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

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,893 ratings  ·  292 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, 295 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Bantam
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3.79  · 
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 ·  2,893 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, travel
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
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Camille Dent
Mar 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked up this book when I couldn't find Eat, Pray, Love anywhere in my local bookstore, but I was in the mood for a good travel story.
Tip: do not substitute this book for Eat, Pray, Love if you can't find it in your bookstore. I can guarantee you it will be worth the wait, and I haven't even read it yet.

This is the first book I've ever given 1 star. I honestly did not learn anything useful from this book, and none of my memories of her travels are very clear or meaningful. I read this book ov
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. It's a cute read, nothing awful but nothing necessarily spectacular. In the beginning her naïveté was a bit annoying although she does grow through her travels. Oh and the chapter introductions where she refers to herself as "our heroine" were super annoying and accompanied each chapter. She wasn't MY heroine in any sense of the word and to call yourself a heroine produces multiple eye rolls from me.

In the book, as a backpacker, she talks a lot about at hostels how they hav
Kamila Dk
Nov 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
Dear Rachel Friedman,
the poet Gabriel Mistral you mention on p. 268 is actually Gabriela Mistral -a female, just for your record. 1945 Nobel Prize winner.
Also your remark on p. 157 about you not speaking Austrian - well, guess what? No one does. The language spoken in Austria is actually German.
Please check you facts next time.
I was rather disappointed with this book - a description of accommodation and means of travel rather than a travelogue. It failed to captivate me.
Maybe ok for someone who
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure is a heart-warming and funny story of self-evolution and mateship, as defined through travel.

Following her parents’ divorce and subsequent remarriage to new partners, Friedman decides to spend the summer before her last year of college travelling alone in Ireland to best avoid them all. Landing in Dublin, she quickly realises that living in hostels on your own is harder and more lonelie
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
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, travel
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
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
..."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
Nicole {Sorry, I'm Booked}
Review originally published on my blog:

I absolutely loved this travel memoir!

Friedman’s stories about her travels provide a look into what’s like to travel alone, the good along with the not so good. I really liked this about Friedman’s travel memoir because she was truthful about her experiences instead of twisting things or leaving pieces out to make it seem like everything was awesome and super glamorous when traveling isn’t always like that.

Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The author has that rare talent to be able to relate an uproariously funny story from her memory to the written word. Her trials and triumphs on the road (literally) to discovering herself had me laughing and cheering for her the entire way. I am lucky enough to have a Carly in my life so I can totally relate to the friendship formed while traveling but solidified by shared experience. A truly great read.
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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...
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
There are rocky parts to this book, but it finishes strong (especially when I know it's a true story! I enjoy discovering someone's experiences and it encourages me to travel too! I would recommend this to anyone who loves to travel.
Maggie Hurst
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
My love of traveling is the only thing that made this book bearable. The author's voice was immature and the writing was mind numbingly formulaic. I might recommend this book to young, less experienced readers to get them excited about traveling, but everyone else should steer clear.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Rachel always did what was expected of her until one day she didn't. She flew to Ireland and spent the summer in Galway. There she meets Carly who becomes a roommate, friend, and future travel companion. At first I wasn't impressed since it seems that Rachel's stint was one drinking stint after another. But when Carly invited Rachel to visit her Australian family I became more impressed. I enjoyed her Australian adventures and her new family. Rachel grows up and becomes more confident. Carly and ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was charming and full of feel-good adventure. I loved the authors lighthearted take on not knowing what path to take. My nostalgia for Peru and the excitement for upcoming adventures in Ireland and Australia were quenched by her tales.
Katharine Rudzitis
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Memorable locations and activities throughout. This might make you want to travel more...
Cody Alana
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and not just because I found it relatable, but when I finished, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend.
Sharn Dhah
Jun 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
The voice is initially what turned me off to this book. Snobby white girl from an upper middle class family travels the globe and meets people who are far less privileged and still doesn't understand their lives very well. There is a point where Friedman is in Peru and explains the native marriage traditions, where a bride cuts her hair and the groom weaves it into a belt that he will wear. It sounds romantic, but Friedman only analyzes it on the most superficial level, "Does she wonder how her ...more
Jessica Journey
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this three-part story of how an anxious, Type-A college grad found a new home and, in many ways, a new personality after her decision to live abroad without a real plan. Author Rachel Friedman has acquired buckets of knowledge and experience and learned there is much value in bucking the norms of what we're "supposed" to do as middle-class Americans. What if there's something better, or simply, something else? It's a question I'm pondering myself.

The third section, that of Friedman's
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. After reading it, I want to sell everything, pack a bag and set off to some destination (any destination really, but Australia is mighty appealing). I am in awe of Rachel & Carly... slightly jealous of their adventures... and this is only lessened by the empowering message: I can do it too.

I can't recommend this book enough. As a fan of travel memoirs, I can tell you this is one of the better ones. Friedman does a great job weaving in factual information abo
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
When will I learn that I'm too old to fully appreciate memoirs of globe trotting twenty somethings with English degrees finding themselves? There certainly seems to be a market for the genre.

Rachel Friedman's account of wanderings in Ireland, Australia and South America is less self indulgent and less sloppily written than many similar books. However, I'm still puzzled as to what I was to gain from this read except from travel tales of bed bugs, gropers, food poisoning and inadequate budgeting.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I always try to read a book during finals week that makes me feel like I am somewhere else entirely. This book is a good example of that genre as it follows the author's travels to Ireland, Australia, and South America immediately before and after her college graduation as she decides what she wants to do with her life. My cousin was in the Peace Corps after she graduated from college (and coincidentally met her husband in Bolivia, a detail somewhat similar to this author) and I was struck by th ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
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...
Tahni Candelaria
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book! I thought it was interesting enough, but I couldn't finish it because I was annoyed by the writing. A metaphor or simile every sentence. I don't even know how that's possible, but she has done it. :/
Jenny Gendel
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-narrative
Was a great book. Its what I wish I had the guts to do. Along with a few other things.
April Lashbrook
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this memoir! It made me want to get a backpack and set off to who knows where.
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“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.” 6 likes
“I imagine the people whose lives are most intertwined with mine, and I realize life has gone on without me. The planet has not imploded because I, the girl who has always done what is expected of her, decided not to, just this once.” 6 likes
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