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The Adventures of Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Erin Reese is a one-of-a-kind travel writer—a spiritual seeker and solo backpacker who dropped out of a successful career in corporate America, hit the road, and never looked back.


Packed with plenty of spicy curry, cows, and comedy, Bindi Girl takes us on one heck of a wild ride across India. From Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama to ashrams, y
Kindle Edition, 261 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Travel and Soul Media (first published March 17th 2011)
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3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book can be summed up as: white American woman spends a few months travelling around India and, unforgivably, doesn't seem to meet any Indian people or appear remotely interested in doing so, only to hang out with her fellow westerners who are also travelling around India, to, like, totally find themselves spiritually, man. I was especially keen to read the author's experiences visiting Pune because a good friend of mine lives there, but no no, she doesn't care at all about anything in Pune ...more
Lynn Braz
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Long before traveling to India became de rigueur for everyone who's ever taken a yoga class, Erin Reese had begun combing the entire subcontinent in her quest for a deeper, decidedly unWestern, experience of life. What I love most about Bindi Girl is that Erin presents the full picture of longterm travel in a destination that is usually either glorified or vilified. Erin takes readers to the heights of India's attributes--the sights, smells, sounds, mountains, cities, islands, festivals, colors ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Let me start off with this caveat: I like the ideas of self-publishing and Kindle free downloads, however, self-publishing shouldn't make you exempt from editing your text.

I really struggle reading travel journals such as this one. The overly-conversational writing style, the poor punctuation, the poor grammar, and the inconsistent verb tenses drive me mad. Erin Reese's fondness for em dashes and emphasis via ALL CAPS and exclamation points add to my frustration.

And that's just the physical cha
Jessica Shepherd
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading some of the reviews here, I think its important to understand what this book is. It is a travelogue, an experiential diary of a woman who does what many women & men would love to do but only dream of...she finds the courage to let go of a life that is not working for her and set sail on a voyage that will permanently change her life. She doesn't have a neat, tidy journey and as she bounces around looking for her self, her writing reflects this. But you also get a sense of Erin' ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Erin Reese described India in such a way I could almost imagine myself there. The good, the bad, and the smelly. Her descriptions and experiences made me want to jump on a plane and go to the Heart. Now if I could only somehow travel around Mother India with her...
Tom Gold
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok

If like me you believe that the heart of a Nation is its people then you may be disappointed to discover this is less a tale from India’s heart and more a voyage of self discovery in which its people appear mostly as chai wallahs, shopkeepers and beggars.

The Westerners Reece meets come off a bit better but rarely get described in greater detail than their name nationality and approximate age - even Jan, the Czech man she travels with for the last
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for more of a travel guide about India, then this isn't your book. However, that being said, if you are looking for a well written and interesting travel log that reads like a personal memoir, this is certainly a good book to choose. I enjoyed reading the stories of this woman's travels through India and her unique and spiritual perspective on the land, people and customs. There are portions of this book that really made me want to sell my stuff and take off on an adventure as ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was FUN!! It really made me want to venture outside of my shell and experience something new - life! She tells her story in a non-judgmental way. She simply just tells of her experiences - beautiful. I highly recommend this book if you want an "experience" and some fun. At the end she gives you ideas of what you should bring with you on such a travel experience that the guide books leave out. She wrestled snakes, sand fleas, falling coconuts, urine smells wafting in your face on the ack-barf ...more
Rabid Readers Reviews
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
After something of a muddled and confused start, this non-fiction romp turned out to be a warm and loving portrayal of a beautiful country. Bindi Girl tells us the good and the bad but she tells it with the love of someone who knows nothing is perfect. I really enjoyed this book.
Rhoawan Moonstone
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
wonderful read ...a great adventure and journey of self discover as well as a beautiful and spiritual picture of India
Jen Memphis
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had a blast on Erin's adventure. I really connected with her journey and hope to someday have my own India adventure.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: india, non-fiction
Most people who go to India have one of two reactions; they either love it and can’t wait to return, or they hate it and would eat their own eyeballs rather than set foot on Indian soil a second time. I’m firmly in the ‘Love’ camp and I’m always interested to read accounts of how other people respond to a country that means so much to me. I don’t particularly mind whether they love it or hate it so long as they write well. I bought ‘Adventures of Bindi Girl – Diving Deep into the Heart of India’ ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, nonfiction, india
I'm a sucker for a travel book and this one, like most others, left me inspired by the author's willingness to go adventuring on her own and her positive attitude. However, she was a little too 'new-agey' for me and had me rolling my eyes at various points. But she was open about who she was and what she was about, so that was purely a difference in beliefs between author and reader. It was a quick and easy read, so it was worth the time it took to finish.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Of interest in this book was the spunky young lady following her dreams... traveling the non touristy portions of India, living meagerly and studying meditation with the guru's. I greatly appreciated her enthusiasm and head-strong attitudes to getting and doing what she wanted! Quick, easy treadmill read.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Two of the reasons that I picked up to read this book in first place:
1) It was being sold at a throwaway price in a sale
2) I'm from India and wanted a non Indian narration ..

