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The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.

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Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.

542 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2010

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Jennifer Baggett

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5 stars
2,331 (27%)
4 stars
2,876 (33%)
3 stars
2,428 (28%)
2 stars
739 (8%)
1 star
236 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 753 reviews
Profile Image for Jill Furedy.
545 reviews45 followers
January 31, 2017
I'm sure the girls who wrote this had an amazing trip...and I enjoyed hearing about a lot of it. So being critical of the book feels a bit like insulting someone who is excitedly showing you their vacation photos. For the most part, I liked hearing about their travels, though they had such similar voices in their storytelling, I gave up trying to remember who was narrating...it wasn't relevant most of the time anyway. There were quite a few moments where they were so intent on telling a "story" (have to prove they are real writers, after all) that they took me completely out of the story while they gave me their moral lesson learned or touching moment, instead of completing details of a trip. Then on occasion they would reference some other part of the trip that they had neglected to share, and I'd think...why didn't I hear about that...THAT sounded interesting. We heard nothing about the capoeira classes in Brazil, scuba diving in Thailand, rafting over a waterfall in New Zealand...they just mention those things in passing. And they spend a lot of time telling us how much they love each other, how no one was unreasonable, how they never run out of things to talk about, how supportive of each other they are and how well they know each other. Fine and good. What else did you see in South America that I won't be seeing? (did I mention that I'm not adventurous...I live vicariously through books, my trips are much more planned out and closer to home!) But it seems they felt like for every story of partying in bars and clubs, they needed to make sure we understood they are good girls by telling us how they helped someone, supported good programs, etc. But the school in Kenya made for a good story, the Aussie bus incident was amusing, and while a lot in between those two incidents blurs together, overall it kept me entertained for a few days.
124 reviews3 followers
September 11, 2010
In The Lost Girls,. three twentysomething Manhattanites ditch their high pressure jobs to backpack around the world for a year. Each chapter is told from a different girl's perspective, making it difficult to remember who is who. Aside from a moving initiation in Masai Mara, Kenya, and a moment in Peru when a local woman surprises the girls with her kindness, little stands-out in this superficial 500+ page saga. Missing is the wittiness of Peter Mayle, the deeper observations of Bill Bryson, and the strong personal impact Michael Crichton once shared about traveling. Instead, pages are wasted on worrying about work and insignificant nonsense. This travel memoir had the potential to be so much more, but it got lost in the telling rather than the showing.
Profile Image for Dianne C..
7 reviews
August 15, 2012
Someone rec'd this book to me because I'm off on my own backpacking journey in a few weeks... And I bombed through it in a couple days but it doesn't really seem to resonate with me.

It was enjoyable and I loved the travel parts of the book. The parts where they talked about their experiences, good and bad, were fun to read and I was particularly moved by the chapters in Kenya. A lot of that portion showcased the guilt they feel but it was their interactions with the girls at Pathfinder and the other people in the village that were very intriguing to me.

Unfortunately, I felt like this book was written by one person. There was no difference at all between the writing styles and it took me until the very end to finally remember the differences between Amanda and Jen. As they started bringing more people in, friends and family, I got even more confused because no one seemed to have any distinguishing characteristics from each other.

By the end of the book, I was really fed up with the constant soul searching and 'inspiring' revelations that the girls seemed to have every single chapter and every time they looked at a sunset or hiked a trail together. I understand where they were coming from but we didn't need to hear the same inspirational tripe from each girl every single chapter.

Overall it was enjoyable but could have been shorter and focused more on their actual travels. In the end they mentioned various things that they had done in some of the countries that had never even been mentioned before.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,369 reviews
July 11, 2011
I have a love-hate relationship with travel writing. Either it's so detailed about the landscape that I'm not interested because the details take out the human experience - or it's so personal that the writer forgets to mention the details of the landscape and the events of traveling. Few writers have been able to satisfy my standards for travel writing, which is why I only read it when my book club ladies tell me to.

