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Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,401 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’s insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she l ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Seal Press (first published March 24th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kayley Hyde
Feb 17, 2012 Kayley Hyde rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The negativity surrounding this book baffles me, to be honest. Yes, Eaves talks a lot about sex. Yes, she is honest and writes how she thinks. How is that something to get upset over? Sure, you can dislike the woman and the way she sees the world, but this is a memoir. The world through one persons eyes. And that cannot be wrong.
I adored this book. If you want to venture into my inter-Psyche, this is pretty much it. I found myself relating more than the other reviews are leading me to believe t
Aug 02, 2011 Mandy rated it did not like it
"Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries"--that is completely false. This book is all about this womans sexual conquest on five continents-and nothing more. She claims she has "wanderlust" but the only thing that has lust is her insane libido. She does not embark on a single journey in this book that does not at some point result in her getting in the sheets with some guy, sometime just for the sake of it. I think it is sad that this is her life, and she t ...more
This book literally changed my life. I am not the same person for having picked up this book. It took me on a passionate, intense, personal journey and I feel so incredibly close to the author, as if she had sat five inches away from me and reeled off the story of her life.

As a chronic sufferer of wanderlust (and it is an acute, unexplainable sort of suffering) I connected with, and was inspired by, this book in ways I can't communicate with much clarity. In the best way, this book has to be rea
I have found a travelogue I didn’t like.

I love travel books. They take me somewhere new or somewhere I’ve been before and make me want to jump on a plane. I enjoy vicariously having new experiences, meeting unique locals and trying amazing food I’ve never heard of. This book held none of that for me. I understand the bug to travel but her travel choices would never be my own and I couldn’t relate. Time after time the travel was about running away from something in her current location, putting h
Sep 14, 2013 Ally rated it really liked it
As many of you know, I am obsessed with travelling. I don't know where this obsession began, but I think it had something to do with our trip to England and Italy when I was 14. Since then, I've visited a ton of places, some I loved (Vietnam, Peru) and others I couldn't stand (Mexico). I think the reason that Wanderlust is a 4* book is because I have never found a character that I have identified with so much.

A year ago, I found myself in Vietnam on a 3-month internship. You know when you have
Jun 15, 2011 MC rated it liked it
It's really, really, really hard not to write off Elisabeth Eaves as an insufferable brat. She whines consistently about her inability to feel at home pretty much anywhere on the planet and flees in the other direction of anything she finds suspiciously boring or domestic or stable. Wanderlust is a bit misleading, I was surprised to discover that a good chunk of the book is devoted to her romantic relationships. It should've been subtitled: Love Affairs in Five Continents

There's an air of condes
Sep 20, 2011 Swapna rated it did not like it
Found everything about this book so irritating- primarily the main character. I could never relate to her about anything and I thought I would enjoy this book as someone who really enjoys travel but it wasn't really about travel at all. I learned very little about each of the places the character visited- instead only saw it from very myopic lenses from someone who was never trying to understand the culture or people at all. Every single one of her relationships with men was just immature, self- ...more
Lisa Findley
Feb 01, 2012 Lisa Findley rated it liked it
Unlike an alarming number of reviewers here, I'm not annoyed that Elisabeth Eaves got laid a lot in her twenties. Envious, sure, because when it comes to love on the road, my travels always seem to involve awkward make-out sessions at best, and Eaves finds easy sex and even several serious relationships while moving about. Envious, then, but not angry. (Might I suggest Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape for those scared by the idea of a woman attuned to her l ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Suzy rated it it was ok
I can't believe I finished this book. It was totally lame and one of the worst travel logs I've ever read. The only reason I'm giving it two stars instead of one is because I love reading about people and places that I'll probably never visit.

