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

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  935 ratings  ·  128 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, 320 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rebecca
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
Laurie
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
Rebecca
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
Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
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
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
kathleen
..."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
saferia
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...more
Caroline
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...
Julie
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...
Heather
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...more
Jennifer
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...more
Sheryl
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
Rebecca
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...more
Lisa Rajna
I highly recommend this book! Rachel flew to Los Angeles and did a book reading for We Said Go Travel!
watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=641Ez3...

REVIEW FROM WESTSIDE TODAY:
http://www.westsidetoday.com/s11-5786...
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...more
Becky
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
Yuliya
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
Amy
I really enjoyed this story of a girl trying to find herself and then ending up backpacking around Australia and South America with a feisty Australian she meets in Ireland (get all that?). I didn't enjoy the South American section as much-too much, "and then we drove 17 hours on a windy road"...makes me not want to go to South America ever! I also wish she included pictures!!!! Yes, she described the places well, but since it's memoir, she could have included pictures! Why didn't her publisher...more
Kimberly
Rachel can't decide what she wants to do with her life, so she decides to go to Ireland, and ends up on a year-long journey that takes her not only to Ireland, but Australia and South America, as well.

The book started off slowly, bogged down by dumb "imagery" words that sounded like this book was written for a high school English class. Then the words gave way to drier choices, which made it sound like it was a journal; I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a memoir and not a fiction...more
Kelly Seal
Engaging and beautifully written

I love this book. rachel gets to the heart and soul of her journey, that is, who she wants to be apart from expectations of family and friends. her travels help her get there in unexpected ways. a must for all of those wondering...is there more to life than the day to day grind?
Clare
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book, which I added to my list after seeing it on one of those "new paperback" tables at the bookstore. Given the somewhat cliche title, I was afraid it might just be some sort of hastily written Eat Pray Love rip-off, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually exactly what I wanted from Eat Pray Love but didn't really get: some nice armchair traveling mixed with introspection, minus the smugness. Many of Rachel's travels were similar...more
Jessica
I really enjoyed this book, mostly because the author wrote about her travels in Ireland, Australia, and South America, all places I haven't read nearly enough about. I especially loved the Australia parts- I've never particularly had the urge to go there because it's so far away and seems like there's so little to do- boy, do I want to go there now, though! The South American parts seemed adventurous but a little too poverty-stricken and bed-bug ridden for me to want to explore. Regardless, thi...more
Sarah
Like "The Lost Girls", "Good Girls..." was an easy, fun and witty read for all those female travelers at heart. I appreciated Rachel's blunt honesty with not only her travel experiences, but also her analysis of herself. As a post-grad also looking for meaning in life, and a direction for where to go, I could relate 100% to her anxiety and stress on choosing a career path and being generally directionless.

Her conversational writing style allowed me to connect with her on a deeper level and huma...more
Jennifer
I picked this one up from the new non-fiction section of the library and for the most part I'm glad I did - occasionally the writing got on my nerves (I hated how she wrote in present tense and yet it is a memoir) but it was something I needed to read right now in my life. I like the travel stories but more than that the idea that maybe college and then work and then die isn't what everyone wants or needs, and that maybe it is ok to be undecided and unsure and actually treasure your time explori...more
Ashley
I wanted to love this book. I think it may have hit a little too close to home for me to fully enjoy it? I think everyone now is questioning what to do after college - is this all we do in life? I want so badly to have a purpose, but with the constant work work working, am I missing out on what the world has to offer? However much I loved her depiction of Ireland and the ease in how she settled into life in Australia, the South America portion of the book just gave me anxiety the entire time. I...more
Jenny
I loved this book - it was fantastically written and a very compelling and inspiring read. I particularly enjoyed the South America section, which takes you to some of the more further flung places in the world and shows you their beauty, hospitality, and the thrill involved in having both adventures and misadventures. After finishing it, I went straight to the library to begin planning my own adventures. Reading this book is a necessary reminder that your life is yours to live, and that you can...more
Maggie
I'd like to give this book 3.5 stars, but rounded up because it was an enjoyable read. I've always wanted to backpack around Europe for a month or so, which is why my dad got me this book, I presume. What I did love about this book is that it really got me thinking about backpacking again, and now I'm as excited to do that as ever, and I've also widened my travels to maybe include other continents. What annoyed me about this book is that it seemed at times a bit too preachy. It felt like after a...more
Michelle
I loved this book and would give it 4.5 stars. It was a great story of self doubt followed by self discovery. I could relate to her feelings of not knowing what to do with one's self after college. Part of me wishes I had taken that year to travel instead of going to grad school. Then again, I also can't imagine backpacking in South America. Rachel is much braver than I. I really hope she does a follow up on her time with Martyn. :-)
Anyway, this was a great read that I recommend for anyone who...more
Malena
Friedman is self-deprecating and hilarious...I found myself constantly laughing out at home, at coffee shops...lol. She is a very good writer, which is refreshing and I will look out for more of her books. If you thought Eat, Pray, Love was going to be one of your favorites but you found it annoying and culturally insensitive, then you will enjoy Friedman's book much better. Also, I found the book fun to read when I could identify with some of her experiences (i.e. taking a huge suitcase instead...more
Kathy
Feb 04, 2013 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: armchair travelers
This book was a joy to read! It's always a gamble with memoirs because often the writing is sub par, but Friedman's prose is smooth and effortless. She was honest and realistic in her evaluation of herself and her expectations of travel. I truly enjoyed watching her learn and grow as she changed from provincial perfectionist into a worldly traveler. I completely understood her anxious nature and appreciated how brave she was to set off alone. It was fun to read her humorous accounts of how she g...more
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“Heed this warning: four and a half hours in Surfers Paradise is four hours too long.” 1 likes
“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.” 0 likes
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