Traveling is always a good idea but unfortunately, sometimes it is just not possible. No matter if the reason for this is lack of time, or money, or both, or something completely different, sometimes we just have to stay at home.
What can make this easier to live through? Books. Yes, reading is a good way of traveling while staying at home. Especially when you are reading a book about someone else’s travels. And if the places the author visits through the book are new for you, the feeling is even more intense. You sit on your couch and at the same time you travel to far away exotic places where you still haven’t been.
No, I am not trying to say this can replace the actual going to a new place. But it can be a fair substitute when there is nothing else you can do.
Let me tell you about one of my favorite books about traveling.
It is called “The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour around the World” by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett & Amanda Pressner.
As the title says, this is the story of three friends, three American girls who decide to travel around the world for one year. This is a biographical travel story. It is written by all three of them, Jennifer, Holly and Amanda, each writing about a different part of their shared journey. Each chapter in the book is written by one of the girls, the next – by another, and so on. This way of writing makes the book really fascinating.
The book is so well written, that it instantly makes you want to visit all the places they go to, even the ones you have never even thought of visiting before. And everything is so vividly depicted that you immediately feel you are there with them, the hidden fourth member of the group.
The story is not only about travel, but also about finding yourself and who you want to be and what you want to do with your life.
It all begins, as all good and memorable journeys should, with a long period of planning and preparations. For the long year of travel each girl should give up on something – a job, a career, a boyfriend, a life. Is the sacrifice worth it? All readers should find the answer for themselves. After all, isn’t it always like this – you give up on something to gain something else, something new, and sometimes the thing you gave up on comes back to you.
The book follows the adventures of Amanda, Holly and Jenn as they dedicate a whole year of their life to traveling around the world.
During this year they visit more than 10 countries, on 4 continents.
They start from South America, where they first visit Peru, taking their time to enjoy its most famous sights, like Machu Picchu, the Amazon River and its capital, Lima. After that they visit Brazil, dedicating time to get to know this beautiful country by staying in the city of Salvador, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia.
The journey continues in Africa, where the girls live for a period of one month in a Maasai village in Kenya and work there as volunteers in a charity program.
After that they go to Asia. The first country they visit is India, where they go to an ashram. One of the girls, Holly, stays there for a whole month, and the other two keep her company for a week. After that, being not so keen on yoga and meditation practices, as Holly is, they go to the beautiful seaside in India’s smallest state, Goa, for a sea-vacation-party getaway.
The trip then gets the three girls to different countries in this part of Asia. Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia. Each gives the girls new impressions, new memories and new things to think over and to wonder about. They also go to Thailand, where they visit the infamous island of Phuket, and the world-famous capital of the country, the ambivalent city of Bangkok.
The journey through Southeast Asia gets its logical final point on the tranquil island of Bali.
For the final months of their journey the girls visit New Zealand and Australia, where they live with locals, raft down waterfalls, race with the tide, hike a glacier, and do breath taking (not metaphorically speaking) bungee jumps, and many more. In Australia the girls travel with a big van that was given to them by a local insurance company, in exchange for doing some writing about their travels in the company’s blog.
When the year of travels gets to its end, you, the reader, almost feel physical pain (at least I did) that this extraordinary adventure is over.
I have read this extraordinary book so many times, I cannot count. I love the feeling it gives me. I love the idea of leaving everything – the stress of everyday life, all the familiar places and people behind and just go. What can be better than to do it with friends who are as passionate as you about learning new things, visiting new places, meeting new people?
Even if most of us can’t afford to do it in reality, we can all do it by getting in the shoes of those three girls and do it in our imagination, just by reading this wonderful book.
If you want to know more about The Lost Girls, visit their website and blog:
And finally, and I want to make this as clear as possible, this is not in any way an advertisement about the book (in a commercial sense) but please, if you like reading and traveling, do yourself a favor and read this book.