The author describes her sexual encounters more than she describes the beauty of the places she visits. The book should be called, 'Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Many Men'. At the beginning of the book she is more descriptive in her prose. The second half
Jan 31, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was ok
I feel really sorry for Elizabeth as the book draws on and ends. At first you read her book with envy as she let's her uncertainty on life lead her around the globe, in and out of love. But, as someone who has both enjoyed the freedom of long periods of travel as well as long periods of stability, I feel sorry for the lack of meaningful relationships in her life. I can't imagine a life where my various friendship circles, dating back 10+ years, didn't exist. Or spending a week in Italy win frien ...more
Jun 23, 2011 Sara rated it did not like it
I couln't get through this book. I got over halfway through and just disliked the attitude of the author so much - so spoiled, selfish, shallow... I'm hoping that she will redeem herself in later chapters, I just don't have the patience enough to read on and see if that happens. "Me me me me me me...and oh yeah, I'm still whining about how I don't belong anywhere." I felt sorry for her, but was too annoyed to continue. She just was lost, and her wanderlust wasn't for the desire to explore other ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The title is misleading. It should be "Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Myself While I Travel." I loved the parts that were about travel, especially the beginning when she's in the Middle East, but I found her such a selfish person it was hard to finish. She cheats on everyone she dates, including her fiancee, and genuinely doesn't seem to care how that affects other people. Her rationale is that she's "like a man" and that she's being persecuted for not being feminine enough to put other people's ...more
Rosemary Reilly
Nov 10, 2014 Rosemary Reilly rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
Honestly, I interpreted this story as more of a cautionary tale than anything else, which I doubt it was intended for. In fairness: the book is okay. It’s an easy read, it has adventure and some cool encounters and she does travel to a lot of fascinating places. It’s not terribly written, it’s not awfully insensitive to different cultures, and the author doesn’t waste time pointlessly describing what happened in the less interesting periods of her life, like some memoirs are determine
Cat Chiappa
Nov 23, 2011 Cat Chiappa rated it it was ok
If I had to subtitle this book, I think it would read, "Wanderlust- How I Slept My Way Around the World." I love travelogues and I love memoirs, but I did not love this book. Sure, she is a decent writer and there were parts that were intriguing. She travels to a lot of interesting places that are not often written about in travel books like Yemen and Papua New Guinea. I also appreciate her wanting to challenge herself when she travels and to experience things that are sometimes hard, as I do th ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Mollie rated it liked it
I read Eat, Pray, Love and while it can be hard to admit, due to the big budget, low quality Julia Roberts movie, I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit. Sure, Gilbert was a little self-involved - but, wasn't it a memoir? What is a memoir, if not self-involved? Anyway, that's neither here nor there, I bring this up because Wanderlust is pretty much the same story as Eat, Pray, Love, only less spirituality and more infidelity.

Wanderlust chronicles the nomadic life of Elisabeth Eaves. From the ag
lori mitchell
Mar 29, 2012 lori mitchell rated it liked it
I am shocked to read all the negative reviews about this book. I had my own feelings of disdain for Ms. Eaves, but I thought that this book was pretty damn relatable. Okay, I'm not privileged. And, I've never been told I can do whatever I want: I had to make that discovery on my own. But, underneath the privilege and the unsettling romance, she is just a girl trying to find her way in the world and prove that she can do it, man or no man, by her side.

It's not my favorite book ever, but I found
Jun 26, 2011 G rated it really liked it
After reading the novel, I can tell you that Elisabeth Eaves lived up to my high expectations, capturing perfectly what it was like to experience the luxury of being young, beautiful (or in my case, sort of pretty), and free, traveling the world on a moments whim.

I couldn't help but remember what it was like in my own twenties, not being stuck in one spot in the real world, traveling (on a much smaller scale than her) as a flight attendant, working as a cocktail waitress, Cabana girl and barten
Apr 13, 2012 Shana rated it liked it
The first part of this book I enjoyed immensely. I loved her candor and vulnerability. I felt she made some very true observations about traveling. I lost her story around the time she developed an affair between two men. I lost sympathy for her selfishness when it started to hurt other people. I had trouble relating to her reasons for the affair, as well difficulty interpreting her opinion on the matter. By the time I got to the end, the book felt more like a ballad to her lost lovers.

Like I s
Oct 10, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
A book review in a fashion magazine made me add this book to my "must read" list. Considering that I have read very few books over the past couple of years, and that I have started a bunch that I have never been able to finish, I think it’s important to point out that I read this one fairly quickly and hated to put it down.
Elisabeth Eaves is a fearless, strong woman. Her travel memoir takes her to exotic, even dangerous places—ones the average girl probably wouldn't think about traveling to. Fo
Jun 24, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Looking at some reviews of Wanderlust, it's obvious that some people didn't like it. I loved it though. Elisabeth spoke to me. In the book she talks about paths and how choosing one path can close the door on the other. In my generation (and hers) we are told we can do anything we want. And while that's true, we can't do everything. Elisabeth realizes this through her life and travel and it's something I've started to realize as well as I try to make sense of who and what I want to be as an adul ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Tiffani rated it it was ok
Travel memoir doesn't quite seem adequate to describe Elizabeth Eaves's Wanderlust. It is as much a documentation of the author's emotional and sex lives as it is about her actual travels. I equate traveling with joy, personal and intellectual growth, adventure, and curiosity. Though Eaves's adventures around the world make for an impressive list - Yemen, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, and Australia are just a few of the places she has lived - Wanderlust elicited feelings of adventure and curiosity, p ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Elisabeth loves to travel and that's putting it mildly. She's spent fifteen years traveling the world; in fact, she's traveled to five continents. Many of those trips, she faced alone as a young women and she's always immersed herself in the culture of each new place she visited. Travel is Elisabeth's everything as she is truly unconventional and challenges society's expectations of women. She's not satisfied by the usual life and wants something more. Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves is a travel m ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
The book is based off an article that she originally wrote for World Hum, a much condensed version about her difficulty separating lust from wanderlust. I read the article before picking up the book, therefore I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and had no shattered illusions about how much sex would be involved, which seems to be the biggest negative in the reviews here.

