Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness: My Journey from Norway to Portugal beneath the Midnight Sun” as Want to Read:
The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness: My Journey from Norway to Portugal beneath the Midnight Sun
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness: My Journey from Norway to Portugal beneath the Midnight Sun

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  34 reviews
“Read this book if you have ever loved and lost. . . . It will inspire you.” —Monique Roffey, author of With the Kisses of His Mouth

Fuzzy-haired, neurotic, cello-playing Catrina is devastated when her lover, Jack, leaves her to go surfing on the other side of the world. Trapped in a dead-end job and torn by his departure, Catrina dreams of running away. But how do you run
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Skyhorse (first published February 27th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  365 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ribbons Are for Fearlessness: My Journey from Norway to Portugal beneath the Midnight Sun
Visit the locations of the book here Ribbons book trail

Now I have found a book about solo travel that tells it like it is. I so identified with Catrina (Not the busking I hasten to add that I really quite warmed to her early on despite her lack of awareness over many things. But you can’t fault the girl’s stamina to do what she did and I was amazed. It’s only when you travel on your own that you notice the little things, the shape of the money, the way you drift off when looking into the horizon
Lisa Fernández
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
I'm so giddy i can't even write a review that isn't: "I love love love it"
The fact that it's a real story (with very little fiction in it) is just ah!
I've always wanted to see the midnight sun, and although my idea was somewhere near Helsinki, Norway doesn't sound bad
It inspires me to learn, and be brave, and have courage.. And tip street musicians everywhere
I love love love it.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catrina Davies’ book ‘The Ribbons Are For Fearlessness: A Journey‘ is a captivating story of adventure against all odds. Catrina lives her life clinging to safety and familiarity. After her cliff-climbing and sea-surfing boyfriend leaves her and her best friend unexpectedly dies, she is left drifting aimlessly with nothing to cling to.

Her solution? To buy an old van, put her cello in it, and go busking all across Europe.
What is so endearing about this book is that the heroine is the least likel
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Davies set out to busk her way from Norway to Portugal, it was with a great deal of trepidation, and that's what resonated most strongly for me: that sometimes fearlessness is defined not by not having the fear in the first place and rather by having the fear and doing it anyway. For Davies, that meant setting off alone. It meant busking when she wanted to do anything other than play her cello in public, and navigating mold and ice in the van, and fear, and picking herself up again and agai ...more
Carol Wakefield
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Not uninteresting story of an unusual journey. Ms Davies in her introduction suggests that the stories within her trip may be story and/or may be fact. Don't try her journey unless you are an attractive blond with musical talent who is happy using a succession of men to get you out of troubles and along your way. The "solo" trip not so very "solo". Got a bit tired of her agonizing over a lost love. Still mostly fun read. ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was nothing utterly amazing about this book, but I still couldn't stop reading. Adventuring with the author as she made her way through Norway opened my eyes to a part of the world I had never really thought about! ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.

Brilliant, captivating book. Simple, honest story telling. I loved it!

I need to listen to all the tunes mentioned now

Liz Cooper
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
As another reviewer said: ‘Don't try her journey unless you are an attractive blond with musical talent who is happy using a succession of men to get you out of troubles and along your way. The "solo" trip not so very "solo".’ I totally agree. Every time she had no money or a major problem, a man just happened to turn up to save her!

Anyway, what a stupid, stupid girl, to go to Norway with no money or a proper map and clothes. And fund it by busking, in public, when she doesn’t like to perform in
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-for-fun
I didn't like the beginning of the book: Catrina was whiny and I had the feeling this was another 'Eat Pray Love'. But as the chapters went I liked Catrina more and more, and when I closed the book after the last page I had a good feeling, like I had been on an adventure with a friend. We can all relate to her story, if not totally at least partially, and this sense of familiarity and the style of the writing makes it a very enjoyable read. A good book. ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this one quite quickly after reading "Homesick"because I really got into her journey because she described it so well.. I think she was very brave doing what she did in busking in various places through Europe. I would love to know what happened to some of these characters (Pierre, Borge and Hanna) .. I feel inspired and would like to see the midnight sun now myself ! I shall also look forward to next book from Catrina ...more
Mary Renshaw
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Only read the first chapter and already I'm hooked. Catrina has an absolutely fabulous style. Can't wait to read more! ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. Thought provoking, emotional and inspirational. A beautifully written debut by a remarkable lady.
Penny Harper
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. For anyone who has ever been lost, or had their heart broken. Such a good writer, and so honest.
Bobby Sandhu
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book in a day, to start it was quite slow but honestly after reading it all it really did make me think about life in a different way. What an amazing book!!!
Jean Robinson
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Second time reading this gem .... wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.....
Jay Dudley
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Beautifully written, Catrina takes you on a journey to your heart, laugh out loud at times, soul destroying at others.
Tom Colvin
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A beautiful tale from a very thoughtful and gentle authoer
Jeanna Barrett
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This girl is a god damn bad ass! I love any travel memoir, and this one did not disappoint.
Gail Owen
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful account of Catirina’s journey from Norway to Portugal in a yellow fan. Full of adventure, emotion, pain, love laughter and a sense of freedom we ell long for, but are often afraid to go after. A triumph of a book!
Stephanie Buick
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most engaging travel narratives I've ever read.

