This month’s interview is with Chris Brady, author of the forthcoming A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation.
Chris Brady certainly has a pretty unique resume which includes, experiencing a live bug in his ear, walking through a paned-glass window, chickening out from the high-dive in elementary school, destroying the class ant farm in third grade, and sinking his snowmobile in a lake. An avid motorised adventurer, world traveller, humourist, community builder, soccer fan and dad.
As an author, Chris co-wrote the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Weekly, USA Today, and Money Magazine best seller LAUNCHING A LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION, as well as several other acclaimed books on leadership and success. He is in the World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus and his blog (www.chrisbrady.com) has been recognised several times as a top management and leadership resource.
Chris and his wife, Terri, have four children and live in North Carolina and Florida.
The Questions and Answers:
Is your first book in the travel genre?
What prompted you to move into what is a new territory for you?
Well, it’s really not new territory, considering how much I travel and how often experiences from my travels find their way into my talks and other writings. This is just the first time I’ve decided to package something on the topic of travel all together in one book.
Your previous books have focused on leadership, success, history, and business. Will readers of those other works recognize your work here?
Yes, certainly. This book isn’t merely a travelogue, but as one reviewer put it, it’s “a book about how to live,” as well. I can’t seem to get very far into a story, real or otherwise, without looking for the nugget of wisdom that might be gleaned from it. I think that’s where my previous readers will feel at home with this book.
What is A Month of Italy really all about?
As the subtitle says, it’s about the art of vacation. And really, I’ve become convinced that vacation – a proper, restorative vacation – is an art, meaning, it takes some skill to do it properly. And, by the way, it’s my personal opinion that many, many people don’t really know how to do it. They fall into a rut following the same prescription as everyone else of workaholism followed by cheesy and un-regenerative time-off. I came to this conclusion based upon my own life. Back in college I had developed a coping mechanism to keep myself able to perform at a pretty high level in a competitive environment. Then somehow, through the course of living, raising a family, getting buys with, well, just life in general, I somehow got away from the formula. I caught myself showing all the signs of wear and tear. I was stressed and burnt and beginning to simply “go through the motions.” I hate living like that. I hate dispassionate existence. So I decided to take a big risk right in the middle of a busy, productive life – and maybe it was a midlife crisis, I don’t know – to take a whole month off.
So that’s where this book began? With the desire to take a month off?
Exactly. I wanted to get off the conveyor and have a good look around, a good look inside, too. I wanted to evaluate a lot of deep things about my life and make sure I was on track for where I wanted to go. In other words, I wanted to make sure I was doing all the great things I teach everyone else to do!
So how did you choose Italy?
That was easy! I’ve long been infatuated with the place, and to me, it’s the most fascinating, beautiful place in the world. I’ve traveled quite a bit, not as much as some people, for sure, but I’ve been in over thirty countries and even lived abroad for a bit, so I’ve been blessed to see a lot of great places. To me, Italy is just superb. It has my favorite cuisine, a quarter of the world’s protected heritage sites, history in thick layers, friendly people, beautiful coastline, breathtaking valleys, picturesque mountain ranges, seductive architecture, overwhelming art, a perfect climate, an alluring language – and so much more! Oh! I almost forgot, sports cars and fashion and designer everything, too.
What about this book sets it apart from the other literature about Italy that’s out there?
Everything! For starters, this is the only book I’ve written about Italy, so it’s unique! But seriously, I think it carves out some new territory because a lot of what’s out there, while dreamy, and certainly worthy of the title “escapism,” a lot of it is beyond the reach of the normal person. I mean, how many people can really fall in love with a farmhouse ruin and chuck their life away to start over rebuilding their dream cottage? For most of us with pesky things like jobs, bills, kids, goldfish, and in-laws (in no particular order of peskiness), it’s just not going to happen. And therein lies the appeal with some of those books, I guess, they’re totally fantastic – out of reach. But it also makes them a little unworthy for instruction. In A Month of Italy, I present a more reachable escape for most folks. And, more importantly, I give some instruction about how they can make it count the most. If they get anything at all out of the book, it should be that: a way they can see and believe, that they realize they can achieve, to take the vacation of a lifetime for the purpose of living a better life. I want readers not only to be entertained, but instructed, not only to laugh, but for the message to last. I want them to take their own radical sabbatical, to have fun, for sure, but also to dig deep, to unplug and “go dark,” and to come back restored, better than new. This world needs more people who come alive in their lives, people who get out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat. One of the best ways I know to accomplish this is through an escape of the kind I depict in this book. If readers get that out of it, I’ll be thrilled. Oh, and of course, it would be fine if they cackled out loud a few times, too!
To read an excerpt from his new book click here
You can follow Chris via these links: