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The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  2,053 Ratings  ·  228 Reviews
Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited. There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer ...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 21, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, travel
On the surface, I should have LOVED this book. But because it hit a little too close to home, I didn't love it. Maybe if I had read it like 10 years ago I would have liked it more, but the fact is I could relate too much to it, which took away from my enjoyment. The author and I are the same age. We have done a lot of the same things. Why does she have a (not spectacularly good) book and I don't? Oh yeah, it's because her parents are rich, work in publishing and she is from the East Coast. Just ...more
Jan 13, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for traveling to find yourself and find the world books and this falls neatly into this category. I really get the "I don't want to do what I'm expected to do with my life but I really don't know what I want to do with my life" feelings that Friedman had. I still have those feelings and I'm in my 50's! This book showed how she grew with her various travels and expanded her realm of consciousness. She has an easy way of describing herself and her journeys and the people and ...more
May 04, 2011 Laurie rated it really liked it
This book is written in a breezy style that captured my attention from the start. I felt almost as if I were there with Rachel during her travels and escapades. Often times humorous, there were also moments that caused me to step back slightly, as Rachel apparently did, and take a look at an idea or issue with, what seemed like, a new set of eyes. I loved reading about all the different places she visited and people she encountered. For me, it got a bit tedious after awhile listening to her ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
I've been in such a funk lately when it comes to reading travel memoirs. I have discovered that they really are my favorite genre of books, but that means I sometimes place unrealistically high expectations on them. After reading Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves, I was unsure I wanted to jump into another travel essay so quickly. But I did, and I'm happy about that decision. The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman turned out to be a surprisingly good reading experience - just when ...more
Camille Dent (TheCamillion)
Apr 01, 2016 Camille Dent (TheCamillion) rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked up this book when I couldn't find Eat, Pray, Love anywhere in my local bookstore, but I was in the mood for a good travel story.
Tip: do not substitute this book for Eat, Pray, Love if you can't find it in your bookstore. I can guarantee you it will be worth the wait, and I haven't even read it yet.

This is the first book I've ever given 1 star. I honestly did not learn anything useful from this book, and none of my memories of her travels are very clear or meaningful. I read this book ov
Sep 21, 2013 Heather rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2012 kathleen rated it really liked it
..."What if, instead of grasping at something to hold on to, we pull up our roots and walk away? Instead of trying to find the way back, we walk deeper and deeper into the woods, willing ourselves to get lost. In this place where nothing is recognizable, not the people or the language or the food, we are truly on our own. Eventually, we find ourselves unencumbered by the past or the future. Here is a fleeting glimpse of our truest self, our self in the present moment. After that, maybe we can ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Caroline rated it it was amazing
The next best thing to embarking on your own great trip is getting immersed in someone else's. Rachel Friedman's tale of discovering a fierce passion for travel that she didn't know she harbored, and her experiences backpacking in Ireland, Australia, and South America had me absolutely engrossed. I didn't want it to end, but now that I'm finished it's time to go plan my own next trip...
Jan 19, 2016 SK rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. After reading it, I want to sell everything, pack a bag and set off to some destination (any destination really, but Australia is mighty appealing). I am in awe of Rachel & Carly... slightly jealous of their adventures... and this is only lessened by the empowering message: I can do it too.

I can't recommend this book enough. As a fan of travel memoirs, I can tell you this is one of the better ones. Friedman does a great job weaving in factual information abo
Mar 13, 2015 Nancy rated it liked it
When will I learn that I'm too old to fully appreciate memoirs of globe trotting twenty somethings with English degrees finding themselves? There certainly seems to be a market for the genre.

Rachel Friedman's account of wanderings in Ireland, Australia and South America is less self indulgent and less sloppily written than many similar books. However, I'm still puzzled as to what I was to gain from this read except from travel tales of bed bugs, gropers, food poisoning and inadequate budgeting.
May 26, 2016 Kimberly rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. It's a cute read, nothing awful but nothing necessarily spectacular. In the beginning her naïveté was a bit annoying although she does grow through her travels. Oh and the chapter introductions where she refers to herself as "our heroine" were super annoying and accompanied each chapter. She wasn't MY heroine in any sense of the word and to call yourself a heroine produces multiple eye rolls from me.

In the book, as a backpacker, she talks a lot about at hostels how they hav
Apr 20, 2011 saferia rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads first reads giveaways (a very GOOD read).

I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained by this travel memoir. In-between chapters I found myself looking in travel magazines and searching for flights for my next adventure.

