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Rachel Friedman was a university student who had a plan in place to graduate, intern, get a job, get married, and so on. Unfortunately, she felt unfulfilled somehow with this plan. There was something in her life she was missing but couldn’t figure out what.

On a whim, she bought a plane ticket to Ireland and goes there without any travel plans at all. She winged it for the first time in her life and stays in Ireland for three months. She meets Carly, a free-spirited Australian, who convinces Rachel to travel to Australia and South America.

I don’t usually read travel writing, but this book caught my eye because I know a lot of people who are like Friedman (but she is definitely on the extreme of the spectrum, focusing way too much on a plan for her entire life that she doesn’t even enjoy). I felt the places she went to are less popular than maybe continental Europe or Africa, definitely unconventional.

It was a good book, but it felt like Friedman was always holding back. We don’t even know how close she gets to Carly until the end. I would have liked to see the importance of her friendship earlier on. Otherwise, it’s just these two girls who might not even be friends travelling together.

Also, Friedman would only refer to men in passing. I understand that any romantic entanglements weren’t the focus on her book, but it would have added much-needed colour to her story. It went like “I went to such-and-such place, then I realized I was wrong in my life plan, then I decided to change it for the better. Repeat.”

I guess what I’m getting at is she needed to take less focus on her – even though it is interesting, after 400 pages, it just sounds pretentious – and put more focus on the relationships she was building with her friends or fellow travellers.

It was an okay book, not as strong as I was hoping. The next travel book I plan to read is complementary to Good Girl’s Guide called The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett. The subtitle pretty much says it all and hopefully it will be better than Good Girl’s Guide.

Rating:

{  } Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{x} All right
{  } Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 36 out of 60

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