The central theme, as the title suggests, is bravery. Well, relationships, bravery and grief, to be more precise. Travel is often the best cure for a broken heart and Catrina Davies prescribed herself an industrial strength dose of this particular remedy in what appears to be a crazy journey, taking off in her rust-bucket van, busking her way to the Norwegian midnight sun, then down through Europe to Southern Spain and Portugal.

Jan P
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I read this book based on a review I read somewhere. I was disappointed that the first few chapters didn't grab me but am glad I kept reading as it is an interesting story of this women's journey, both geographically and mentally. Catrina Davies' encounters with several people on her long journey seems like synchronicity at work. Among other things, she (and I) learned that the work "courage" comes from the Latin word "couer" which means heart. According to a Latin dictionary, "courage means to ...more
Jessica Medved
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very good!
I will admit that in the beginning it is hard to get into and that there are parts that I struggled to read through because it had moment of monotony. But as a whole the Book was VERY good!

I loved hearing her story and reading about her growth. I wanted to write Watching because a lot of times the description in the book really does feel like you are watching it.
It is was so well done! I really loved it.
It is not your far fetched taken by the wind kind of travel memoi
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a very meaningful book that arrives to it's conclusions in a delicate yet straight forward manner, devoid of pretensions her writing style flows and it feels as if she's just talking to you.

It's a lovely book with a lot to impart about life, living and fear and death.

Knowing how scared she was about everything she did yet still did it all anyway filled me with more confidence than anyone who says they don't get scared could.

I've taken a lot from this book and I recommend it greatly.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh this is such an honest, straight from the heart kind of book, you do not yearn for more eloquent writing, even though it is often sluggish. Grief stricken Catrina goes out into a hostile country (Norway) with so little it is frightening, but she battles her demons, and maybe ours too, with such a fierceness you can only wonder, wonder what you would do, if you faced the same. Wonder if you would even dare to take that first step.

A painful but inspiring story in this modern age of have-it-all
Edward Carpenter
I'm a sucker for a road trip and this is a fun one - Norway to Portugal with a Cello. Catrina's character is self consciously pathetic at times, constantly relying on others, usually men, to rescue her. this gets a bit wearing, but it allows us to meet a whole bunch of interesting characters along the way, which when it comes down to it is what these kind of trips are about. maybe that's unfair! she is also out busking/surfing in the Norwegian winter too. a nice read that will make you want to p ...more
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book. Maybe because of my immense sense of wonderlust, or maybe for my desire to have strong female voices I can recommend to people at my bookstore. Either way, Davies story was exciting, poignant, interesting. I think she was so extremely lucky through out her voyage, and she has given me a new sense of trust, and faith in humanity.

At the end all I could think was to say "Thank you" for sharing your story. Our stories of our adventures are our gifts to others, and Davies is on
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sold-on
I don't very often read novels or fiction and at first wanted to say "get a life and get a bath". I disliked the liberal use of the F word but I suppose it went with the territory. I was drawn into the story of the hippy and her yellow van as she experienced busking through Norway and on and there did seem to be a spiritual energy briefly. Simple reading, an adventure. ...more
Pam Mooney
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and a little bit magical! Davies story is inspiring - she really makes me want to take my own journey and earn ribbons for myself. I loved her rich descriptions of the people she met along the way. I felt like I could walk down their streets and stop and chat with them. A great travel saga and a good read.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written book - moving, funny, wise, touching, all at the same time. Leaves you feeling 'older and wiser' and inspired. Loved the main character's story and her interactions with others along her journey. A great read for those who need a boost of confidence in life and living. ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed reading this book! The story is so warming and inspirational. Having travelled myself I could really identify with her, but I think regardless of whether you have travelled or not this book would bring a little light to anyone.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Wild Silence
  • The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology
  • Afloat
  • The Man in the Tent: My Life under Canvas - Getting Started in Spain
  • I Am an Island
  • The Salt Path
  • Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town
  • Llama Drama: A two-woman, 5,500-mile cycling adventure through South America (Anna's Adventures Book 3)
  • A Life Worth Living
  • Tidelands (Fairmile #1)
  • The Man in the Tent - My Life under Canvas in Britain and Spain: Part One - Britain, 2004 - 2008
  • One Man’s Everest: The Autobiography of Kenton Cool
  • Before and After
  • The Pants of Perspective: One Woman's 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure through the Wilds of New Zealand
  • Patterns in Polymer: Imprint and Accent Bead Techniques
  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold
  • Daisy's Vintage Cornish Camper Van
  • 21st-Century Yokel
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Discover lots of new and upcoming nonfiction reads this spring with our author interviews, articles, and book lists!   Interviews with...
3 likes · 0 comments
“fearlessness has got nothing to do with being unafraid. It's about doing things anyway, getting on with it, living, whether you're afraid or not....Courage is about being who you are with your whole heart” 2 likes
“I think love is like a good enjoy it when it's ripe and then forget about it” 0 likes
More quotes…