Back in 2010, I was in a weird place I was starting to realize that I wanted more… but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was right when I was starting to feel my travel itch again. I debating signing up for a trip to China to volunteer abroad, so I felt I wanted to research traveling abroad.
I started reading blogs, articles, I participated in forums.
This is where I learned about around the world travel. I always knew that people “backpacked” Europe ,in fact I had an entire trip planned to backpack Europe once… but people actually backpack the world too?
No way that is awesome. I remember thinking.
So like any typical 20-something in the digital age I started googling “Around the World” travel, “career breaks” and any other extended vacation. I came across forum after forum on the topic. I was intrigued, but not really “sold” on the concept just yet.
One day I came across a forum, books that inspired you to travel. There were ton’s of books listed, but everyone was talking about a book that had just been released a month prior called The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.
I wrote the book title down and drove to Barnes & Noble (this was before the Kindle was hot!) and bought the book. I came home got in bed, and started reading.
I was instantly drawn to each character in the book, each character had a trait I was drawn to and could relate to.
I was drawn to Jennifer because her personal life circumstance was just like mine, I was drawn to Amanda because she was in a job that appeared to take advantage of her and had WAY to high of expectations, I was drawn to Holly because it appeared she was on some spirtual request that I understood.
Each girl was lost in their own way about life decisions and what the wanted in life. They were also 28, which was the age I was at the time I was reading the book.
I was conflicted about so many things in life that it was amazing to learn I was not alone. I knew I wanted to travel and see “the world” but I didn’t understand why I had this deep yearning.
In short, this book changed my life.
I know that is a very bold statement about a book, but stay with me here.
I read this story and the journey they took together and it spoke on many levels to me. I learned that real friends are forever and don’t ignore you in hard times. They were there for each other through everything, even a spat or two.
Most importantly because of this book I learned it is ok to want to travel extensively.
I am constantly told I am crazy, that two vacations a year should be enough, that my dreams are not realistic. No one can take of a year and travel, it is career suicide.
I have been told that often, hell I am still told that today.
Here is the thing though, if you really hate your job is leaving it career suicide?
On their journey, they practiced Spanish, they volunteered at an orphanage in Kenya, they stayed at ashram in India…
Please tell me, how can learning a foreign language & volunteering hurt your career?
I am not in the process of taking an around the world trip, but it is fun dream of mine.
This book really helped me come to terms that my dreams are my own, not my friends, not my family but my own. It also gave me permission to fuel my wonderlust even more, and that is why I am such a huge traveler today.
Also I really want to meet the awesome ladies, just so I can tell them what they have done for me 🙂
Have you read any books that changed the way you approach life?
Photo Credit: Feature/Header image was take from Lost Girls personal site.