I guess you could consider this a book review, but that sounds fancier than I’m willing to stretch this. I honestly just feel like openly chatting about a book I recently finished (as in last night at 2AM). Not all books I read leave me yearning to become the authors best friend. Sometimes when I read the last page, I have larger questions in my head after being immersed in a fictitious life. But memoir is different. It’s a retelling of someones life experiences. Yes, it may be embellished, but you’re getting to know the author first hand. Which is why after finishing The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Freidman, I immediately Googled her, found her website and starting skimming more of her pieces of writing. I tend to have this problem when I read because I always want to become best friends with these unattainable people. Like hey, how’s it going, can we hang out and eat Oreos all night?
The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost is a travel memoir about a young Rachel, who decides at the age of 20, to leave her American life and the expectations that come with that. Before her senior year of college, Rachel moves to Galway where she spends her summer working in a pub and drinking copious amounts of Guinness. Sounds great right? There Rachel meets Carly, a travel guru and major adventurer from Australia. Flash forward a year a half, and Rachel receives her college diploma, a piece of paper that weighs the amount of all of her fears and doubts for the future. Then she gets a call from Carly and decides to visit her in Australia. The rest is an account of Rachel’s life in Australia, her insecurities and contemplations about life post graduation, and a extremely treacherous but adventure filled trip to South America with Carly.
Are you starting to see the connection here? If not, I’ll spell it out for you. Having recently graduated, moved back home, and started working as a part-time waitress and nanny, I jumped when I read this books description. A 20-something with a degree and no clue what to do next? HELLLLOOOO. sounds like me and about half the American population of 20-somethings that graduated in 2015, 2014, 2013…you get it. I hoped to find a little encouragement in this memoir. Maybe a little reassurance that I’m O.K. where I am right now. Deep down I know I am. I’m settled in my life right now and with other options on the horizon, I really, truly am not freaking out. At least not most days. And when I do, there’s always a friend to call and a bottle of Cabernet to drink.
So rest assured, I was mostly intrigued by Rachel’s ballz to travel ALONE. There’s no safety net in traveling alone, no shoulder to cry on when your luggage gets lost, or your wallet stolen, or your flight cancelled, or your bowel movements go for a roller coaster ride (yes, these are the things I worry about, especially that last one). Anyway, what I loved about this book, was that Rachel let her fears hang out like laundry on the line. Every misstep, every curve ball, you got to read the panic, the thoughts in her head and the revelations when she came back down from it. What I loved was that through these experiences you got the sense that she was really trying to live in the moment. That’s something I’m always striving for in my life, and through travel, I can see the importance of it even more so. I’m itching for an adventure like Rachel’s. I have fears and inhibitions, but that’s the whole point right? Right.
“What I found on the road was a tiny piece of myself, the one I kept unknowingly sheltered for so long in order to play the many roles I thought were mine.” -Rachel Friedman