The CEO of a corporation and his family take a sabbatical from a hectic life in New York City and head to Bali to recharge and reconnect.
In his debut memoir, Feder shares an adventure many dream about. It began when he was at a career high point. His wife, Victoria, managed a thriving community center and a preschool she had founded. Their four children were attending a competitive private school. Everybody was overscheduled, living in his or her own world. They needed a break from their safe bubble. Once Feder agreed to take a temporary respite from the breathless, goal-driven pace that had begun to define him, he found himself realizing “that constantly striving to get ahead over the years slowly gnawed at a more humanistic set of values. Outwardly, I maintained a firm position, but I felt the edge had already begun to come off.” After many months of careful preparation, Feder and his family left New York in a December snowstorm and headed to Tanzania, where they spent two weeks on a safari before heading for their reprieve in Bali. The children were enrolled for the spring semester in Bali’s Green School, established by a Canadian expatriate: “The school’s mission statement talked about joy, leadership, and teaching kids to be global citizens.” Feder challenged himself physically through mountain biking and spiritually through yoga, meditation, and drawing. Although occasionally the narrative has the dispassionate tone of a genial tour guide, there are strong moments when the author reveals the excitement of unlocking a new way of experiencing the world: “My drawing opened up a new dimension of travel for me. Spending an hour or so truly observing an image and perceiving the lines, edges, shadows, and perspectives was an unimaginable luxury. I then chose to turn those perceptions into drawings because I would add something of myself to the image, an expression that was personal and unique.” The text bogs down in details of mastering the complexities of yoga exercises, but Feder’s self-deprecating humor remains charming throughout.
A refreshingly pleasant addition to the journals of self-discovery, with a timely focus on ecological stewardship.