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

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,670 ratings  ·  193 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

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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
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 experienc ...more
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 bemo ...more
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 enjoy ...more
..."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 fi ...more
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Amanda N.
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
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.
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.
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
April Lashbrook
Loved this memoir! It made me want to get a backpack and set off to who knows where.
A coming of age travelogue

I enjoyed how the author defined tourist from traveler. I also enjoyed learning how in other countries travel is encouraged and made more doable because their youth are not saddled with mammoth college debt. Also other countries receive much more vacation time than we do in the U.S.

What I didn't like about the book is how the author was thinking about how independent she was but the had to ask her mother for money to get home and would not have been able to get there e
Sharn Dhah
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
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...
Terrance Zepke
I loved this book for so many reasons. It is a unique blend of a coming of age story, of friendship, and about travel. The protagonist is a twenty-two year old girl from a middle class family who had decided to go to Ireland for the summer before her college graduation. This awakened a need to explore more of the world before "settling down." This lead to her story of "three continents, two friends, and one unexpected adventure." Rachel told the story in a lovely way. She was quite candid and so ...more
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.
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...
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.
Jessica Medved
This book is REALLY GOOD!
It is about a college junior who travels to Ireland meets an Australlian girl and then follows her home in Australlia and ventures off on her own in South America. This is the kind of travel memoir I LOVE! It reads a lot like a novel, not bogged down in the historical details of every single place she visits while still mentioning the forign charm each place has.

The story is about her struggle with her desire to travel the world and follow American social norms of growi
Great travel memoir about traipsing through Ireland, Australia, and South America. I related to Friedman traveling alone and her reasons for doing so, but I'm not sure I could go off for months on end. Maybe when I retire? I've never stayed at a hostel anywhere, and I think I may be too spoiled and old to do so now! If I could get a private room--maybe I could handle a shared bathroom. Maybe. Ha! I'm so selfish. Not as many quotable moments as in Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independe ...more
If I could, I'd give this 3.5 stars. Picky, I know.

As a recent college grad, I could really relate to Rachel's feeling of not having a direction, being lost, not knowing where or what to do...yada yada yada. Not abnormal feelings for people who are starting a new part of their lives. The fact that I sympathized so much with her is what made me buy and read this book. I was also hooked by her stories in Ireland, where I have also traveled to and always love to read about. I also really enjoyed r
I actually read this book at exactly the right time. I really needed it. I have always considered myself a traveler over a vacationer. I have an urge to see the world and learn about all corners of it. The author takes this to another level. I was prepared to not like the book that much; sounded like a spoiled rich girl trying to "find herself" and I was sure would complain about a ton of first world problems. She turned out to be a very insightful writer. I enjoyed her observations about the cu ...more
This is a great book for anyone who has fallen in love with travel in such a way that they find themselves in minor throes of angst figuring out what their path in life should be to allow them to see more of the world.

Until the author started traveling through South America (with the exception of Cusco which I was just in last year), I had been to all the cities she was in, in Ireland and Australia. I felt that I was refreshing my memories by reading about hers which of course means that now al
Rachel Friedman's coming of age memoir is unlike many others written today, tales of triumphs over adversity and trauma. The triumph here is simply growing up, discovering who she wants to be, and taking responsibility for that. She discovers an adventurous side previously hidden from view, and she ignites a passion in herself for travel.

Her travels take her to Ireland, Australia, and South America, and lead her through the sort of soul searching everyone should do as they sift through the myria
I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down. I completely relate to Rachel's angst because I am also the very definition of a "good girl". I've always worked very hard to fulfill expectations of me in hopes of feeling worthy. I married young, and still love him 32 years later, but I had little opportunity to explore myself as an individual before attaching myself to responsibilities and additional expectations. I raised 3 amazing daughters and that is the best and most import ...more
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
Lisa Niver
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
Kristen Luppino
Honestly, I would probably give 0 stars if I could. Her view of the world was so negative and whine-y I couldn't stand it. I read all at the beginning, but as I continued I couldn't do it. I started skipping sentences then paragraphs and then pages. I still read some of most of the pages in the book, but it wasn't even witty negative. I was very disappointed, because I'm really into travel right now. Also not setting a date read; not fair to count among my books of 2014.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and it came into my life at just the right time. Travel tales are my jam, so this might not appeal to everyone, but it was a good read...even though there were a few times that the narrator's naivete really got on my nerves and I wish she had been more descriptive of where she was and less descriptive of her identity crisis. I mean, cool, we all have existential crises, but we don't all spend six months living in Australia or backpacking through South America so can we ...more
I breezed through this book - it was easy to read and enjoyable, with good descriptions of places the author went to and her relationships with others. Apparently her travels were inspired by the lack of direction in her life and desire to get to know herself and thus readers should brace themselves for some inevitable big epiphanies. I only wish every 25-year old could have an opportunity to go away for a year to discover themselves...instead of finding work ASAP to start paying off their tuiti ...more
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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.” 3 likes
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