Open Road: A Midlife Memoir of Travel and the National Parks

· Neal Enterprises INC
12 reviews

About this ebook

Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love will enjoy author Toby Neal’s road trip travel memoir of self-discovery as she and her husband journey through the National Parks!

I had a dream to live a “normal” life and I attained it; but along the way, I lost myself.

My story began in Freckled: a Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii, but it continued after I married the man of my dreams, completed my education with multiple degrees, had a successful career, and raised two beautiful children.

I sacrificed to get to where I was. Though I didn’t regret anything, flat on my back in the doctor’s office on the cusp of my fiftieth birthday, my health was crumbling. 

I no longer recognized myself.

I turned my head and saw a calendar on the wall: Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah beckoned me with its mysterious sandstone hoodoos.

A road trip traveling through the National Parks was just what I needed to rediscover the girl I’d been; it could help me turn a corner into my new career as a writer, and my husband would enjoy a chance to photograph the natural wonders we saw.

Sometimes, a twelve-thousand-mile road trip is also a personal quest.

An absorbing travel narrative about defining and facing the limitations and opportunities of midlife.An absorbing travel narrative about defining and facing the limitations and opportunities of midlife. —Kirkus Reviews

Ratings and reviews

12 reviews
Sheree Ito
March 11, 2021
In Open Road Toby Neal has given us a road trip of truth, transporting readers into the wondrous National Parks system. Filled with evocative descriptions that range from scorched earth black lava fields on the big island of Hawaii to the lush rainforests of the Olympic National Park, and beyond into the depths of the Alaskan wilderness. Her words give breath and life to the wildlife, the vistas, and vastness of the Open Road, while chronicling the oft times difficulties in traveling new roads and our own human foibles. Facing the challenges with self knowledge and growing awareness of her personal self, Neal's honesty opens the door for others to face their own fears and take charge of creating their own road best traveled.
1 person found this review helpful
Penny Rice
March 11, 2021
Open Road is a combination of autobiographical adventures of a trip taken with Toby Neal’s husband and a travelogue of some of the wonderful and wonder-filled National Parks in Hawaii, the Southwestern states of Arizona, Utah, California, Nevada and New Mexico, and a trip through Seattle and Western Canada to explore Alaska in the summer. Toby’s husband has captured these trips in the photos he takes along the way. They take off for a month at a time and meander around a pre-planned itinerary to explore what the parks have to offer in terms of hiking, fishing, and camping. Open Road is a perfect follow-up to Freckled, the stories of her upbringing and life with her hippie parents and siblings. Open Road can be read as a stand-alone book, but for a fuller experience I recommend reading Freckled first. I thoroughly enjoy Toby Neal’s style of writing. She is a storyteller and a good one. I have read all her fiction series and eagerly await the new ones as they are written. Even as non-fiction, Open Road is an interesting read written with love, honesty and a willingness to dare to expand her experiences.
1 person found this review helpful
brandy barber
February 18, 2021
Thank you for sharing your world with us. I think this book was a journey we could only take with Tody. She writes a picture we very rarely see in a book. Her husbands beautiful pictures at the start of each chapter add to the story in a way we don't get to see in a lot of books. We get to feel their strong connection they share as they go on their adventure. As we get older we never know what life is going to throw at us. Tody lets us know she is not going to let age get to her. She shares stories of being a therapist. She shares some humorous stories of her and her husband as they go on the road trip of a life time. I say bravo to showing us that age is just a number. That even with the pains of age we still can have a adventure. We can also face scary moments like changing careers in the middle of life and we can grow and be just fine. I really enjoyed this book and hope others will pick it up.
1 person found this review helpful

About the author

TW Neal is the nonfiction writing name for USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Toby Neal.

"Everything that happens in our lives is the stuff of story," Neal says, "and sometimes the best stories are true."

You can get TWO FREE award-winning, full-length Toby Neal fiction novels by signing up for her email newsletter!

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