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The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World

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What Would You Do with a Yellow Envelope? After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they're given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away.Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and What Would You Do with a Yellow Envelope? After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they're given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away.Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.


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What Would You Do with a Yellow Envelope? After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they're given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away.Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and What Would You Do with a Yellow Envelope? After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they're given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away.Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.

30 review for The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    Kim is unhappy with her job and life so decides to pack up with her husband and travel, following her life long dream of writing at the same time. When they're about to leave one of their other couple friends give them a yellow envelope with $1000 to give away on their travels at their discretion with the purpose of helping them learn to be more spontaneous and help those they meet along the way. While I can empathize with the ideas behind this book, I just personally didn't connect with it. A l Kim is unhappy with her job and life so decides to pack up with her husband and travel, following her life long dream of writing at the same time. When they're about to leave one of their other couple friends give them a yellow envelope with $1000 to give away on their travels at their discretion with the purpose of helping them learn to be more spontaneous and help those they meet along the way. While I can empathize with the ideas behind this book, I just personally didn't connect with it. A lot of us feel restless in our lives but doesn't make it such a big deal that you have to get up and take off and I just felt like Kim was being a little unreasonable. Also the whole yellow envelope theme was messy and didn't really run clearly through out the memoir to give it some sort of theme or meaning which was what I was lead to believe was the whole point of it. I think it's just hard for me to empathize with someone who has so much opportunity in life who can at whim go off to travel trying to get off on giving some poor person a few tens or trying to use that poor person's ability to hope for more to feel better about themselves. I don't think these people have bad intentions but if you really want to help people there are better ways that would actually give you a feeling of having a meaningful fulfilling life. Again I just don't think this book is meant for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    Kim Dinan decided that she needed a change. She persuaded her husband that they should both quit their jobs in Oregon, sell all their possessions, and travel around the world without any specific plan. Before leaving, close friends gave them a yellow envelope containing $1000 to be given away as they saw fit on their journey. The Yellow Envelope is Dinan’s memoir of that journey. This is another book that leaves me with a mix of likes and dislikes. I liked the premise, and found the places Dinan Kim Dinan decided that she needed a change. She persuaded her husband that they should both quit their jobs in Oregon, sell all their possessions, and travel around the world without any specific plan. Before leaving, close friends gave them a yellow envelope containing $1000 to be given away as they saw fit on their journey. The Yellow Envelope is Dinan’s memoir of that journey. This is another book that leaves me with a mix of likes and dislikes. I liked the premise, and found the places Dinan traveled to interesting, but I would have liked a travelogue that was more outward looking – focused on what Dinan and her husband saw and did, and the people they met during their travels. There was definitely some of that – each section has a country as its title and Dinan does talk about some of what they did. But The Yellow Envelope is very much focused on Dinan’s personal inner journey – what led her to make the decision to go on the trip, the intense struggles she had during the trip over her relationship with her husband, the inner challenges she faced in deciding who to give money to from the yellow envelope, and her surprise and delight at discovering how nice and generous people around the world are. To me, her memoir is peppered with too many inner emotional struggles and epiphanies. I’ve read a few memoirs recently, and I’ve been impressed with those that take me to a time or place that is unfamiliar to me, and that minimize the moments of reckoning in a way that allows them to feel meaningful. The Yellow Envelope felt more like a diary – Dinan’s very personal inner step by step rationalizations and attempts to understand her decisions and reactions throughout her period of travel. Unfortunately, this inner gaze didn’t always give me a good view of what she saw and did during her travels or a sense that she saw the people she met during her travels in all their dimensions. I suspect my reaction is a question of taste. Many people will be interested in Dinan’s decision to “give it all up” to travel and its attendant personal consequences. For me, it didn’t quite hit the mark. