A Month of Italy Review

by Deborah Brady (no relation to Chris), one of the book’s Final Editors


Many a soul has dreamed of traveling the world, going on fascinating adventures, meeting new and interesting people, discovering and admiring treasures of art, history, and architecture, marveling at the many varied landscapes and scenes of nature that can take one’s breath away, relishing the peace and tranquility of those scenes, and experiencing life from the perspective of a people and culture uniquely different from one’s own. But few ever take action to make those dreams come true. Too many let life get in the way of truly living and end up stuffing their wanderlust somewhere deep down inside in the realm of Someday, which they know may never come. The distractions of life can cause a person to have such a myopic focus and limited vision that he may wonder if anything outside of work and the normal routine of life even exists anymore and how he could possibly find the time, energy, and money to take advantage of it if it does!


For all those whose wanderlust has been suffocating for so long that it’s barely breathing, NY Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Chris Brady offers good news and renewed hope with the release of his new book entitled A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation. This book endeavors to prove to readers that they not only can go on a dream vacation but that they should, all the while removing any guilt readers might be inclined to feel at such a prospect by illuminating the many-faceted benefits of vacationing.


Brady’s book details the one-month-long “trip of a lifetime” (what he calls a “radical sabbatical”) to Italy that his family took in order to enjoy quantity as well as quality family time; entrench themselves in the authentic, day-to-day life of a rich, fascinating, and warm-hearted culture; and “sharpen the saw” by, as Brady explains it, going “slow in order to go fast.” With wit and humor that will have you smiling, chuckling, and sometimes just bursting out laughing, Brady shares the highlights (and some not-so-highlights) of their month in Italy, illustrating how such a break from his normally frenzied life invigorated, rejuvenated, inspired, renewed, and changed him for the better, making him even more productive after his return. Within one year of Brady's sabbatical, he relocated his family home to another state as he had long dreamt of doing, founded a multimillion dollar company with several of his best friends, and wrote a best-selling book—not bad for the clarity provided by just one four-week break!


The author expresses his own frustration at not being able to truly and sufficiently capture and portray the wonder, awe, and amazement of the whole experience with mere words or even photography. But with as much skill as is linguistically possible, Brady takes readers along on his family’s journey to Italy. They will feel the ground beneath their feet, the radiant sun on their skin, and the breeze in their hair. The aromas and tastes of pizza, pasta, cheese, wine, and gelato will fill them up and bring them sweet satisfaction. They will relish the suppleness of fine Italian leather and admire all of the beauty that surrounds them everywhere. Claustrophobia and motion sickness might set in as motorcycles whiz by them while they maneuver around tight curves in a big, white, clunky minibus. A competitive spirit will arise in them as they count Smart Cars with the kids. The weight of the locals’ stares will engender feelings of embarrassment at their obvious foreignness and humbleness for their lack of knowledge of the local area and its rules, customs, and language. But the locals’ accents, loud conversation, and sweeping gestures (which readers will surely catch themselves trying to imitate!) will amuse them, and the warm hearts and smiles of the locals will welcome them. A profound sense of smallness and yet interconnectedness will overtake readers as they consider the vast array of others who have trod that land before and all of the history that has taken place there. Climbing many stairs and towers, the extreme heat and sweat will be oppressive, but readers will be enraptured and enthralled by the sight of all of the breathtaking, majestic views. In fact, readers will feel so certain that they witnessed and experienced it all with the Bradys that they will realize their dreams are not lost.


Wanderlust will be awakened, and that is when readers will start planning. And even here, Brady assists. In true leadership fashion, he offers some extra features to go along with his book to ensure that readers are not only inspired to imagine but will also have the necessary tools to plan, prepare, and take the vacation getaway (or “radical sabbatical”) that they have been dreaming of for so long. The author invites readers to join the community of others who are Rediscovering the Art of Vacation at www.amonthofitaly.com, where readers can subscribe to Brady’s free “Take-Alongs and Take-Aways” Newsletter and download his Strategic Sabbaticals e-book and its companion workbook, among other helpful and entertaining features that are designed to enable readers to apply Strategic Sabbaticals to their lives—and to do so without feeling even the tiniest bit of guilt because they know they will actually be reinvigorated for greater clarity of thought, increased productivity, and an overall sense of well-being!