Do you remember the way you felt on the day that you dropped the last kid off at college? It’s definitely a “what do I do next” moment. Many boomers negotiate the event smoothly, while some of us — you know who you are — struggle with that empty nest.
In Going Gypsy, One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Veronica and David James chronicle their journey into the empty nest void after successfully launching three children into adulthood. The journey eventually leads them to sell their St. Croix home and venture into the world of full-time travel blogging.
But this is much more than a “how to sell your home and travel the world once the kids leave” book. Veronica and David’s story combines personal history, a practical child rearing philosophy and parental confessions (you’ll have to read the book to learn who claims the title of helicopter parent) with an encouraging tale about the regeneration of a marriage and a rewarding life sans children.
I’ve traveled with Veronica and David on several occasions and am an avid reader of the Gypsy Nester blog so I knew how entertaining Going Gypsy would be. However, to me, it’s the child rearing philosophy that really shines.
In he said/she said alternating chapters, the James’ story reveals their parenting styles complete with vulnerabilities. Veronica explains how parenting turned her from a fearless young adult to a risk averse mother determined to protect her brood. And every parent should read the chapter where David has “the talk” with each child prior to their 18th birthday. It brings the term “personal responsibility” to a new level that made me want to stand up and cheer.
Travel becomes the mechanism that restores Veronica’s fearlessness. And merging two very different travel styles — David wants to go fast while Veronica believes in savoring the journey — offers a look at how humorous compromise strengthens a relationship.
If you’re approaching the empty nest years with trepidation, Going Gypsy provides encouragement to forge a new path, whether that’s travel, an encore career or a volunteer mission. So buy the book, read it and then let us know how you’ll be Going Gypsy.
Disclosure: The Gypsy Nesters provided a free book for us to review.