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    I love a good travel story. I believe I have this from my grandmother, who also loves to live vicariously through other travellers’ stories. So when I came across The Yellow Envelope, I knew I had to request it. The story takes us through South America, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam – but there’s something that makes this book a little more special: the yellow envelope. The concept of the yellow envelope is very simple: Kim and Brian were given an envelope of money by two good friends. The goal? I love a good travel story. I believe I have this from my grandmother, who also loves to live vicariously through other travellers’ stories. So when I came across The Yellow Envelope, I knew I had to request it. The story takes us through South America, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam – but there’s something that makes this book a little more special: the yellow envelope. The concept of the yellow envelope is very simple: Kim and Brian were given an envelope of money by two good friends. The goal? Spend it. Do good. Help out. But there were rules – to not overthink things, to share their experiences if they wanted to, and to not feel pressured to give it all away. This notion is a bit stressful at first because there were so many people who would benefit from their money, but eventually it became a gift of its own, and I really enjoyed that aspect. “The lines between what came from us and what came from the yellow envelope were blurred. Eventually we’d agreed that it didn’t really matter. The yellow envelope made us more aware of opportunities to give, and that awareness made us more charitable. Whether we were giving yellow envelope money or our own felt less important than the fact that we were giving at all.” The travel stories by themselves make for an entertaining read – for instance, Kim joins a helter-skelter rickshaw race all through India, and decides that maybe God is a sea turtle – the addition of the yellow envelope really gave the book some heart and soul. I love reading about random acts of kindness, so to read about them feeding dogs and helping children was really heart-warming and put many smiles on my face. “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.” This is definitely one of the better travel stories I’ve read. And yes, I am buying a copy for my grandmother. Thank you NetGalley / Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yodamom

    2.5 stars Dinan is unhappy with her successful life. She plays by the rules, went to school, got the job the marriage the way society expects success to look. She decides to leave it all, with her husband and go on an adventure with no end goal. She wants to travel, see different places and experience the world. her friends give her an envelope with some money in it to spend making the world better as she saw fit. So they go, and travel, but the book has little of the travel experience and focuse 2.5 stars Dinan is unhappy with her successful life. She plays by the rules, went to school, got the job the marriage the way society expects success to look. She decides to leave it all, with her husband and go on an adventure with no end goal. She wants to travel, see different places and experience the world. her friends give her an envelope with some money in it to spend making the world better as she saw fit. So they go, and travel, but the book has little of the travel experience and focuses on the emotional turmoil Dinan is dealing with. The book became an emotional inner dialog of Dinan, and her complaints. it felt like she was so focused on herself she missed everything going on around here. It was not what I was expecting from the blurb, I was looking for the travel experience. This is more of a emotional development read than a travel adventure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Kim and her husband decide ti quit their jobs and travel around the world. They are given a yellow envelope with instructions to give the money away. What a fantastic thing to be able to do. To give up everything you have and travel the world. Kim & Brian's relationship is often challenged during their adventure. This is a lovely written book. I would like to thank NetGalley, Source. books (Non-Fiction) and the author Kim Dinan for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. Kim and her husband decide ti quit their jobs and travel around the world. They are given a yellow envelope with instructions to give the money away. What a fantastic thing to be able to do. To give up everything you have and travel the world. Kim & Brian's relationship is often challenged during their adventure. This is a lovely written book. I would like to thank NetGalley, Source. books (Non-Fiction) and the author Kim Dinan for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    2.5 stars When Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs and travel the world, they are given a yellow envelope with $1000 to distribute to those they want to help in some way. They begin in South America and eventually make their way to India and other countries in Asia. Kim and Brian argue A LOT and that sadly was the focus far too often in the book. I think I was hoping for a book like I Will Always Write Back or even No Summit Out of Sight where the reader gains a lot of information and i 2.5 stars When Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs and travel the world, they are given a yellow envelope with $1000 to distribute to those they want to help in some way. They begin in South America and eventually make their way to India and other countries in Asia. Kim and Brian argue A LOT and that sadly was the focus far too often in the book. I think I was hoping for a book like I Will Always Write Back or even No Summit Out of Sight where the reader gains a lot of information and insight about the foreign locations in the book. While there is some of that here, the focus is really on Kim and how unhappy she frequently seems to be. Having the opportunity to take the time to travel the world is not something everyone experiences, and at times it was almost painful to read the complaining instead of witnessing her taking advantage of this wonderful trip. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel B

