Five Miles From Home ...and other exotic travel destinations, is a travel book about not traveling, or more correctly, not traveling far from home. It is not a book of lists of specific local things to do (the web is too good to try to compete in that arena), rather it is a book about learning to enjoy what is nearby, whatever those things might be. It is a very simple concept. Rather than people from L.A. flying out to D.C. for a vacation and people from D.C. flying out to L.A. for a vacation, this book suggests that people in L.A. could spend their entire lives seeing all the sights in L.A. and people in D.C. seeing all the sights in D.C. What needs to change to make that idea palatable, is the thought processes. That change of heart is the essence of Five Miles From Home.

The seed for the book was born over 20 years ago with my son Reid. His disabilities and medical needs were so intense that traveling became very difficult for us. When his conditions became so acute that nurses or nursing homes were required for any time away, the possibility of significant travel evaporated. Although I am a card carrying optimist, the reality that the various trips I had dreamed about (and expected we would take just after the next medical emergency) would not be possible, hit me one morning on the way to work. We had just received the bill from a nursing home where Reid had stayed during a trip to visit my in-laws and stunning cost made even my hopeful mind admit that expecting to see the world was a delusion. The numerous exotic trips I had planned over the years were not going to happen and I was overwhelmed by, a very uncharacteristic, despair.

No sooner had the cloud descended than I began to examine my thoughts and motivations. Why did this bother me so much? The answer was simple, I wasn't getting my expectations fulfilled. Is there much chance of circumstances changing? In all likelihood, no. Then, why not change my expectations? Can I do that? Let's find out.... Thus began my mission to become content with all things local and, unwittingly, develop the backbone experiences for Five Miles From Home.

The process of choosing to learn to love the local was lengthy but fun. The book tries to boil down what I did into practical steps that others could benefit from as well. Although contentment is a very unnatural frame of mind, it can be cultivated and the personal benefits are dramatic. The scope of the book is limited to travel, but many of the lessons are applicable in other walks of life. While gas is high and the newspapers and evening news are filled with new concepts like "staycations," it pays to spend a little time Five Miles from Home.

Reviews

  1. Library Journal Magazine, BookSmack Newsletter (Link no longer active)
  2. 4522 Happenings

Topics Covered (Table of Contents)

  1. The Reluctant Homebody
  2. Id Rather Be Content
  3. The Silver Lining of Going Nowhere
  4. Learning to See
  5. A Test is Worth a 1,000 Opinions
  6. Irma is Bored
  7. Learning to Learn
  8. Triumph of the Trivial
  9. Anyone for Home Movies?
  10. Adding Value with Cheap Shots
  11. Your Five Miles Moves With You
  12. The Power of Long Underwear
  13. Maiden Voyage

Images and Illustrations from the book

  1. Front Cover Photo
  2. Back Cover Photos

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