“Book Review: Don’t Try This at Home”
Reviewed by Felicia Nicole Hall
An adventurous travel memoir following a Canadian family on their journey around the world, sure to leave you wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Don’t Try This at Home: One family’s (mis)adventures around the world by husband and wife team Daria Salamon and Rob Krause makes for one magnificent story. With a healthy dose of humor, dangerous stories, and an equally interesting format—Daria tells the story from her point of view in the first half and Rob tells his in the second half—this travel memoir turns out to be a page-turning read.
The book opens as Daria and Rob prepare for a gap year alongside their two children, Isla Blue and Oskar. Instead of embarking on another typical year, they decide to rent out their home, sell their belongings, and travel around the world. The family visits eleven countries in all, including Bali, New Zealand, Bolivia, and Colombia. Over the course of that year, this family encounters all sorts of unforgettable experiences.
“Let’s test the limits of my marriage by ditching the comforts of home that we’d spent a decade forging, cram our entire lives into backpacks, and navigate ourselves around the globe with very loose plans and limited funds. In retrospect, maybe I should have just renovated the bathroom, or gone with a breast lift.”
The family begins their venture by camping in New Zealand and Australia before making their way to a few hostels in south Asia. Despite the harsh realities of life demanding a short return home, they continue bravely on with their journey—this time, travelling across South America.
Don’t Try This at Home is filled with compelling stories like when five-year-old Isla Blue gets lost in Asia and when eight-year-old Oskar slips on rocks and requires rescue. I read their adventures with my mouth agape, flipping pages to discover more of the crazy lives they get to live on their journey. Told with such humor and thankfulness for their experiences, this book makes me glad I get to go along for the ride with them.
When Daria’s story concludes, we start at the beginning again—now, with Rob leading the way. He touches on a few of the same experiences as Daria, but his own memories and perspective shed a new light on each situation. He also shares many moments and anecdotes that we don’t get with Daria, giving us a comprehensive recount of the entire trip.
As a lover of travel myself, this book satisfies my wanderlust without ever having to leave my home. Daria and Rob do a wonderful job of telling their stories and making me feel immersed in each culture they experience. There are so many dangerous and questionable moments where I can’t help but question their sanity as they continue on their trip, but at the same time, I feel so grateful they share the story of their incredible, life-changing journey.
All in all, Don’t Try This at Home is a terrific read filled with liveliness and humor. I strongly recommend giving it a shot. Once you finish, you’ll likely even find yourself Googling airfare and hostel prices immediately—or maybe that is just me.
Publisher: Turnstone Press
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