Wow – what a hidden gem I stumbled across here. Now me personally, I have been hit by the traveling bug very severely. Whilst I haven’t bitten the bullet and bought myself a ticket anywhere yet I cannot get my hands on enough travel literature.
I found this book after doing a random search of ‘top travel literature books’ and boy am I glad I did.
Even if you don’t have a massive travel desire like I do, you will still thoroughly enjoy this book. It may even put you on track to a slight obsession, similar to the one I have.
This true story leads us down the path of the writers journey as she discovers travel and a whole new life.
Rachel starts off as a responsible young woman fresh out of college and setting off on her ‘coming of age’ trip overseas to Ireland. She finds herself in this world so unfamiliar to her own, with her awkward big suitcase and fear of being alone in this strange and unknown place. Not one to go outside of her comfort zone this is a steep learning curve for her.
Eventually she finds a job and a shared apartment with some fellow travellers and starts to feel as if she belongs. This is where she meets Carly, a seemingly fearless and free-spirited Australian girl.
At the end of Rachel’s travels in Ireland she finds that she is not ready to go back and start life in the ‘real world’. The thought of further education, business suits and a full-time job make her uneasy and she wants something more. She remains in contact with Carley who casually suggests that Rachel comes to stay with her family in Australia.
Next thing we know Rachel is arriving in Sydney. She meets Carley’s family who is open and supportive, encouraging of their daughters seemingly endless travels. Once again this is a world that Rachel just can’t quite understand.
Slowly, as Carley downsizes her luggage and sends her off on her own to discover Australia, Rachel starts to feel a new person emerging. A sudden independence strikes her and for the first time she feels in charge of her own future.
Still not willing to settle down in to the conventional life her parent’s see in her future she makes a spur of the moment decision to travel to South America with Carley.
Setting off on her own before meeting up with her friend she starts to discover her self-dependence more and more. Eventually delaying meeting up with her travel companion. She meets more and more people along the way, and inspired by their stories she feels the travel bug pulling at her stronger and stronger.
When the two friends re-unite they embark on some unpredictable and scary adventures, meeting rough locals, traipsing through the jungle, cycling down ‘death road’ and sampling some bad local cuisine.
This is an amazing book that shows us how the smallest decision can lead to a life changing journey and teaches us that all it takes is a little exploring to unearth a whole new you. Definitely track this book down and give it a read.