Author: Carla Gray BeDell


Though not proficient sailors, they sold their house and most of their possessions, bought a 38-foot catamaran, and with their six-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son, they sailed through the Caribbean and backpacked through South America, in search of a life based on meaning, not materialism.

“Soon all our remaining possessions would be on board. The cars would be sold, our cell phones disconnected, and all that was left of our old, constricting life shed. Most of it was already gone: the expensive work suits consigned, winter clothes given away, furniture sold or now in the home of friends and clients reassigned. Even our beloved dog was living a new life with my sister. Everything that defined who we were was gone. Now it was time to find out who we are.”

Their quest to take back their life as a family is revealed through humor and inspirational life lessons in A Life Without Borders: By Sailboat, Planes, Train, and RV, a Funny and Inspiring Tale of a Family’s Quest to Escape the Boundaries of Their Ordinary Life (Alegria Press; April 2013; softcover $19.99)

What makes a family give up successful corporate careers, the big house in the suburbs and a great school for their kids?
“The emotional cost was too high,” says Carla. “The constant stress of the daily morning rush to work and school, the tired weekends, a family headed in different directions, the struggle to keep it all together as effortlessly as everyone else seemed to be doing it, and the overwhelming fear that the struggle to live this life was costing us a life of real meaning was just too much.”

Carla and her husband, Dan, knew they had to make a change. Over the objections of family, friends, and co-workers (who warned her she was throwing her career away), they made a big change.

They left without a set plan, and became better sailors as they headed further south along the island chains. They battled the fear of storms, pirates and homeschooling. Surviving those things and more, the family was not only surprised to still be talking to each other, but was inspired by how strong they had become as a team.

They left the boat in Aruba and backpacked through South America including Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia. They grew stronger as a family as they explored Machu Picchu, thrilled over penguins on a remote island in Chile, battled ants in the Amazon jungle, hiked to a glacier on top of a volcano in Ecuador and were star-struck in the Atacama Desert.

Wanting their children to be at home in the world, as well as their own country, they crossed the US by train and RV, where they became schooled in the art of RV parking by German tourists and mistook a fellow camper for a potato chip eating bear.

A Life Without Borders is the funny, true story of people and places, the kindness of strangers and the sense of community the family felt wherever they were. In a world where many families find themselves drifting apart, Carla and Dan learned that their family will always be stronger when they are together.

Author Carla Gray BeDell’s hilarious and inspiring tale, A Life Without Borders will keep you turning the pages to follow their next adventure, and inspire you to live your own life without borders.

About the Author: Carla Gray BeDell was born and raised in a small town south of Chicago. As a young girl she dreamed of writing and traveling the world. She married her husband, Dan, and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. For many years she climbed the corporate ladder, until finally at her peak as SR VP of Investments at a Fortune 500 company she realized money is never as exchange for happiness. Carla now leads seminars, workshops and speaking engagements on how to bring more joy into your life. You can find out more at her website

A Life Without Borders: By Sailboat, Planes, Train, and RV, a Funny and Inspiring Tale of a Family’s Quest to Escape the Boundaries of Their Ordinary Life, by Carla Gray BeDell, April 2013; Paperback, $19.99. ISBN-13: 978-0615807379 Amazon

For author interviews, or excerpt information, please contact:
Carla Gray BeDell
704 807 7469
[email protected]