A Gelato A Day: True Stories of Family Travel, Edited by Claudia Laroye

When I flipped open the cover of this book, I read this first paragraph: “Nothing shakes complacencies more than travelling with one’s children. No matter how in control you may have been in your previous child-free life, or how hard and fast you white-knuckle grip onto any semblance of control once baby arrives and morphs into a toddler, child and beyond, circumstances out of that control will work, often actively, against you.“ The title comes from editor Claudia Laroye’s introduction where she reveals she gifted her children with a treat as an incentive to explore and discover on their European vacation. My first thoughts about this book were: Oh, this is a collection of stories extolling the virtues of travel with young children and how these people got it right.                     

“These talented writers take us to places all over the world and let us know what they have found and who they shared their experiences with.”

It couldn’t be further from the truth. This collection of stories is about travel with children, with parents, with adult children and with aging parents. Through the short stories, I could see my own travels with my young children, but I could also see myself travelling with my mother, my sisters, my husband- my family. It is so much more than a “how to” collection of travelling with kids. This is truly a travel collection, which I was surprised by, as I discovered the similarities and differences in each of these stories. The writers, such as Bruce Kirkby, who I first heard speak at my own children’s elementary school, just after his book came out, Sand Dance: By Camel Across Arabia’s Great Southern Desert. Now I meet Bruce again, but with his wife and children in tow. We discover that Bruce Kirkby hasn’t settled down, but has continued his adventures all the way to a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. His short story begins: “Many have asked … if I regretted dragging children so young on such a long and arduous journey?” I thoroughly enjoyed his honesty and candour in The Unexpected Joys and Wonders of Travel with Kids, the first story in this collection.

The more stories I read, the more I found myself totally lost in the world of each writer: Straight to the Amazon and Machu Picchu in Sabine K. Bergmann’s A Child Explorer in the Amazon; to Maui with Robin Esrock’s Breaking the Seal: Toddler Travel in Maui; to Costa Rica with Grant Lawrence’s The Night the Scorpion Came to Dinner; and, to Casablanca with Olivia Stren, where she and her mother revisit her mother’s birth place in You Must Remember This. Both Olivia and her mother make discoveries they did not expect. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to sleep in a cave, which had been blasted out of solid rock? Find out in Lavinia Spalding’s adventure, So I Slept in … A Cave.

These stories, just a few are mentioned here, are as engaging as they are interesting. These talented writers take us to places all over the world and let us know what they have found and who they shared their experiences with. After all, travel is great fun when we share experiences with those closest to us. Indeed, it is the best of times even if the events themselves turn out to be not quite what was expected. The sharing is an extra bonus, it’s what sticks and lingers long after we have returned home.  This book is full of adventures, funny tales, as well as heartfelt reminiscing like Claudia Laroye’s Bittersweet in Banff. In this story, Claudia recounts her father’s journey from Northern Italy to Canada in the 1950s and reveals what World War 2 had to do with his gut-wrenching dislike of chocolate.

All of the stories in A Gelato A Day are entertaining and heartfelt – the furthest from a lecture as they could possibly be. Even though there are many stories, each writer uses their pages effectively, making the stories envelop us as we journey along, changing the destination but not the interest level. Pick up a copy of A Gelato A Day, and treat yourself to an Italian ice cream, as you make discoveries with every page.  No bribing is necessary because these authors got it right!

Claudia Laroye is a writer and editor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She enjoys writing about adventure, family, luxury and sustainable travel, and loves all forms of active adventures. When home, she enjoys walking her dog and sipping pineapple margaritas in her backyard garden. This is her first book.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ MiroLand (Sept. 1 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 168 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1771836180
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1771836180

Managing Editor

TMR’s Managing Editor Carrie Stanton has a BA in Political Science from the University of Calgary. She is the author of The Jewel and Beast Bot, and picture books, Emmie and the Fierce Dragon and The Gardener. Carrie loves to write stories that grow wings and transport readers everywhere.  She reads and enjoys stories from every genre.