With the countdown until I hit Europe for a few weeks of travel ticking down to 10 months, I’ve been lapping up all the information I can get. I’m a planner, and I’ll be explaining more about that in a future post. But alongside the serious planning, I’ve been reading as much about travel experiences as I can. Blogs have been my main source, but I’m dying to read more travel memoirs. The first book I’ve picked up that isn’t a guide is How Not To Travel The World by Lauren Juliff, a book that I devoured in just a few short sittings (and I probably would’ve read in one go if that little thing called work didn’t get in my way).
How Not To Travel The World is a book about an anxiety-ridden girl whose never been away without her family before, let alone by herself. She had very limited taste in food and she’d just had her heart broken. After 5 years of saving through university (which is a feat in itself), she bought a one way ticket and prepared for the best time of her life.
Except it didn’t go as planned – when does it ever? Her first few months were a disaster. She was scammed, she saw an unsolicited penis (is it worse seeing it in real life rather than over Snapchat? I think so) and she had an interesting massage in Thailand. Wait, there’s more.
Even when she meets a mysterious travel blogger from New Zealander and learns to slow down, she still goes through issues of falling into rice paddies, almost dying on a motorbike and getting caught up in tsunami. Yes, Lauren did have a tough few months travelling.
But this book is more than just her struggles as a first time traveller. It’s a love story, and not in the traditional sense. Reading through Lauren’s travel failures leads to us reading through her successes. Whilst discovering how not to travel the world, Lauren discovered exactly how she should be travelling. Wide eyed and open to anything. And that’s how I want to travel.
The day I finished this book, I stopped saying ‘one day’ and started saying ‘today’. Within 10 hours of completing How Not To Travel The World I’d booked myself a day trip to Brighton (somewhere I’d been dying to go for years), and added £20 to my Europe fund in addition to what I’d already put in. I’ve also been lapping up her her blog to continue learning from her expert knowledge!
When I’m off in Europe in 10 months time, I’m not going to care about the latest beauty launch. When struggling with language barriers, I’m not going to be interested in that one takeaway I didn’t have (or need) in September. I’m ready to grab the bull by the horns and see as much of the world as I can before I have too many responsibilities to do it.
Thanks to the brilliant How Not To Travel The World, I’m ready to fall in love with travel the way Lauren did and it’s a must read if you want to do the same. Of course I’m bloody terrified about doing it, but I’m determined for the adrenaline to keep me going. And with that, I’m off to put another tenner in my saving pot.