    Ugh. I expected so much more from this book. Dinan tells how she and her husband quit their jobs and left to travel the world. Some friends of theirs give them money to share with whomever they want while on their journey. Sounds intriguing, right?    Unfortunately, there is so much wrong with this book.     The author came across to me as a self-centered, entitled, prideful brat. She was constantly talking about the failures of others and viewed herself as a more enlightened person than others in g Ugh. I expected so much more from this book. Dinan tells how she and her husband quit their jobs and left to travel the world. Some friends of theirs give them money to share with whomever they want while on their journey. Sounds intriguing, right?    Unfortunately, there is so much wrong with this book.     The author came across to me as a self-centered, entitled, prideful brat. She was constantly talking about the failures of others and viewed herself as a more enlightened person than others in general, but especially when compared to other travelers.    While I expected this to be more of a travel memoir, she focuses so much on her contemplation of her own emotional issues that the reader never gets to experience much of the countries she visited.    The writing is clichéd and repetitive. She used the word "windy" to describe every single road she mentioned in the book.    To add to all of that, there was a decent amount of language included without good reason and a few sexual acts were referenced. While Dinan thankfully didn't go into detail, I didn't see how these things were really necessary to include at all – they certainly didn't add to the story.    This book was like the worst parts of Wild combined with the worst parts of The Kindness Diaries – and I gave each of those books only one star, also. I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Mann

    "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." Wow! Are you sure Kim Dinan was writing about her life and not mine? I have never been so moved, empowered and appreciative of a book EVER! Kim tells the story of how she and her husband Brian came to the decision to sell all their assets and travel the world for an undecided amount of time. Before leaving for their travels they were given a yellow envelope with "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." Wow! Are you sure Kim Dinan was writing about her life and not mine? I have never been so moved, empowered and appreciative of a book EVER! Kim tells the story of how she and her husband Brian came to the decision to sell all their assets and travel the world for an undecided amount of time. Before leaving for their travels they were given a yellow envelope with $1000 in it from their close friends Michele and Glenn with the sole purpose of using the money to pass on kindness. The money could be used all at once, in small amounts or not at all. Kim and Brian were to decide how and when to use the money and in doing so Michele and Glenn felt like they were on the journey too. It becomes clear very quickly that Kim has many inner demons and battles she has to face if she is ever to be truly happy and comfortable in her own skin. This is what resonated with me the most. I myself went travelling for 4 years and didn't realise at the time I was trying to find inner happiness. The message of this book is that inner happiness doesn't come from running to the other side of the world. It comes from being honest with yourself and facing your problems head on. It comes from identifying exactly what you want for your life and what you are going to do to achieve that. I myself have found true happiness in the place I ran away from. My happiness comes from my friends and family and I know now everything I could ever of wanted was always right there Infront of me. The feeling of needing to get away wasn't my towns fault or anyone else's fault it was me needing to accept who I am with all my flaws and to be the best possible person I can be and this is exactly what Kim needs to discover on her journey too. The story isn't just about Kim though. It describes all the amazing places she travels on her journey and most importantly the kind and heartwarming people she met on the way. It shows on more than one occasion that sometimes the people who have the least are the most likely to give the most and ways of lives we may look down our nose at, other people are content and happy with. This book came into my life at exactly the right time and it has filled me with so much passion and positivity for the future and life. I recommend it to anyone who has ever doubted their path or who has a passion for travelling. Thank you to Kim Dinan for sharing your personal journey with me and to net galley for the free e-copy in return for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vipul Murarka