This book was very well-balanced. As a mid-30s woman, I'm beyond all the questions these women have about their careers, long-term relationships, and familial future. However, I remember those feelings and the turmoil that comes with it and I only wish I had two strong women and an empty passport to deal with it like these ladies did. Their year-long trip took them to places that I'd never heard about, and I'm not much of a travel bug, but it even had me thinking about at least a little international travel and exploration off the beaten tourist path by the time it was done. Overall, the description of their travels and experiences, coupled with their personal issues and the stories about quick but deep friendships they forged with other backpackers made for a completely satisfying read that I'd recommend to nearly anyone. It's not deep writing - it could easily be a beach read - but there is still depth enough to make me tear up here and there.
Profile Image for Andrea W.
73 reviews6 followers
November 6, 2017
I'm still trying to finishing this for a Book Club, but not sure if I can, which is unlike me. The authors really lost me when they chose to phonetically type out how the accents of the people they encountered sounded - "But, Miss Holly, I don't undah-stand." We get it, you're in Kenya and the people you are meeting don't sound like you. And instead of poetically talking about the nuances of language and the characteristics of the accents they are encountering, we get "Eggg-cellent!"

Another GoodReads member in the reviews below described it as a "privileged white girls visit developing countries and discover how privileged they really are type memoir," but I'm not sure the authors themselves have actually "discovered" how privileged they really are, because '"Holy shit, you guys," said Jen, sounding both shell-shocked and thrilled. "Are we really doing this? Are we really going to India?"' provides me no comfort in their genuine insight into their privilege as three middle class white women in the "third world." But maybe I'll read beyond page 200 and be proven wrong.

The only saving grace of what I've read so far- there are some ok descriptions of places they have travelled to so far - but I'd like to hear more about the specifics they do, like the capoeira classes in Brazil!.

Update : couldn't finish it.
Profile Image for Leah.
81 reviews3 followers
August 16, 2010
I really liked the idea behind this book. Who wouldn't want to take a year off and travel with their two best friends? However, about mid-way through the book I started to think it was less of a book about traveling and more about friendships, dating and the popularity gaining "quarter-life-crisis." I was annoyed by the drug use in Goa, India; the constant partying, and the one sexual encounter that made me go "EEwwww." Didn't these girls know that their mother would someday read this book? Or maybe even future children? They complained about the hosteling scene, but seemed to be eating it up. Overall, I'd give a 3, because while I think they did do a great job of creating a visual picture of many places they visited (and adding a few new sites to my travel list), I couldn't easily forget the typical girl drama.
11 reviews
June 2, 2010
Totally self-absorbed and unenlightening non-fiction on a topic that could have been very interesting. The only thing interesting about this annoying book were some of the descriptions about locales, especially New Zealand, Kenya, and Cambodia. Very superficial authors who are wealthy beyond belief and it becomes really annoying the further you get into the book. Do not recommend it.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
572 reviews20 followers
June 16, 2016
Three friends, four continents, one unconventional detour around the world....it sounded so promising!

This book is supposedly written by the three friends, each telling a bit of the story in their own alternating chapters. I found myself constantly checking the bottom of each page where the name of the chapter (and the name of the traveller) was helpfully typed as I could not distinguish which of the three told any of the chapters. It read like a novel written by a single author, or, like a phrase they picked up in their travels - same same.

And the angst! I was expecting a book about seeing and experiencing new places and while there was a small amount of that, kind of briefly glossed over, mostly it was angst - my boyfriend, my job, my overachieving nature, blah blah blah.

The last page of every chapter moved from angst to preachiness, what we learned and how this can be a good moral lesson for all you readers not lucky enough to have made this trip.

If you are looking for a book about travelling, I would not recommend this one. If you want to read about the hardships of being 28 and independent, dive in.
Profile Image for Laura.
32 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2022
This was not what I was expecting or wanted from a travel memoir.
Profile Image for Brooke.
62 reviews
October 1, 2011
***If you’re reading this, prepare for a rant.***

I wanted to love this book. Really, I did. I wanted to relate to these late-20-somethings on the adventure of their lifetimes (Hey, I just left my late 20s! Hey, I love to travel!). Really, I did. Buuuuuuuut I gave up on this book, and here's why: I HATE these three women.