I have previously read "A search in secret India" ,by Paul brunton ,an non-Indian author writing about his spiritual experiences in India . Such books help me make a journey where I'm no longer a part India but floating along watching and scrutinizing everything as I go along. Paul's book exceeded my expectation in providi
D. Thrush
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
India calls to Erin. Her love of this country shines through on every page. She is a much more intrepid traveler then I am, and I enjoyed sharing her journey with her. I do think the book lacked depth. Although she relates her journeys to India, I think this book would’ve benefited from more detailed descriptions and more about her inner journey. I wanted to see more of what she was seeing and feel more of what she was feeling. I also would’ve wanted a bit more background of her life in the U.S. ...more
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(kindle) - For me this was a wonderful read, The Author takes us on a journey through India, which had a new twist from what I have read before. "From Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama, to meditation melodramas and yoga schools on the banks of the holy Ganges, Reese educates and entertains as she goes. We discover the Hindu gods and goddesses, the tourist trap mafia, and the beach havens of the hippie trail. From __Guru Disney__ to the holy hell of Varanasi,."
She left her life in San Francisco, to
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
This book reads like a grocery list of places the author has been and people she has met. It lacks substance.
The book is constructed with chronological blog entries that make the story somewhat disjointed. The reader, at least this reader, feels like she missed some important part of the story from one chapter/blog entry to the next.
There are a lot of yoga and Hindu Gods references that can get a bit annoying when you are not familiar with one or the others.
As I said at the beginning, I felt t
Laura of Lurking
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this a fascinating and curious study of India and spiritual searching. The book is split up into short chapters, most of which I would say are easily read in 5 minutes, making it an ideal book to pick up and put down again. This was necessary for me as I have rather limited knowledge of Hinduism, yoga, spirituality and backpacking in general.

There was a great deal of information, discussions of various Gods and practises, but I felt it was all well explained, is a bit too much of an info
May 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not really a bad read, and as it was a free Amazon Kindle read, it was about what I expected. A nice book to have stored on the iPad when I didn't have anything better to read. (btw, I always have a lifetime's worth of books as backup! This was said facetiously.)

The author does paint a vivid picture of India as seen with an open heart. Her brief chapters - emails home? - are a bit disjointed but it's like getting travelog emails from a former work buddy. Sometimes fascinating, and other times...
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I got this as a free Kindle download and read it just after reading "Backpacked" compare the two, I enjoyed Backpacked much more because of the humourous slant...a true "fish out of water" experience....where Bindi Girl was more focused on the spiritual journey. Which is fine, just less enjoyable reading. Her book did leave me with an appreciation for Indian and the culture, and since I'm just living vicariously, with no hopes to ever backpack a country myself, I did feel like I got a ...more
Aug 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is not really a travelogue it is more about the author who is on a journey of self disovery. Unfortunately this rather comes across as being self obsessed in respect that very little is said about the indigenous people. It is almost like she is co existing in a parallel universe in the countries that she visits. Considering that the author is into peace and meditation, the book's pace is frantic and left me feeling dizzy.Not interesting enough for me I'm afraid.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Personal travelogue

This personal travelogue does not bring as much to the table as I was hoping for. But I do think there is some merit to the stories and experiences. Book could definitely use an editor. All in all, am glad I read it, did not consider it a waste of time. Just a bit shallow. But since this is somewhat of a travel diary, I was not expecting too much either. Good job done on giving us the colors of India.
Bob Rickelman
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was ok. I liked some of the travel narrative, but the frequent discussions about Buddhist gods was a little confusing, since I don't know much about them. Not as good as many other travel narratives that I've read, and I almost didn't finish it, but it was free and I did enjoy parts of it.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It is written in diary form and that's not everyone's cup of tea, but I happen to love it. It was descriptive and informative without being boring & dry, had enough of a loose 'plot' to keep me interested, and it was funny! I really enjoyed reading it, and I have never read a travel book before, and I very very rarely read non-fiction.

Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really feel bad about giving this book only 2 stars. It was not a bad book and I did enjoy the beginning but after about 3/4 of the way through it just got really slow and uninteresting to me. It was nice to read about India and the culture, I would have just like it more if it had depth. Read it for yourself, you might enjoy it.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Erin's travel experiences require a certain previous knowledge of India that I just didn't have. I wanted to connect with her, but it seemed too much like a daily journal of events and not a journey to share with her.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Meh, it was okay. For someone who professes to love Indian culture she doesn't really examine it. I do know how much she loves certain beaches now though; and how superior she feels to her fellow travelers and most of humanity.
Cilka Demsar
Nov 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
She starts about something and you just wait for a more in-depth description or story but she abruptly ends it. I didn't like her style. I finished the book because I love travelling but this one was a disappointment.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This travel book about her experiences in India is engaging. The author, Erin Reese backpacks through India exploring her spiritual side. The tastes, sounds and colors of India come alive in this engaging story.
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Erin Reese is a one-of-a-kind explorer – a solo, spiritual-minded globetrotter who dropped out of a successful career in corporate America, hit the road, and never looked back.

Erin maintains an online magazine site (Erin Reese, Travel and Soul) with a solid base of international followers and subscribers. Her work has appeared in the premiere luxury travel magazine, Global Traveler, featuring arti