Mike Cooney, an ATTA member since 2013, recently published his first book about an around-the-world trek that he and his family completed in 2009. It tells stories about their adventures and misadventures while backpacking through Latin America for four months — the first leg of trek that lasted more than a year. In total, the family of five traveled to six continents, visited 22 countries and covered more than 61,000 miles before returning to the U.S.
In 2008, Mike Cooney and his wife sold virtually everything they owned to take their three teenage sons around the world. The objective was to give their 17-year-old twins and their 14-years-old a hands-on, immersive education before they started college. They believed that the experience would expose their sons to other cultures, peoples and destinations, which would give them a global perspective.
During the Latin America portion of the trek, they traveled nearly 5,000 miles by bus, and experienced everything from a minivan in Guatemala intended to accommodate 15 that was packed with 30 people to a luxury double-decker bus in Argentina. The book tells the raw and sometimes unpleasant side of travel while at the same time maintaining a sense of humor that entertains the reader even during the family’s most challenging times on the road.
A second book, to be published by the end of the year, will tell stories about the remainder of the Cooneys’ trek, backpacking for seven months through Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
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