It seemed fitting that I read The Lost Girls in July, both in honor of vacations and of the travel writer who will be speaking to us this month. If you're looking for both a worthwhile piece of travel writing and a great memoir, you need to read this book.
Title: The Lost Girls
Authors: Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, Amanda Pressner
Summary: Three friends with a serious case of the travel bug decide to dump their lives--quit their jobs, put their relationships on hold, and kiss their families good-bye--in order to travel the world for a year. Over the course of the trip, all three girls learn a little about life and a lot about themselves.
Review: I enjoyed this book because it's not just a dry travel guidebook--all three girls take turns as narrator, recalling how they felt/behaved in certain situations. The friends travel to 4 continents--South America (Peru and Brazil), Africa (Kenya), Asia (India, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Bali, and Cambodia), and Australia/New Zealand--and are exposed to wildly different cultures than their own. They face language and cultural barriers, but make the most of every opportunity and jump headfirst into new experiences. They bungee jump in Australia, volunteer in Kenya, and study yoga at an ashram in India, to name a few. Along the way, they do some heavy thinking about their futures and how their lives will change when they get back to the States, but more importantly, they realize that they do have control over their futures and that hanging on to something--whether it's a 60-hour a week job or a lackluster relationship that's just not working anymore--usually isn't worth it in the long run.
As I read this book I had a serious urge to hop on a plane and have an adventure of my own. An excellent summer read.