Taking a year off from the rat race is an idle dream for many, but the McManamy family, including their three teenagers, decided to make it happen. The Big Trip: A Family Gap Year tells how they put high school, college and work on hold while they learned Spanish in Spain and volunteered in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Kenya. Choosing home stays and local transportation over hotels and rental cars, they undertook a deeply immersive journey of “slow travel,” living simply and experiencing life as the locals do. The teenagers contributed their own creative poems and stories to The Big Trip. A vivid account full of adventures and lively observations, the story also offers a template for anyone yearning to undertake an intellectual, emotional and spiritual journey of discovery. It is possible for families to take a Big Trip and enrich their lives without breaking the bank, losing a job, or falling behind in school. This compelling travel memoir motivates us all to follow even the wildest of our dreams.