It was one of my Millennial sons who suggested I try my hand at travel blogging. “Mom, you like to travel and you like to write. This would be perfect for you.” At the time, the travel blogs with which I was familiar were written by him and his 20 something peers. They were entertaining and some were very well written, but they were all about the imperative for traveling before becoming encumbered with a spouse, kids, a mortgage and a “real” job. Clearly, that ship had already sailed in my case. I started looking for travel blogs written by folks closer to my Baby Boomer demographic. One of the first I found remains a favorite, The Gypsy Nester.
David and Veronica James are the Gypsy Nesters. When the third of their three children (Decibel, Piglet and The Boy —
probably not their real names) left for college, they sold their nest house on Saint Croix and hit the road. That was in 2008 and judging from the travels chronicled in their blog, they have not looked back.
When I scored an advance review copy of their book, Going Gypsy, I anticipated enjoying a longer version of the entertaining and informative travel narratives with which I was familiar from their blog. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Going Gypsy is not just about travel in the geographic sense. It is also about a couple’s journey through life, the autobiography of a marriage.
In Going Gypsy, Veronica and David take turns chronicling their lives and travels, allowing the reader to view each through the other’s eyes and voice. We learn that Veronica was raised Catholic, that “guilt was in [her] DNA.” But, this didn’t stop her from taking off with an itinerant musician, David, when she was an 18 year old California Valley Girl. She explains the effect motherhood had on her, “Prior to breeding, I was fearless.” Determined to be “the best mother since the Virgin Mary”, she spent the next 20 some years as a helicopter Mom—on steroids. She and David share how she went from being a person for whom a huge risk was switching from a Blackberry to an I-phone to a person who “not only grounded her helicopter, but sold it for scrap to become a risks-be-damned explorer, always looking over the next horizon.”
Actually, Veronica and David didn’t sell Veronica’s helicopter for scrap, they traded it in for a used RV dubbed “BAMF” (Bad Ass Mo Fo) by one of their spawn. They explain how they had to learn to meld their disparate travel styles, Veronica wanting to savor slow travel, while David was on a frenetic mission to find and see every weird, cheesy attraction on the continent. He could not imagine driving by the World’s Largest Ball of Paint. They let us tag along as they figure out how to go from helicopter Mom and a Europe touring professional musician, to a couple together virtually 24/7, with a “big gaping hole where the children used to be”.
If I met Veronica and David in Starbucks and they told me about their journey(s), my reaction would be, “You should write a book.” I’m happy to say they have —- and you should read it.
Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All debuted on Amazon as the number one book in its genre earlier this month based on pre-launch sales. You can purchase your copy directly from Amazon by clicking on the link below:
[Disclosures: I was provided a pre-launch review copy of Going Gypsy for review purposes. If you purchase the book using the Amazon link on this page, Boomeresque receives a
tiny commission that does not affect your purchase price.]