    You read books you may like them. But there are very few books with which you can actually connect. The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan is one such book. Thanks to the publishers and NetGallery for providing me the ARC of this lovely book which I could relate with. It was my first time reading a travelogue and second time in a long time reading a memoir. When I had requested this book on NetGallery I actually thought that the book would be boring but because the synopsis appealed to me, I went ahea You read books you may like them. But there are very few books with which you can actually connect. The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan is one such book. Thanks to the publishers and NetGallery for providing me the ARC of this lovely book which I could relate with. It was my first time reading a travelogue and second time in a long time reading a memoir. When I had requested this book on NetGallery I actually thought that the book would be boring but because the synopsis appealed to me, I went ahead and requested the book. I am glad I did and read the book as well. It takes real guts to just give up your daily mundane life and travel. One needs to deal with a lot of things such as societal pressures, risks of not having a stable job, risk of risking your life for something that is just unknown and unpredictable. Kim took that risk and was supported by her husband who also left everything and the couple decided to travel. They say “All those who wander are not lost”. This quote fits aptly with the experiences that Kim has shared in the book. Probably this is the most honest book I have ever read till date. Kim has not been shy in stating what was going in her life, how (while they were travelling) she just wanted to leave her husband Brian despite being aware of the fact how much he had supported her in all walks of life. She discovered her truer self even more when she started travelling and how travelling made her mindful of her personal state. She didn’t lose herself but instead found what she really wanted from her life. Words have a tendency to spoil the feelings and thoughts but Kim chose just the perfect words to spill out her feelings. It is her first book and i am amazed at her style of writing. Kim is a natural writer. She not only has the gift of expressing her feelings in simplest of words, but also the description that she has given of some of the mundane things make you visualize and value those mundane things. Some of my favourite quotes – - “The emptiness inside of me had spread like spilled oil, leaving a stain of darkness in its wake” - “When I closed the door behind me, it clicked into place and the tiny sound was magnified by utter silence of my surroundings” - “Ending your relationship carries the loss of possibility of your future together, pain of past and perhaps the fear of being alone” - “It is the small kindness, so ripe and available yet so rarely exchanged that turn ordinary interactions into miracles” - Describing India “An incredible, beautiful, hideous cauldron of humanity as stripped and exposed as a skinned deer. If we tried to control our experiences in India, if we tried to make sense of the chaos, we’d hate it. In order to love it, we’d have to accept it just as it is” - “Enthusiasm is faith set on fire” - “That was the irony of travel. The bigger the distance between you and the familiar grew, the smaller and safer and friendlier the world felt” - “The magic of everything was that we would not have become who we became without each other” The writing is fast, simple and very personal. A reader may actually relate with what the author has written in one way or the other. Her honesty is infectious and will make you ponder about are you really happy in what you are doing or may even force you to ask the important question “are you really satisfied with your life”. If you read this book as her memoir and if you are able to relate it with you life you may love this book. However, if you pick this book learn about her experiences in different countries, you may be slightly disappointed there. She has described the locations very superficially i felt. One noteworthy thing was that when she began her travel, I felt there was a slight negativity in her writing about the places she visited (probably because a lot was going in her life at that time with herself and with her husband). And as she herself claims that visit to India would change her completely and you can see that change through her writing. The places she visits such as Nepal, Bali, Vietnam, after visiting India, she has described the good things about the places too and not just the negative ones. I am in love with this book. Not just because the book is about learning to give selflessly but also because of how Kim has described what was going in her life during the travel and how step-by-step she overcame the problems and found the best solution possible. Will recommend it to all those whose life is probably complicated at the moment and would want some answers. Even if it is not complicated, just buy this book when it is released on 1 April 2017 and enjoy. I am now also an avid follower of her blog. