In Kay Gillies Dixon’s new book, Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World, she chronicles her family’s globe trotting through Rome, Kenya, Cyprus and parts beyond. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer parents Kevin and Kay Dixon embraced a passion for travel that they hoped to imprint on their four daughters. In the late 1970s, Kevin landed a contract to work in Saudi Arabia. The Dixons could not pack their bags fast enough. This was the opportunity to provide two fundamental values to their children — roots and wings.
The author narrates their story with finesse and descriptions that take you along on the journey. Their child-centric exploits lead them to unimaginable experiences that otherwise might have been missed. A day visiting a Maasai settlement nearly takes a deep dive when their precocious toddler wanders away. Determined to go on an elephant safari in Nepal sends them river rafting after their original plans go awry, but the turn of events reveals aspects of Nepali culture — its babas, caste system and religious rituals — never mentioned in guidebooks.
Yet successful journeying with young girls requires patience and special considerations. Among them, always one daughter needs a bathroom — and it is never convenient. On the Trishuli River in Nepal the Sherpas always inspect for crocodiles before declaring the water safe for peeing. In Rome, the building maintenance man has to remove the door to rescue the toddler from the very secure bathroom stall. Readers will find themselves holding their breath or giggling as the family’s adventures unfold in Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World.
Author Kay Dixon, a gifted storyteller, recreates the experiences introducing their children to the wonderment of the sights they explore. She and her husband served in Colombia in the early 1960s in the Peace Corps. While she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Juniata College, an Associate in Science degree in computer information systems from Cape Cod Community College and a Master of Science in Training and Development from Lesley University, she believes no amount of education and training prepares one for competent parenting and its hidden challenges.
Kay is also the author of Wanderlust Satisfied, a memoir of her Peace Corps years as well as their family life in Saudi Arabia.
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