I had never heard about this author before reading the book and now I'm interested to read her blog to read some of her other travel adventures in detail (since the book could only cover so much).
What would you do if you decided to quit your comfy life and travel full-time with no end date in sight? That is what Kim and Brian (her husband) did. But just before they go on their travel they are given an yellow envelope from a friend which has money in it and they are told to give away the money following the three rules (don't overthink it, share your experiences if you want, don't feel pressed to give it all away). Which may seem easy but it's hard especially since you are travelling.
If you are thinking or dreaming about travelling for a length of time that doesn't have an end time, or you are no wanting to do what all the tourists do then consider reading this book.
The pacing felt right, the author in some spots could have kept going on in more detail but didn't.
The book begins with a story then later in the book it comes back to that story, which felt confusing and I had to stop reading and try to figure out what part of the story I was in. Once I did I almost wanted to go back and read the story at the beginning again to get context.
I do hope the author writes another book which I liked her style of writing.
There are some awesome quotes that come from this book (which may have some spoilers):
"Even if we were doing some irrevocable damage to our futures by taking this trip, at least the yellow envelope guaranteed that something good would come out of it."
"It dawned on me that I was doing that annoying thing that tourists do when they’re trying to speak to someone in a foreign country. I talked slowly and emphatically, though not, unfortunately, in the native language."
"But even if it was, I just couldn’t help myself, because I was overcome with an incredible sense of freedom. Standing there in the middle of a little Ecuadorian town, sopping wet and laughing, I wasn’t sure that I’d ever felt so alive."
"Finally, one of them said, with a bit of condescension, “Kim’s never made a mistake in her life.” At the time I’d shrugged off the comment, but I couldn’t let it go. It haunted me as I lay in bed at night dreaming of changing my life. My coworker had been wrong about me. I’d made the biggest mistake of all: I’d spent my entire life playing it safe."
"It was stupid to think that there was some grand purpose for my life. All I wanted was to close my eyes and wake up in my own bed, take a shower in my own bathroom and have an easy life again."
"I wondered if maybe that wasn’t a blessing. The teams ahead of us were cruising along without problems, but they were missing out on something incredible: the extraordinary kindness that appeared out of nowhere each time that we broke down."
"But I was angry too. Because I didn’t want it to be the way it was. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted to be happy. But I’d ignored the truth, and it’d gotten me nowhere."
"Those things had always been there! But I had never seen them. The same was true of everything in my life. I’d upturned so many rocks, scavenged like the starving for the missing pieces of myself, just to learn that I’d held them all along."
"“This would be a good time to have an invisibility cloak,” said Brian, as he slung his backpack onto his shoulders."
"It occurred to me that so many of those vacationers never left home, even while away. They wanted the comforts of home repackaged in a foreign land. They had traveled to a different country, but they wanted to stay in a world they knew. Travelers wanted to enter other worlds. That was the difference."
"More than once I’d lamented to Brian about how backward I thought it was that our culture accepted that people spent lots of money on houses and new cars and buried themselves under mountains of debt but that saving up a modest pile of cash and then spending it on traveling could be considered irresponsible and selfish."
"Our yellow envelope donations were not changing the world, but I hoped that by doing something intentional and kind, no matter how small, they might change the energy that the recipient released into it. "