Her memoir shows her travels from her own perspective. Fitting 15 years of globe trotting into a novel requires foc
Sep 09, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
The only thing that stops this book from earning 5 stars is the downward spiral it takes into a romance novel toward the end. For the first half of the book the author's travels are the star and her romantic interests just play in the background. As time goes on her relationships take over the story and yet her attitude toward them does not mature. She begins a cycle of falling in love then running away from it and then finding a new love and then ruining it by getting back in touch with the pre ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Lan rated it liked it
This book caught my eyes when I visited home last winter break. "Wanderlust" - sure! The title must have been tempting and appealing to any young adults with the desire to see the world. After skimming through the first and the last chapter, without knowing any better, of the book, I decided to buy.

Now, for the content: Though what I got out of the book is not exactly what I expected. It's not entirely about traveling, it's Elisabeth's memoir with her personal life story as a world wanderer. And
Lisa Niver
Jun 12, 2013 Lisa Niver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
I highly recommend this book.

I wrote about it for Westside Today:

Elisabeth Eaves, in Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents,tells tales of love, misadventure and wringing every second of life out of every moment. She says:
My life wouldn’t be so easy to fix. I’d woken up at the age of thirty-four to realize that I wanted to go home, only to discover that I had no idea where that was. Wanderlust, the very strong or irresistible impulse to travel, i
Jun 21, 2012 Bridget rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-on-kindle
I often find myself wishing I were the kind of person that could backpack around the world, working odd-end jobs and making no money, and having so few possessions that a small room in a small apartment somewhere was more than enough space. Often, and maybe even too often, I listen to Kenny Chesney's song "She's From Boston" and daydream about being that girl in the song. But as much as I daydream, I'm not that person and more often (or at least half as often), I really enjoy the stability of my ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I found this book difficult to finish. I didn't dislike the writer. I expect twenty-somethings, particularly young ones, to be extreme navelgazers; I know that I was. Also, it's a memoir, so that kinda comes with the territory. But she'd start telling a story about some unique nuance of the culture or something of beauty or the daily lives of the people with whom she was staying, and just as I was getting interested, she'd derail into five pages of musing whether some boy(s) liked her or would s ...more
Camille Cusumano
Oct 02, 2013 Camille Cusumano rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Only those afflicted or blessed, as the case may be, with early onset wanderlust (and wonder lust) can fully appreciate the travels and adventures of the author. I'm happy that women are finally expressing what they've done for ages (but didn't have the same license as men to write about). Eaves writes "The best kind of travel---the kind I wanted to experience---involves a particular state of mind, in which one is not merely open to the occurrence of the unexpected, but to deep involvement in th ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok
I am going to be completely honest - I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves did not meet my expectations. But since I'm being truthful, my expectations were probably half of the battle I endured through this memoir.

I have been known to entertain the principles of wanderlust more than occasionally. Due to this shared interest, I thought that I could relate to and find a kindred spirit in Eaves' writing. I was wrong. I found myself baffled by some of her choi
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Win a copy of Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves 1 11 Jul 08, 2011 11:47AM  
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I'm a writer and editor, born in Vancouver and living in New York City. My first book, "Bare," was about stripping, and my second book, "Wanderlust," came out of a lifelong love of travel and trying to figure out why I felt so compelled to keep moving on. My travel writing has also appeared in "Best American Travel Writing 2009," "Best Women's Travel Writing 2010," and Lonely Planet's "A Moveable ...more
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“The paradox of love is that to have it is to want to preserve it because it's perfect in the moment but that preservation is impossible because the perfection is only ever an instant passed through. Love like travel is a series of moments that we immediately leave behind. Still we try to hold on and embalm against all evidence and common sense proclaiming our promises and plans. The more I loved him the more I felt hope. But hope acknowledges uncertainty and so I also felt my first premonitions of loss.” 71 likes
“I begin to wonder how different "real" love is from my imaginary affair. In any relationship there's both reality and the perception of reality. As long as I see the other person as smart or sexy or handsome or good and as long as I can hang on to the feeling of loving and being loved then it's real. But somehow we're able to hang on to those feelings and beliefs even when objective reality diverges. Actions don't necessarily alter beliefs and beliefs matter more. Before you fall in love you begin to imagine the other person. You create your lover extrapolating on reality dusting him or her with gold. You embellish to the point of perfection and then fall hard for the image you've made. With all my traveling I may have spent more time imagining than others. But a huge amount of all love takes place in the head. In the middle of any relationship we can spend more time hour for hour thinking about the other person than we spend in his presence. And after any breakup there's no telling how long we might pine for someone. Love itself is in the mind's eye.” 30 likes
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