Here We Are & There We Go

Here We Are & There We Go

by Jill Dobbe


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A heartwarming travel memoir filled with temper tantrums, disorienting jetlag, and zany, once-in-a-lifetime family adventures.

Who says you can't travel with kids? Dan and I find out we can do just that as we set off with our two very young kids, first to live and work on an island far out in the Pacific, then on to the continent of Africa with a few stops in between. Armed with strollers, diapers, and too much luggage, we travel to over twenty-five countries throughout a ten year span, while working together as international overseas educators.

After surviving typhoon Yuri, almost being mauled by lions, and, being nearly shot by a presidential guard, we happily endure all of the good times and bad, while living life to the fullest. A decade's worth of experiences and lifelong memories remain with us, as we return to the U.S., now with two teenagers in tow, and begin to experience our very own version of reverse culture shock.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937165215
Publisher: Orange Hat Publishing
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)

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Here We Are & There We Go 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MomsSmallVictories More than 1 year ago
After graduating college, I dreamed of where our world travels would take us.  We made a list of all the countries we’d like to visit.  We honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico and went to Spain during our first year of marriage. Spain was magical and wonderful but the end of my trek around the world. Sadly, my travel wish list is still unfulfilled.  I use the excuse that it would be harder and more expensive to travel now as a family of 5. When Ms. Dobbe approached me to read her book, I wanted to see how she handled what I considered to be the impossible, traveling the world with little ones.  It terrifies me the thought of get on an airplane with my sweet and adorable but crazy, fidgety and loud preschooler for a flight longer than two hours.  I found her story remarkable and loved the way she described her kids and their ill-timed meltdowns. I was amazed at how they acclimated into these foreign cultures, often times not knowing a word of the native language (and I think it’s hard to understand a middle schooler)! I thoroughly enjoyed how Ms. Dobbe described the immense beauty of Guam, Singapore, Ghana, and Mexico, and gave a testimony to the hard realities they faced living in more primitive conditions. While here I am complaining when my internet is down, Ms. Dobbe lives for weeks without utilities when they move to a new location and have to hunt down a reliable person to help them.  While here I think going on a weekend road trip can be cumbersome, Ms. Dobbe and her family hop in the car or plane to take advantage of every holiday to explore a new corner of the world. I really enjoyed Ms. Dobbe’s stories about how her children were impacted by their travels. How they met kids from all over the world and how with their blond hair and blue eyes, they were considered a minority and the natives would ogle and be curious about their appearance.  How the kids acclimated easier in many ways to their new environments than the parents.  And how the family got around and kept the kids entertained in the different countries….maybe the world isn’t so big after all, parents worldwide want to find ways to keep their kids happy and healthy. When my family went to India when I was a teenager, I remember the culture shock I encountered as we flew over the shacks and into Mumbai.  The city was a dichotomy between the gorgeous hotels and magnificent buildings while the poor begged for change every time the car stopped.  And it was not unusual to see a cow roaming the crowded streets along with throngs of people and honking cars.  While my trip to India was only a couple weeks, the differences in our cultures surely made an unforgettable impact. Coming back to America after that experience, it was a reverse culture shock as Ms. Dobbe describes.  After her family was away 10 years, the Dobbes came back to a very modernized, fast paced and materialistic society and quite a reverse culture shock indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Dobbe’s conversational style and the lighthearted and sometimes life threatening experiences while learning about these different cultures. I’ve highlighted several excursions she described as places I’d like to learn more about and dare I say, visit one day. Overall, this was an easy and fast read as I just had to see where she and her family were going next and what they would encounter.  What an incredible journey and an amazing childhood her kids had using the world as their classroom. I’m glad that Ms. Dobbe invited me to read along for the ride, she’s definitely inspired me to want to travel more!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers Favorite This is a true to life story of a couple, both teachers, who raised their two children, Ian and Ali, while traveling around the world. Author Jill Dobbe and her husband Dan did not let their two young children stop them from traveling around the world. From their native Wisconsin their first stop was the island of Guam, in the picturesque village of Inarajan, where they endured not only the unruly behavior of their students but also the wrath of hurricane Yuri. This was just the start of a life of travels and adventures that will take them to more than thirty countries around the world. In the process they get to meet prominent personalities, learn languages and adapt to the most bizarre of customs and traditions. Going back to Wisconsin, they found out that home has a different meaning for them. "Here We Are & There We Go" is a memoir of a family who are traveling around the world to work and, above all, to live. Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Jill Dobbe dreams of exploring the world and marriage and children do not dampen her lust for travel. And with her cooperative husband, she fulfills her dream of traveling around the world, with two little children in tow. Working as teachers, they lived abroad and travelled to other places too. What comes out is a story that is filled with jet lag, diapers, and experiences that are sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always entertaining. From the Pacific to Africa and back to the states, the author regales us with a story that not only crosses continents but also crosses cultures. I find Jill Dobbes' style charming and very conversational so that after reading the book, I feel as if I am talking to a good friend about her unforgettable adventures. Everyone with the itch to travel should read this book.
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
Educator Jill Dobbe, along with her husband Dan, recount their journey to live and teach and visit all over the world. Thirty countries later, Jill shares this not-quite-over memoir of life abroad. Beginning in 1991 in Guam, Dobbe discusses the culture, tidbits tourists would miss about living among different cultures – for instance, although tourism is a major trade in Guam, the beaches are dangerous. The first ten years and four countries of working overseas, Jill taught elementary school and Dan high school science. It wasn’t easy adjusting, especially as different cultures treat education much differently. Discipline, language, lifestyle, and childcare were all issues the Dobbes had to deal with. Jill relates several lessons about traveling and working, such as most people wait months and months for household shipments to arrive and pass through customs; by which time the items arrive, they are nearly forgotten or the Dobbes had learned to do without. Some of the more quirky, frightening and poignant experiences of Guam, Singapore, Ghana, and Mexico include having to pinch pennies until the first payday and needing to sell off possessions and keeping or throwing out even teaching materials, a babysitter who wanted to take one child on a family visit in another country; living through natural disasters of earthquakes and hurricanes; two attempted adoptions; maps that mean nothing, uniforms in daycare, needing day and night guards, shopping, shopping, shopping, lizards, cockroaches, and touring all over the work during holidays and vacations. The Dobbes raised their children from one-year-old Ali and two-year-old Ian for ten years overseas. When the children were old enough to be in school, life got a little easier, and Jill wrote many times about how grateful she was to raise her kids globally. From 2001-2007 the Dobbes experienced a reverse culture shock in the craziest of all lifestyles—American—while they lived and worked in Wisconsin until Ian graduated from high school. After that, they returned to work overseas in Egypt and India. While Here We Are and There We Go is primarily a memoir, I enjoyed the universal appeal of Dobbe’s story. Wisconsinites do tend to feel as though we need nothing else to complete us, and I well understood her complaints of enduring the usual Wisconsin questions, why would you want to go there, why are you doing that, how can you take you kids so far away? We don’t deal with things like cat scratch fever and mango fly infestations too commonly in the States. Experiencing life in many cultures isn’t for everyone, but Jill’s experiences of meeting celebrities like Jane Goodall and the Clintons, seeing humpback whales, learning different languages and adapting to the most unusual customs wherever they went is like a vicarious world tour. Throughout it all, her main lesson is: “Home is not the material place but the refuge where we spent time together.” Readers who love to experience different lifestyles, even from an armchair, will find much to treasure in Here We Are and There We Go.
tonyfitz More than 1 year ago
As someone who has uprooted my immediate family and deserted friends and family to scratch the itch of "doing something different" on more than one occasion, I couldn't wait to read this story of someone who was as mad (and some would say as irresponsible) as me! I was not disappointed. From Guam to Ghana and Singapore to Cairo the book takes the reader along for the ride and I felt I was constantly watching in the background as Jill and her very young family uprooted from the safety of Wisconsin and headed off across the world in search of adventure and a fuller life for their children. The book, like their life, hurtles along like a runaway train and you just want to hang on for the ride and see what is round the next bend. The story is interesting and well written and a must read for those who would love to "be brave" and have the courage to do what Jill and Dan did. And for those who would rather stay at home and dream, this is your chance to live the life at secondhand! Tony Fitzsimmons Author of Paradise my Ass - Living the dream on an Island in Brazil
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Great happy for you and your success as an author!"