Okay, okay. I don't HATE hate them. I'm just envious that three young ("quarter-life crisis???" BAH, I say!), fit, intelligent, adventure-types with fab jobs and lives in New-York-effing-CITY have the ABILITY to take a year off from their jobs (apparently, they do not have student loans, etc. to deal with while embarking upon a dream journey like many, many, MANY of us in this world) to see the world while I can only dream of doing such a thing. There I said it.

But beyond my envy, I could not get past the following:

There were moments when I really dug the action (Amanda was my favorite because she felt the most...ummm...real, I suppose), but most of the time, I felt disappointed by the lack of overall substance. Holly gets pissy when she doesn't get her daily, 3 a.m., 500 mile jog (I'm exaggerating)?!? Really? Eff that. Ugh. And that dialogue! "Hey Amanda, let's get outta here to give Holly some breathing room." "Okay Jen. Let's go." Holly: "You guys are the bestest friends ever. Be sure to eat plenty of Snickers bars!" GROUP HUGZZZZZZZZ. *not actual quotes from the book, but this sappy-friendship-ooey-gooey-BS dialogue is close enough to what you get in this giant of a book* BLEGGGH and REALLY? You ACURATALEY remembered AND documented THIS and put it in the book? Really? No wonder it’s 5 million pages long.

These are not the things I want to read in a travel memoir, but that's just me. And I'm not a complete hater of people who just make travel happen and then write memoirs about it, just so you all know. Take, for example, Elisabeth Eaves' Wanderlust.Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents I've just started reading it now, and I LOVE it. I'm sure I'll have more to say when I'm finished, but suffice it to say, for the time being, that it accomplishes in a few short pages what these three ladies would not/could not: actual and amazing depth…of writing, of adventure, of a life spent abroad.

***End rant.***
Profile Image for Denise.
240 reviews16 followers
February 9, 2015
4.5 stars for this one, which I'm calling "Eat, Pray, Love" for millenials. It took approximately one chapter of this book for me to come down with a serious case of wanderlust, and approximately 2-3 chapters to become completely enthralled by the authors' story. First, the courage it takes to break completely from convention--to quit jobs, give up apartments, and leave behind significant others for a year-long trip around the world. And not just to travel the world, but to visit lesser-traveled places, where you don't know the language or the customs, where you don't have electricity or running water, and where you don't know a soul. They weren't visiting five-star resorts, but rather backpacking and living/volunteering among locals. I envy them their courage and determination.

The book is broken out by continent/geographic region -- South America (Peru, Brasil, Bolivia); Kenya, India, Southeast Asia, and finally New Zealand/Australia. I flew through the chapters on South America and Kenya, but got slowed up a bit by the section on India (coincidentally, also my least favorite section of Eat, Pray, Love). I also couldn't get as invested in the chapters about their travels through Southeast Asia, I think because the authors moved so quickly from country to country that they only devoted a chapter or two to any particular stop. What I liked so much about the other sections was that I got to know more about the culture or the local people. I got the sense that the authors felt the same way about this leg of the trip. They saw a lot, but were so often on the move that they didn't necessarily always have a chance to enjoy it. They also wrote more about their interactions with other travelers in this section than about any relationships they formed with people native to the land. While I appreciated reading about these encounters as well, I preferred the ones that taught me something else about the countries they were visiting.

I'd definitely recommend this one. Aside from providing access to corners of the world you might never go, it really makes you think about your life, priorities, and goals, and also teaches you a lot about friendship. But it does so in a fun, light-hearted way that makes you want to travel with the girls on their next trip!
Profile Image for Debbie Ellis.
65 reviews4 followers
August 26, 2011
Started this book four days ago and am halfway through (542 pages in all). I can't put it down. Being a wanderlust myself, thus one reason why I have a maison secondaire in France, I've been anxious to read this one. The way the girls bring their personal issues into the mix of the experience with their travels keeps it very real. Often people say that three is not a good mix of friends but Jen, Amanda, and Holly prove that it can be a great combination as they all have assets to strengths to bring to the group. It is true what they say that their idea of doing what they've done is addicting.

