The Books That Got Me Here

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”  –Henry David Thoreau

I’m a bookworm, first and foremost. I keep this love to myself mostly. My friends (bless their hearts) have no interest in any of the classic literature that I so dearly love. James Joyce. Jane Austen. Shakespeare. J.K. Rowling (see how I threw you a curveball there?). You could say my nerd level is pretty high.

I truly committed to making this trip happen the summer after I graduated from college. I always wanted to travel, but just wasn’t sure how to make it work. I worked at Nordstrom, then took a temp job (disastrous), and finally in an unexpected blessing, got a job as a Social Media Producer at an amazing company who graciously is giving me a six week leave to go travel (incredible, right? More on that later).

As I was going through all this,there were three books that got me through it, each in different times. They were both inspiring and practical in their advice, kicking my butt into action when I doubted that I would be able to pull this trip off.

Delaying the Real World, Colleen Kinder
In my opinion, the best title ever. 😉 The author is a Yale graduate who has spent the last few years living in Cuba, traveling through Latin America, and volunteering with the elderly. The book is filled with tips, ideas, resources and programs you can use to create your own post-graduate adventure. I read this my junior year of college; it implanted the travel bug in me.

The Lost Girls, Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett & Amanda Pressner
Three best friends take a year off in their thirties, leaving boyfriends, careers and family to traverse the entire globe. The best part? It’s a true story. This one inspired me, and strengthened my resolve and desire to travel. I passed the book onto Emily, who is reading it now.

Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring, Tom Masters
The fun part! I received this as a Christmas gift from my parents (who also bought me my backpack), and has been instrumental as I plan my trip. It breaks down Europe by country and then city and has everything imaginable from hostels to eateries and train information. Truly essential, it is the one book I will take with me on my trip.

These are the books that got me from an idea to a concrete trip, straight from an English nerd to you. Hope they help! Thanks for tuning in.

Delaying the Real World -Colleen Kinder  Lonely Planet Europe On a Shoestring    The Lost Girls

Happy Travels,
Erin

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Why I’m Traveling.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

I graduated from college this year. With that came a barrage of overwhelming decisions that I wasn’t quite prepared to deal with. My experience is nothing new or revolutionary the “coming-of-age” saga is one of the more overdone sentiments. However, this experience that is universal to every individual is a uniquely defining one.

Some friends are going onto medical school, getting their M.B.A., and applying to law school. I have a slightly less acute focus. I studied English and Communication; an area I love but left my career path less defined that say, the Pre-Med major. I love to write more than anything. The power of words, when developed poignantly, is a beautifully intelligent thing. Whatever I end up doing, writing will be a part of my career. Beyond that, I have no clue where my life is heading.

A few months of anxiety later, I have chosen to embrace that sentiment and enjoy it. My English teacher in high school once told me that this was an amazing time because I have “the most freedom with the least responsibility.” No mortgage, no kids, no husband to consider in my plans. I have the freedom to do exactly what I want. What a great outlook.

I love how Jack Kerouac phrases the above quote; “we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” There will always be someplace to go, something that needs to be crossed off the to-do list. Our suitcases will always be battered, there will always be obstacles to deal with. The important thing is that you establish the terms by which you tackle life. I am choosing to travel.

Here’s the lowdown. Six weeks. Six countries. My partner in crime is Emily, or Crazy Spoon as I affectionately call her sometimes, a dear friend from college. She is incredibly down to earth and an absolute sweetheart; the ideal travel partner to embark on an adventure with. We have bought our tickets and picked the countries. Now, we’re onto hostels and actually planning our routes. We’ll update you right to the day we leave, and throughout our trip.

Can’t wait to share this experience with you! Thanks for reading. Whatever your journey is, happy travels to all.

Em & I

Me and my partner in crime. 🙂

Cheers, Erin