Tag Archives: Set in Ukraine

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker by Lauren Juliff


Summary: ‘I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I thought by leaving to travel the world I would instantly become a glamorous and savvy backpacker…’

But somehow Lauren’s travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of two years, instead of finding herself, she lost a laptop, a camera, £1,000 and some teeth. She was caught up in a tsunami, sat beside a dead woman for six hours and experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand. But repeatedly being forced out of her pea-sized comfort zone helped Lauren realise that she was stronger than she once thought and, learning how NOT to travel the world was the most enlightening experience she could have hoped for.


Confession: I started toying with the idea of taking an around the world adventure back in 2011. I only got serious about taking the adventure in June. That being said when I first started playing with the idea it was about a week before Lauren left for her trip. I always got excited when I received an email that she had post a new story, and I remember thinking man this girl has some serious bad luck, but I sure would take her bad luck over being stuck in this damn cubicle. She was living my dream and while I was envious of her, I was obsessed with her story.

I discovered Neverending Footsteps while I was sitting at work one day bored and googled “How to make money to travel long term” and came across her blog, I learned quickly that she was leaving soon and I have been following her journey ever since.

I remember when she was scammed in Shanghai, I remember when she had an “unhappy” ending, I even remember her posting about meeting a boy.

While I knew 99% of the “incidents” as she likes to call them in the book, I didn’t know the in depth details. When I heard she was writing a book I was excited, I couldn’t wait to read her story. She is someone that inspired me to keep working and pursuing my travel dream. I am in no way shape or form on the caliber as she is but I aspire to be that way.

Granted, it has taken me four years to decide to finally travel long term, but it is still going to happen and in a since I can thank Lauren for this. Even with all her crazy mishaps, she still inspires me and I even felt sad when she went on her little blog hiatus. I even offered my place up in Texas when she came through cause I wanted to meet her. I swear I am not weird, she is just living me dream and I wanted to chat about it.

This book is a fabulous travel memoir and in a way I almost forgot that I have been following her for years. I was fascinated by her story with Dave, and while I do not follow Dave’s blog, I think I will star. He seems in a word, fantastic. I loved reading their story and it made me smile… a lot.

Juliff is an amazing story teller and even if travel is not your thing the story is refreshing because we all feel like we make constant mistakes and sometimes never get things right, some of us suffer anxiety and feel there is no hope, some of us have eating disorders… some of us want to know there are people like us out there, which is why this book is a refreshing take on the “travel blogging” world.