Awoke the morning of the 25th anxious to read the last chapter wondering what happened to The Lost Girls after their year long trip together. If only..........unfortunately I fear now I am too old to comfortably stay in hostels and do bunjee jumps but it was nice to live vicariously through Jen, Amanda and Holly. I'm now following their blog and encouraged to see they are still doing what they can to help those in need in other countries as well as the U.S. There's mention of a TV series. I think it would be hit and hope it happens. Best of luck girls!!!

One statement that Amanda makes in Chapter 25 is so sad but so true. She really hit the nail on the head with, "And therein lies the tourism paradox: the greater a destination's popularity, the less authentic it becomes."
Profile Image for Holly (2 Kids and Tired).
1,032 reviews9 followers
May 14, 2011
Taking a sabbatical and traveling sounds fun. Any traveling is fun, I can attest to that. And, taking a year off of work and life could be a fascinating experience. Jen, Holly and Amanda did just that and traveled the world, seeking adventure. This memoir is told from their alternating perspectives and narratives. The book is refreshingly honest and they hold nothing back when it comes to conflicts and issues between them.

There are some fun anecdotes and a lot of drama. I would have liked less drama and boyfriend issues as I never came to care about these girls and their personal lives, but I was curious about the places they visited.

I also think I would have related more to this if I was a single, 20-something searching for adventure. I'm a 40-something wife and mother who has traveled a bit and is quite happy with her life as it is. We do plan more traveling as our children get a little older and I love reading about adventures or experiences in places I'd like to visit. What I didn't like and could have done without was all the details and information about parties and pubs and exploits. None of that added to my enjoyment of this memoir.

I think fans of books like Eat, Pray, Love will enjoy this. It wasn't one that particularly resonated with me.
348 reviews
March 14, 2017
This is a "privileged white girls visit developing countries and discover how privileged they really are" type memoir, but it is a good read. I most enjoyed the descriptions of the places they visited and the lives of the people there. I also appreciate that the authors did visit almost solely developing countries and that they really made an effort to find organizations and businesses that would benefit locals. Also they also engaged in typical hostel partying along the way, they felt like thoughtful travelers. I definitely liked and related to Holly the most. What bothered me the most was the book's heteronormativity, especially in the chapters of Amanda and Jen. A good read however.
Profile Image for Stephanie Froebel.
313 reviews22 followers
June 17, 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with these girls (metaphorically) through the pages of this book. Their writing is very engaging and read like a fiction story.

My criticism starts with distinguishing differences in writing styles between Amanda, Jen, and Holly, especially in the beginning. I grew to know and understand each person (honestly better than any three-way split-perspective fiction book I have read), but it is important to note this lack of clarity when initially starting the book. I also found myself wanting more, but also less. I found the transitions between countries missing as they often jumped in the timeline (which makes sense to condense the narrative to fit one book but could have been done better). I also wanted more self-reflection or knowledge regarding the countries they visited. How did these stunning landmarks look? How did they make each person feel?

Overall, this book proved to me that backpack travelling is so doable for any phase of life and any person, and can be done alone or with friends. The hardest part seems just to get started. I think my next step is to read more step-by-step books or travel guides to educate myself and feel comfortable making that first step for myself.
Profile Image for Nadia A.
67 reviews9 followers
May 18, 2011
This book is just what I needed to inspire me to make my 40 before 40 list ( a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40 ). Its a book about friendship, travel, inspiration, and discovering who you are.

Three friends (Jennifer, Holly and Amanda) are on vacation in Brazil talking about all the dreaded work that they have to face once they return to NYC and they are most definitely not looking forward to any of it. Jokingly, they discuss what it would be like to take off for one whole year and just travel around the world.
They would finally be able to really see the world and all it has to offer, whilst searching for the inspiration needed in helping them to decide what it is they truly want to be doing with their lives - such as, figuring out if they are on the right career path. Plus, they would be able to achieve some of their dreams, like hiking the Inca Trail, volunteering in Kenya, training to become a yoga teacher and hanging out with the Maasai. One whole year of travel could really change their lives.

