It’s here, and it’s spectacular! Yes, I’m talking about my new book, A Gelato a Day, of course. I’m over the moon excited to bring this collection of 20 family travel tales into the world from some of the most incredibly talented contributing writers in North America.
Published by Canadian house, Guernica Editions, and available for pre-order from your favorite bookstore or here, the A Gelato a Day anthology explores the good, the bad and the not-so-ugly of the family travel experience. The book will be released on September 1, 2022. Here’s the story behind the stories.
A Gelato a Day Book
Whether it’s dealing with toddlers gone wild, taking your teen hiking in the mountains or on the Civil Rights Trail, or connecting with an older parent as an adult child, the thoughtful, insightful and funny stories in A Gelato a Day prove that family travel is always worth the effort.
These stories go beyond holidays-gone-wrong to dive thoughtfully into the deeper parental and family connections that can occur when we take ourselves (or are taken out of) our daily routines and comfort zones.
Why did you want to write this book?
I’ve been traveling with my family since I was an infant and raised my own children to be curious and thoughtful travelers. We’ve enjoyed some incredible trips and created wonderful travel memories that span time and keep loved ones who’ve left us deep in our hearts. I had my own special travel story to tell, and believed that others did too, and this formed the idea behind the creation of an anthology focused on family travel stories.
In my book proposal research, I read many amazing travel anthologies, but not one focused specifically on family travel. This was a missed opportunity, in my opinion, given that we’ve all been children at some point, and likely traveled with family along the way – with stories and scars to prove it. There’s a market for these stories, given that family travel in its many forms is a huge driver in the travel industry.
I signed my book contract in January 2020, right before the pandemic hit. As the world closed and travel stopped, I poured my energy into the book project, inviting writers to contribute stories to the anthology. I was delighted to narrow it down to 20 incredibly diverse, funny and thoughtful stories about traveling with kids, as a kid, and as an adult child with an older parent.
There was a bittersweet irony in editing travel stories during a pandemic that shuttered our ability to travel, that’s for sure.
To purchase A Gelato a Day, pre-order from your favorite bookstore or if you Amazon, find it here. The book is released on September 1, 2022.
Why do some parents fear family travel?
I think people can be intimidated by traveling as a family, especially if they have young children. New parents may be nervous about sitting on a plane for six hours with a baby or toddler. Others may be anxious about taking a road trip with a teenager who may only seem interested in WiFi access and peer contact.
Part of that fear or anxiety may have to do with personal history (bad family trips of the past), family relationship issues, or a lack of knowledge on how to do it right. The good news is that there is no right or wrong way to travel as a family! Start small – a weekend staycation at a hotel here, an overnight camping trip there. Then build upon those experiences and any lessons learned and plan age- and ability-appropriate activities near and then far, as your travel comfort level increases.
Why is family travel important?
I’ve written a lot about why traveling as a family is important to both parents and kids. The reasons range from the simple notion that holidays are important for our physical and mental health. And the world is amazing we should go out and enjoy it! I also believe that families should spend time together creating memories together rather than accumulating things. Traveling is one of the best ways to create those lasting memories.
Traveling with children can open doors to places and start a dialogue with people. Kids have no hesitation in chatting to people they meet. This encourages adults to be more comfortable engaging with each other as a result.
Also, there’s great value of taking ourselves out of our routine and comfort zones and entering unfamiliar places. It encourages us to open to one another. We can react in ways that may surprise, delight, or frustrate those we hold most dear. We discover more about ourselves and our loved ones through the travel experience, and that is priceless knowledge.
What’s with the title?
The title for this book came from a phrase that I conceived when my children were very young, created during a five-week European adventure in the early 2000s. The strategy behind a gelato a day keeps the tantrums away was simple. Offer a daily incentive of a favored treat on every day of a trip, to promote anticipation, happiness and motivation to get through the day. After all, who doesn’t like ice cream?
The enticement worked like a charm. They kept us from meltdowns (from both young and old) while wandering narrow mediaeval streets in Belgium and during long mountain hikes in the Swiss Alps. It was so successful that towards the end of our trip, our youngest was sick of gelato and instead begged for a daily cake option.
What are stories about?
The stories in A Gelato a Day are some of the most poignant, funny and beautiful stories about traveling with family that I’ve had the honor to read, written by experienced family travelers and writers living in Canada and the United States.
The stories range in time from the 1950s to present day, spanning the globe from the Amazonian jungle to the mountains of Banff, the savannahs of Kenya, waters of the South Pacific, the streets of Old Casablanca and beyond. The writers travel by foot, car, plane, catamaran and riverboat as they discover themselves, their loved ones and the world around them.
These stories are an insightful and thoughtful collection of how family travel can reveal those whom we think we know best – ourselves and our loved ones – to one another; creating family memories that last long after the suitcases are unpacked and laundry folded and put away.