Braving the World: Adventures in Travel and Retirement
by Pam Saylor

"In this post-retirement life, we began learning how to juggle time together and time alone."

The Saylors' love of travel leads to the inevitability of fulfilling a long-held dream: to spend a year abroad in Italy. Upon retirement, they begin implementing their plan to do just that. However, they encounter problems acquiring visas and have to become creative in their travel plans. Their year in Italy is by necessity divided into three-month stretches in Rome, Croatia, London, and Venice. Though they have many concerns before embarking upon their year-long stay abroad (for example, Pam has diabetes and must have access to insulin), they don't let difficulties deter them from their Bel Sogno or "Beautiful Dream." They spend their time in Europe renting small apartments and settling into the residential life of each neighborhood. Not only do they get a real feel for each country, city, and neighborhood, they learn as much about themselves as they do the people and places they visit.

This book is a revelation about the ups and downs of European travel. Saylor is thorough in relating information about the couple's pre-travel planning, the unexpected snags along the way, her steps in attempting to circumvent problems, and what worked and what didn't. She helpfully relates numerous tips to aid those who may also wish to try a long trip to Italy or Europe. She writes with honesty and clarity, especially about the difficulties of adjusting as a retired couple thrown into a life where they are confined in a very small space and in a country where they aren't fluent in the language. The descriptions of the countries and the couple's experiences in each are vivid and entertaining. This work will certainly appeal to those who desire to embrace their own Bel Sogno and travel the world.

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