Of course, talking about it is one thing. Could these three successful and career-driven women really choose to give up their jobs and lives in NYC for one whole year? Would they be willing to risk what they had worked so hard for in order to take time out for themselves? Yes, they could and yes, they would.

Not long after their vacation in Brazil, Jennifer, Amanda and Holly meet up to discuss turning their year long dream trip into a reality - ASAP! Soon they are sketching out an itinerary of all the places they want to visit and how long they want to spend at each place, along with figuring out how much money it will take to make this trip come to fruition. They also begin to realize just how much this trip will cost them with regards to their careers and personal relationships. Filled with excitement and fear, they book their tickets and are soon packing their bags and headed to their first stop - Peru!

Talk about a fun, interesting and inspiring read. Not only do we get to know Jennifer, Amanda and Holly as they take us along their year long journey, but we also get to learn about all of these new and exciting places they get to visit. Its as if we are right alongside them on this journey of self-discovery - we get to hear about all the yucky roaches, their restroom rating system and the language barriers that cropped up from time to time. We also get to read about their adventures as they trek through jungles, meditate at a yoga retreat, dance til dawn at nightclubs, and sleep on grungy beds in hostels. From the people they meet to the way a sunset makes them feel, we begin to notice the changes slowly taking place within these women and the fact that they are starting to realize just how lucky they are in their lives already. Of course, along the way there are arguments, hugs, lots of laughter and an overall appreciation for one another.

A true testament to friendship, this book really does provide a genuine feel of what these three women mean to each other and what this year means to them; which makes me glad that they decided to chronicle their year of travel. I found this book to be interesting, fun and inspirational. Its made me take stock of what I have in my life and also what it is that I want to get out of life. Of course, its made me want to travel, too. All in all, this is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone interested in reading about friendship, travel and self-discovery.
140 reviews20 followers
June 13, 2010
I enjoyed this book because I love travel writing, although I think a much more apt title would be "The Guilt Trip," in both the literal and figurative sense. Instead of including some of the more adventurous elements of their around the world trip, there was way too much focus on the girl's relationships and the "humanitarian" parts of their trip. The latter was fine, but you got the sense that instead of learning and absorbing their experiences in developing countries, they instead felt overwhelming guilt that they abetted by pouring money into local organizations or people. That was nice, and I appreciated that, but it was so annoying when they would allude to things I would have liked to read about in a single sentence. In short, the thread of the story isn't very coherent and there doesn't seem to be an overriding conflict or moral of the story. Plus, the part in Brazil made me squirm, between some really massive mistakes about Rio and generally disappointing stories. I also was irritated by the girl's views on New York - it's not impossible to live here without becoming a workaholic. I don't think it took a year long trip to realize that - quitting their jobs and being forced to find something else probably would have sufficed.
Profile Image for Sara.
54 reviews
May 16, 2012
I was attracted to this book because I love traveling and I thought it would be fun to read about other young women's adventures around the world. I enjoyed the book and added some places I would like to go to my very long list! The book was a collection of stories written from the point of view of each of the girls. I liked one of the author's style of writing and point of view over the other two. Sometimes I felt like the descriptions and the adjectives used were right out of the thesaurus. It seemed too forced/faked. I found myself not looking forward to the stories written by the other two as much. I was also especially surprised that the girls commited to taking this one year journey, but spent the time and the money to travel home several times during that year. In my opinion, if you take the "once in a lifetime" opportunity to travel around the world for a year, you dont spend the time and the money to visit home! Anyway thats just me. I hope someday I am able to take a journey like this!
Profile Image for Kayla.
14 reviews
December 5, 2020
I was hoping to enjoy this book because I love travel but I didn’t relate to the authors at all. I kept reading in the hopes that it would all come together to create a bigger and better story but it fell flat. The book was written by three authors, but their voices were all so similar that I could not keep track of whose section I was reading. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time finishing this one.
Profile Image for Carly Randolph.
71 reviews2 followers
July 13, 2021
A perfect book for fulfilling your wanderlust. Filled with harrowing adventure, deep self-discovery, and true friendship. I’m ready to jet set around the world!
Profile Image for Christian.
26 reviews14 followers
February 27, 2011
“Three friends, four continents” is the cover tagline of this rewarding, if lengthy, account of modern independent travel – our guides Amanda, Jen and Holly launch themselves several zip codes outside their comfort zones, then write it all down.

