This guest book review is brought to you by Sheryll Donerson.
“You can’t get lost when you have nowhere to be.”
After a crazy, depressing, quarterlife crisis, I quit my job 5 months ago to begin a life of travel. After a string of jobs that were making me miserable, I made the executive decision to smash the stereotypical college = job = marriage = kids = retirement formula and buy a one way ticket out of the United States. Somewhere in between the “what the heck am I doing?” and the “Oh my gosh this is the best moment of my life!” I stumbled upon Rachel Friedman’s book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure.
As soon as I read the first chapter, I knew that it was going to a life changing and inspiring book. Rachel starts the book as a college student ready to embark upon a study abroad program, and by the end, has traveled to 3 different continents and learned more about herself than she ever thought possible.
From dingy bars in Ireland, to backpacking through Australia, to humidity soaked clothes in South America, Rachel and her best friend Casey do it all. It’s real, honest, and raw. I haven’t been to any of the places she traveled to, and I felt like I was right there in the middle of all the action. I could taste the pints of Guinness, feel the blazing sun, and slap away at the giant mosquitoes.
What happens when we lose the things that anchor us? What if, instead of grasping at something to hold on to, we pull up our roots and walk away? Instead of trying to find our way back, we walk deeper and deeper into the woods, willing ourselves to get lost.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a different type of travel memoir. It doesn’t focus on heartbreak or trying to find love, like any of the other typical travel books geared towards women. It’s about a young woman who decides that it’s okay to not follow the stereotypes, to travel solo, to put off a “career”. It’s about friendships, adventure, and the power of travel.
As a young woman ready to embark upon my own trip, reading Rachel’s story made me realize that it’s okay to pack it all up and go. She inspired me, and in some ways her book was a source of comfort. Sure, parents may protest, friends may come and go, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut. And that’s all right.
You can find The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost on Amazon, or in your local bookstore. You just may find yourself getting ready for an epic adventure of your own.
Sheryll kicked her quarterlife crisis in the butt and bought a one-way ticket to London. Follow her adventures at her blog, The Wanderlust Project, on twitter @wnderlustprojct, or on her Facebook page.