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Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: They take a year off to travel the world. This is their story.
What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre–COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to"—and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic—We Came, We Saw, We Left is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family’s gap-year experiment.
Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like: How do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, We Came, We Saw, We Left chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?
About the Author
Charles Wheelan is the author of the best-selling Naked Statistics and Naked Economics and is a former correspondent for the Economist. He teaches public policy and economics at Dartmouth College and lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his family.
A swift and refreshing escape during these isolated, isolating times…[I]t's often the utter normalcy of the Wheelan family that makes this travelogue so endearing.
— Carson Vaughan, NPR
Wheelan is a lucid and likable storyteller, and his antic family dialogues are spot-on…[A]n upbeat story.
— Amity Gaige, New York Times Book Review
Engaging, insightful, and downright pleasant.
— Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Time
A sprightly account of an unusual family vacation.
— Curt Schleier, Star Tribune
Engaging stories of a family bonding over the unusual challenges and opportunities presented by budget-minded globetrotting.
— John Young, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Makes a strong case for extended travel as a means of establishing a tighter bond as a family.
— Michael Patrick Brady, WBUR News
The family’s offbeat experiment in global immersion is a triumph of cultural connection, a celebration of humanity’s similarities and differences, presented with a winning blend of humor and humility. For those suffering from pandemic cabin fever, Wheelan’s exuberant travelogue will provide a welcome vicarious getaway.
— Carol Haggas - Booklist
This rip-roaring adventure will especially appeal to those whose passports are collecting dust thanks to the pandemic.
— Publishers Weekly
A vivid chronicle of a family's intrepid sojourn...Wheelan offers an entertaining, upbeat account of the trip, often astonishingly beautiful and sometimes harrowing. A charming celebration of discovery.
— Kirkus Reviews
A complete and utter delight of a book, from start to finish. Charlie Wheelan and his remarkable family deliver not only a page-turning travelogue, but also a blueprint for restoring a long-lost sense of adventure into our lives.
— Dan Coyle, author of The Culture Code and The Talent Code