The eponymous lost girls are three New York-based media sector worker-bees whose (frankly scary) ambition has perceptibly shifted into promotion and career success, but share a nagging worry that the corporate hamster wheel might not be the One True Path. It opens with the trio on a typical US-style vacation – equal parts of enjoying the travel experience and worrying if their employers might decide that workers who take vacation time aren’t what the business needs – Jen’s description of taking ten days off work as being like a “prison break” is something few Europeans but many Americans will understand. Captivated by their holiday pleasures, the age-old “what if this holiday never ended” conversation starts. The difference of course, is these girls actually followed through with the dream…

Unsurprisingly, cool travel tales abound – Amazonian jungle exploration in Peru, giving a little back at a Kenyan school, two very different sides of modern India (Goa’s party scene versus a month of ashram discipline), treading the well-worn South East Asian backpacker trail and adrenalin tourism in New Zealand all keep the narrative brisk. It’s not all cargo pants, dodgy toilets and rucksacks though – Jen, Holly and Amanda are definitely more Prada than Patagonia, so the nightclubs of Lima and Rio get thoroughly explored, along with the realities, disappointments, dangers and possibilities of the backpacker dating scene.

Thankfully, a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour just about counters the feelings of green-eyed envy their adventure will arouse in most readers – buying a copy of “How to Pack” in preparation for a round-the-world trip is a great idea, but actually taking it with you on the road? Epic fail Holly…

So, “The Lost Girls” could potentially have been a fluffy, skin-deep travelogue pitched solidly at the younger end of the soccer mom demographic – pure concentrated escapism denied to most by America’s “work is everything” cultural orthodoxy. But, what rescues this from such pleasant inanity is an acceptance of how a year on “holiday” isn’t all sweetness and light – we get an insight into the darker aspects – the sexual safety of women travellers, tensions between hedonism and credit card limits, and how to stay sane when long-term travelling with friends.

Holly, Jen and Amanda take turns at the book’s 30-odd chapters and each develops a clear authorial voice. Technically, Amanda is the most accomplished writer of the three, but loses brownie points for starting out as an annoying, career-obsessed machine who just can’t let go, an introduction which gives real depth and traction to the inner journey she then experiences during the year away. Her travel mates similarly relate how their characters and motivations are challenged and changed by their shared experience in a warm, but not excessively confessional tone – “Eat, Pray, Love” is the elephant in the room which is surprisingly easy to ignore.

Downsides? There’s a little too much backstory re: boyfriends back home / past loves, and intermissions back in the US prevent a clean narrative “voyage” from emerging. But, these are details – “The Lost Girls” is a likeable story of travel, friendship and personal growth which is well worth a read. The irony is, there’s one market this book won’t reach, and that’s travellers themselves – sorry girls, at 542 pages, it’s just too heavy for the backpack…
373 reviews3 followers
November 7, 2015
i have mixed feelings on this book, an impossible-not-to-compare-to-eat-pray-love travel memoir by 3 girls in their mid 20s. they quit their life-consuming ny media jobs, dumped their boyfriends, and went to see the world for a year. on one hand, i do think that travel is the best form of education, and when i met jen and amanda at our book club discussion of this book, they related that since the trip they’ve become advocates for “gap years” and spend time educating potential travelers on how to do it on the cheap. their point of view: take a couple years from your retirement days, intersperse them throughout your career, and have some adventures while you’re still young. i like that mindset, and their route was one i’d want to recreate, with stints in south america, south east asia, australia, and a volunteering experience in kenya that was fairly moving. at the same time, the girls didn’t seem to learn a whole lot from the trip, and in general there didn’t seem to be a single motivating plot/resolution that made me want to keep reading.

verdict: you’ll get a preview of off the beaten track travel destinations, but plenty of people do that better.
Profile Image for Barbara Nutting.
2,675 reviews84 followers
January 20, 2021
This read like a corny Chick Lit novel. The dialogue was excruciating- they sounded like demented teens. Jen, Holly and Amanda are three women, not girls as the title indicates. I got to page 365 and needed a break from this overlong excursion.