I enjoyed Friedman's writing style as she humorously relayed events from her months abroad in Ireland (and lugging around "Big Red"), learning about Australian sarcasm (watch out for the dangerous "Drop Bears") and abbreviations, and her bout
Aug 26, 2014 Patty rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The author has that rare talent to be able to relate an uproariously funny story from her memory to the written word. Her trials and triumphs on the road (literally) to discovering herself had me laughing and cheering for her the entire way. I am lucky enough to have a Carly in my life so I can totally relate to the friendship formed while traveling but solidified by shared experience. A truly great read.
Jan 30, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
The first book I'm reading for my Eclectic Reader Challenge, this book fulfills the Travel (Non-Fiction) category. I really enjoyed this book. It has me contemplating where I will go on my next international trip...
Mar 26, 2013 Heidi rated it liked it
There are rocky parts to this book, but it finishes strong (especially when I know it's a true story! I enjoy discovering someone's experiences and it encourages me to travel too! I would recommend this to anyone who loves to travel.
Tahni Candelaria
Jun 01, 2015 Tahni Candelaria rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book! I thought it was interesting enough, but I couldn't finish it because I was annoyed by the writing. A metaphor or simile every sentence. I don't even know how that's possible, but she has done it. :/
Jenny Gendel
Jun 28, 2011 Jenny Gendel rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-narrative
Was a great book. Its what I wish I had the guts to do. Along with a few other things.
April Lashbrook
Jun 17, 2014 April Lashbrook rated it it was amazing
Loved this memoir! It made me want to get a backpack and set off to who knows where.
Kamila Dk
Nov 17, 2016 Kamila Dk rated it did not like it
Dear Rachel Friedman,
the poet Gabriel Mistral you mention on p. 268 is actually Gabriela Mistral -a female, just for your record. 1945 Nobel Prize winner.
Also your remark on p. 157 about you not speaking Austrian - well, guess what? No one does. The language spoken in Austria is actually German.
Please check you facts next time.
I was rather disappointed with this book - a description of accommodation and means of travel rather than a travelogue. It failed to captivate me.
Maybe ok for someone who
Dec 01, 2016 Taylor rated it liked it
I've definitely read better travel memoirs but this one is alright. I would suggest it more for someone who is contemplating what they are doing in life and are thinking about travelling, not someone who is using books as their way to travel through others. She spends a lot of time talking about her own struggles post-graduation and where she plans on going after her travels. Not much time is spent on her travels in Ireland. Some time is spent on her travels in Australia but there definitely ...more
Lyndi Brown
Nov 25, 2016 Lyndi Brown rated it liked it
Like Eat, Pray Love, a college drop-out breaks with parental expectations to travel to three countries. 1- Ireland: scared of her own shadow, drinks too much & finally returns home to finish college. Then off to Australia, where she gains skills and appreciation for traveling, and enjoys living with a friend's family. Third time's the charm in South America, where true confidence blossoms. Appropriate for young women pre-travel.
Megan Honaker
Dec 03, 2016 Megan Honaker rated it really liked it
I loved it! Very anecdotal and fun. Reminded me of myself and things I have thought while traveling. Her self-actualization was very poignant and stirred up my wanderlust!
Samantha Johnson
Nov 08, 2016 Samantha Johnson rated it really liked it
I read this book while embarking on my very first trip alone. It was heartwarming to know that the things that I was feeling were normal.
I would rate this 2.5 if I could, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a 3. This book feels weird to me. While I did enjoy it, I would often put it down and not return for days or weeks because I dreaded reading it again. I recall enjoying it while reading it, but I can't seem to think of why that was. Eventually I finished it because I didn't want to leave another book half read.

So here's the deal. Stuffy, 20-something year old Rachel Friedman does something that is apparently
Tracy Morton
I am recently discovered that I love an adventure story. I love that this young woman decided to explore the world instead of diving into a world of corporate drudgery. This book made me want to travel.
Jun 08, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, travel
Ugh. Why is the author's voice so annoying? I'm trying to pinpoint exactly why it bothers me so much, but I can't quite. Her prose are fine, and I found her descriptions of her locations and activities enjoyable, but she just comes off as a spoiled rich brat. I feel like she is one of those people who travel for the bragging rights, or to prove how tough they are. She is also one of the unhappiest travelers I've read about. She starts off in Ireland, where instead of exploring the area and ...more
May 26, 2014 Liralen rated it liked it
Girls like me choose horses, or eating disorders, or literature--we choose any number of worlds within which to disappear, but that dangerous energy has to go somewhere. (Page 31)

File under books that resonated with me perhaps a bit too much for my liking.

Friedman set off for Ireland almost on a whim -- she'd travelled before, but never on her own, and never without a plan. Her parents expected her to do something productive, something that would help career-wise, not take off for a few months.
May 14, 2016 Mikayla rated it it was ok
I think part of me wants to rate this book higher, simply because of the main plot: girl travels the world in search of adventure. But, the girl in the story is so god awful, so unlikeable, and miserably dense, it's hard to get past her sincere disdain for the adventure she so vehemently insists she desires. For instance, she's a terrible friend to the one person who seems to be able to be around her for more than a few hours at a time.

Like (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) when the two plan to meet in South
Sharn Dhah
Jun 21, 2015 Sharn Dhah rated it did not like it
The voice is initially what turned me off to this book. Snobby white girl from an upper middle class family travels the globe and meets people who are far less privileged and still doesn't understand their lives very well. There is a point where Friedman is in Peru and explains the native marriage traditions, where a bride cuts her hair and the groom weaves it into a belt that he will wear. It sounds romantic, but Friedman only analyzes it on the most superficial level, "Does she wonder how her ...more
Lisa Niver
Jun 12, 2013 Lisa Niver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I highly recommend this book! Rachel flew to Los Angeles and did a book reading for We Said Go Travel!
watch the video:

Using Travel and the Seasons to Gain Perspective

And so Rachel Friedman’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a Jewish journey, a personal narrative of facing fears, transforming internal ideas and metamorphosing into an adulthood grounded in the art of wanderlust. Get
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“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 the way back, we walk deeper and deeper into the woods, willing ourselves to get lost. In this place where nothing is recognizable. not the people or the language or the food, we are truly on our own. Eventually, we find ourselves unencumbered by the past or the future. Here is a fleeting glimpse of our truest self, our self in the present moment.” 5 likes
“At this point in my travels and in my life, I still regard changing course as a personal failing. I don't yet have the hindsight to realize that some places don't fit quite right, for whatever reason, so sometimes it's best to cash in your chips and give it a go somewhere new, even if a mere twenty-four hours before you didn't even know that place existed.” 4 likes
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