travel Intelligence, among others. Her work has also appeared in Mark Chimsky's book, 65 Things to Do When You Retire, International Living, the Huffington Post, and other publications.
Lynne and her husband Tim, a novelist, have lived in Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, France, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, and Morocco since they became home free. She now has no permanent address and intends to keep it that way until the wheels fall off sometime in the next thirty years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's a decent encouragement device to show that it is possible to live home-free in retirement. It serves as a benign jumping-off point for people considering the lifestyle, mentioning things to take into consideration, like healthcare, paying bills, packing. It also offers a high-level introduction to different locations around the world, enough so to prompt further research.
On the not-so-good side:
The book lacks any real detail beyond the most basic advice. It contains no real guidance or resources for what can be some pretty daunting and complex issues. Take the question of electronic devices. Beyond saying that they left the store with a couple of iPhones, a couple of laptops, and a bag of adapters, the author offers no further information. A little detail about data plans, or how their option compared to using local devices would have been much appreciated.
The narrative is flimsy, filled with overused cliches and, frankly, excruciatingly boring at times. Conversations sound forced and stilted. Overall, it reads like a "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" creative writing exercise.
The author goes out of her way to portray her and her husband as middle-class, unassuming, unsophisticated travelers. Just a few pages into the book, it becomes apparent, however, that this couple is very affluent, which makes their decision to live on-the-go much easier. At times, the author appears to be truly out of touch with how average/typical middle-class Americans live. We don't all have friends who live in castles or own luxury properties, complete with house staff.
There seems to be a fair sprinkling of false modesty presented throughout the text. The author continually tries to paint herself as surprised to be attending a party with this-or-that internationally-renowned something-or-other, or that she is good enough to really write an article for a national newspaper, but it rang false for me.
All that said, I think there's a great potential for a companion piece of sorts, something that provides the details so obviously absent here. A book that lists different insurance companies that provide international coverage, that lists multiple sites for rental properties abroad, that describes exactly how they handle paying bills, what data plan(s) they find best for them, exactly how they handle mail would be a wonderful sibling to this.
The paperback version states that it is a memoir twice on the front cover. And then the title says "How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World. And they do tell you how they did it and about their travels. What this book doesn't tell you is how much money they spent which is probably more than most retired people would have to spend and probably costs more every year and depends a lot on where they decide to travel.
It wasn't clear to me why they sold their house as they never stated they needed the money from the sale to finance their new lives. I guess they didn't want the worries of home ownership to follow them during their new carefree life. Many people might like to keep their homes if they can manage it financially. Others might not have the income to live as well as the Martins, but they can still live abroad and have fun doing it. And many people wouldn't want to be out of the country for as long as the Martins. For me I can see going for a couple of two month foreign stays a year. There are millions of ways to adapt what the Martins did to our own lives should we want to do it. She can't tell you how to do it, but she can tell you the basics of what they did.
I was entertained by their story and I didn't feel that Lynne Martin put on airs, name dropped or had her nose in the air. I think the Martins are a very down to earth couple who have been fortunate enough to live the good life and are continuing to do so. I enjoyed the story, but I didn't have any expectations other than to enjoy it.
I agree with those who were bored hearing about her budding writing career. From my point of view she ruined her travel life by having to meet deadlines and spend her days writing. Why do that? If you must, plan a few months after the traveling is done to do the writing. However, that's what she wanted to do, I think, and I hope she is still happy about it in spite of all the negative reviews.
This is an intriguing book and I think it's a shame that so many people wrote nasty reviews. I don't really get it, but maybe if I didn't get what I had expected I would have been disappointed too.
I wish the Martins many more years of great health while they follow their dreams.