The book was filled with more of their work and boyfriend problems than travel. It was impossible to keep them straight, they cried, whined and acted like kids in all the same ways. What adult would jump up and down on a hotel bed in glee?

Some of the travel spots were interesting, but everywhere seemed very touristy and overrun with fellow travelers. It made me glad I was safely at home hoping to avoid COVID-19!

I need a trip to the library to restock my shelf - too many losers so far this year!
Profile Image for Chrissy.
147 reviews14 followers
April 30, 2011
One of the things I like best about this book is that the women aren't afraid to admit their own biases and mistakes when traveling around the world for a year. My eyes were opened by their struggles and I added a few places to my life travel list. I also crossed a few places OFF my list (I'm looking at you, India!).

Great for women who have cases of wanderlust (as I often do!).
Profile Image for Jennifer.
10 reviews
November 8, 2012
I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I'd read it fifteen years ago.
Profile Image for Alex Wheeler.
270 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2018
Wow I LOVED this book!!! This spoke to me in so many ways. I was right there with those girls on wanting to quit my job and travel the world for a year to find myself and figure out what I truly want. My trip to Iceland was intended that way, and like these girls, we didn’t really get all of that out of the intentions.
I’ve never really been interested too much in seeing Thailand until I read this book. The trip to Laos sounded magical and perfect, I wrote every place down so I could do it myself too!
Yoga schooling in India, volunteering with a girl’s school in Kenya, surfing in Australia...man I just sounds like my kind of adventures that I CANNOT WAIT for! I loved vicariously through these women. Absolutely loved hearing their stories and understanding so much about them because they are so much like me. I loved every minute. And totally have the travel bug again now.
August 29, 2022
This book made me really reflect on my time backpacking 4 years ago. It made me think of just how different my experience as a 20 year old solo backpacker was. The support system these girls has allowed them to take risks and make careless mistakes which I could not. Hearing them talk about their trip and comparing it to mine was very interesting. It of course made me want to travel more again, but their experience was so different from mine that it almost feels incomparable. This book probably isn't a 4-star read but because of my personal attachment and relatability to the topic I have given it 4 starts.
Profile Image for Kristina.
865 reviews32 followers
September 5, 2018
I genuinely loved reading this book. It's not the same 5 star as I would give my favorites but I enjoyed more than a 4 star so whatever. I had so much fun learning about the places Holly, Jen, and Amanda traveled to, and I liked that they traveled to places a little bit unconventional/that I didn't know much about. I cannot imagine traveling around the world with just a backpack for a whole freakin year, especially doing the things they did (bungee jumping, hiking, scuba diving) and living in the hostels with noisy people. Nope. Their friendship was such a nice part of the book and they write in the style of magazine article writing, friendly and descriptive while still getting their point across. They had cool adventures and meaningful opportunities and I had fun living vicariously through them, while knowing I would NEVER in a million years do the same.
Profile Image for Kayce.
336 reviews1 follower
July 24, 2018
As someone who recently went on her first international trip, the list of places I want to see has done nothing but grow since I got home. I find myself drawn to books set in international locations now so that I can discover and explore places I may never get to in my lifetime. After all the world IS pretty big and I am 35 years late getting started. I loved everything about this book and the journey and the realizations and epiphanies the girls had at each location. Travel helps us on a path of self discovery we didn't even realize we needed to take. I highly recommend this book to anyone with the travel bug.
336 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2021
I applaud the writer and her friends for taking on such an an amazing adventure and I admire their chutzpah, but honestly, I felt like I was on a novel length tour of “Dear Diary” to 17 Magazine. The writing was too sparse for a good book and far too “oomigod” for a serious journalistic endeavor.
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