Changing Gears: A Book Review

If you are waiting for a sign from the UNIVERSE, this is it!  Now go BIG!

These words were never so true!  As I was reading Changing Gears written by my friend Nancy, I could not stop thinking of this quote.  If anything is going to inspire you to go after what you want no matter what, reading this book is the thing!

Changing Gears chronicles a journey most would say was impossible.  A family, that's right, a family complete with twin preteen boys, venture out into the world to bicycle from Alaska to Argentina.  A trip that took over 2 years, and had its share of trials and tribulations along the way.  In my world this is an impossible feat but that is why this family is such an inspiration...they prove it was not!

The book is fascinating and goes through each and every country with a description off what they did, what they saw, and what they overcame.  It is a journey that will teach you and inspire you and I highly recommend spending a day or two reading it.  I honestly could not put it down wondering what would come next in their adventure.

During the Panama chapter Nancy describes how much her son helped her one particular day and how she was seeing the tides changing that her son was turning to a man quite capable of now taking care of her. As I am realizing that myself these days about Dylan it was really touching and helped bond me even more then I already was to this miraculous story. It is such an amazing thing when we can sit back and be reminded of how remarkable our children are, the hand we took in creating them, and the strength it will take to let them go…Nancy explains it so beautifully!

Every chapter has it's nuance but every one was a treat.  Nancy writes in an organized manner so it is easy to follow and hard to put down.   Perhaps the best part though about the book is how honest and open Nancy is.  She talks about the highs, about the Guinness book of world records, and about all the beautiful people that crossed their paths to help in such touching ways but she also details the difficulties with excessive heat, blistering cold, bugs, injuries, disappointment, and doubt.

It was such a joy to read through as Nancy finds a deep pride in herself in a way that I hope we all can feel at some point. She eloquently and honestly relays the fears, worries, and doubts that obviously go into an undertaking such as this and I felt so proud of her reading how she started to take pride in herself and her own abilities. “I was strong and healthy and more proud then I ever thought I could be.” Wow, what a statement!

I do have one complaint though with the book and that is with their viewpoint on Costa Rica.  Having lived there for so long I feel the need to give the other side on this tiny and beautiful country. I agree on some level that it can be a very tourist driven country but after living there I know there are MANY places off the beaten track with no tourists, pristine beaches, and a wonderful local culture. It may not be as cultural as a lot of other Central American countries but it can be found. Whenever there is more development you get more tourists and less of the local feel, but if you leave the tourist trail it is most definitely there! I only wish that I knew Nancy and her family when they rode through so I could have been one of their “road angels” and show them the Costa Rica I loved!

I hope you take the time to follow the above link to a preview so you can see for yourself just how engaging a read it really is!  I'll leave you with this quote, my favorite from the entire book:

 “I realized my story had never been about the cycling. It was never about the travel. My story was about pursuing your passion and following your dreams.”

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