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan On May 11, 2012 Kim left a job that she was earning 50% more than her former job. Her husband Brian had one week of work remaining. They sold their home and new car and most of all their possessions except a few boxes filled with sentimental things that they were going to drop off for family to store for them. Kim was a runner and it was out during one of her morning runs that it dawned on her that her life had veered off track. On the surface she had married her The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan On May 11, 2012 Kim left a job that she was earning 50% more than her former job. Her husband Brian had one week of work remaining. They sold their home and new car and most of all their possessions except a few boxes filled with sentimental things that they were going to drop off for family to store for them. Kim was a runner and it was out during one of her morning runs that it dawned on her that her life had veered off track. On the surface she had married her college sweetheart, they both had good jobs and they owned a home. Somewhere along the way she felt she had lost the feeling of her potential and excitement of her life. For years she had been feeling like she wanted to see the world. Kim had majored in English and she always wanted to write. The biggest hurdle of all was to persuade Brian into leaving his job because she wanted to travel as long as they could. She didn't want to set any limits of their time, so they could travel internationally for as long as possible. Lucky for Kim, Brian thought it over and agreed. Brian confided in Kim that his dream to be a naturalist, but he let that dream slide through his fingers because he couldn't overcome his own fear. Michelle and Glenn, who were good friends met Kim and Brian for a final dinner at a local Pizza shop. As the two couple's talked about where Kim and Brian planned on travelling the evening was coming to an end. Michelle hands Kim a yellow envelope saying it is a gift from her and Glenn. The yellow envelope had a check for $1000.00 and a letter that Michelle wrote to them regarding the gift. The letter read how inspiring and proud of them for having the courage to follow through with their dream. Michelle tells them that during their travels, both her and Glenn wants them to give all of the money away in whatever way they want. Michelle and Glenn have three stipulations about how they give the money away. Rule number one is "Don't overthink it." They want Kim and Brian to give the money away in any way that makes them come alive. They want them to listen to their soul. Rule Number two is to share their experiences with friend's and family. They are not accountable to Glenn and Michelle or anybody else for how they choose to give the money away. Rule number three is Don't feel pressured to give all of the money away. This is the first travel memoir I have ever read. The writing was lovely and descriptive and I felt like I was there. It is an interesting concept and it takes a lot of courage to do what Kim and Brian did. I really enjoyed reading this travel memoir. I didn't know it was going to be a memoir until I started the book. Money is only money. It was the spirit in which it is shared or doing something nice for those around them that is inspiring. Thank you to Net Galley, Kim Dinan and Sourcebooks for providing me with my digital copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: March 28th 2017 “At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your heart sing.” *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I might have mentioned my love for travel once or twice before, and as soon as I sa Finished reading: March 28th 2017 “At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your heart sing.” *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I might have mentioned my love for travel once or twice before, and as soon as I saw this travel memoir I had to request a copy. I enjoy reading non fiction and I've had the chance to visit both Peru and Ecuador twice, so I was looking forward to read about the author's experience in those countries as well as those in Asia. Unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy The Yellow Envelope as much as I thought I would and the story fell kind of flat for me. Rather than a true travel memoir, this story has mostly been a (rather self-centered) description of the author’s failing relationship with her husband, feelings and journey of self-discovery; definitely not what I expected at all and not as enjoyable to read either. Another thing that bothered me were the (negative) cliches about the countries they visited; I've traveled both alone and with my partner in both Ecuador and Peru during roughly the same time period (2012-2013) and I don't think the descriptions of those countries are just or accurate. I also felt that both countries and people in general were talked down to; each country/culture/person is unique in its own way and the negativity really bothered me. I also don't think it is right to claim there is a correct/superior way to travel either; each person should be able to decide which way is best for them and the 'superior' tone was actually quite annoying. And that's coming from someone who has traveled for a long time without a real home as well, so I kind of know what I'm talking about. I'll stop this rant and say that if you are looking for a memoir about the story of the road to self-discovery with just a hint of travel, The Yellow Envelope will probably interest you. Kim Dinan decided she wanted a change in her life and three years later both Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs and travel around the world. They are given a yellow envelope by another couple: inside a check and instructions to give the money away during their travels. There are only three rules: don't overthink it; share your experiences; don't feel pressured to give it all away. Kim and Brian travel through Ecuado, Peru, India, Nepal and other countries, and will face many obstacles along the way. I normally enjoy reading non fiction and I love anything that has to do with travel, but this memoir didn't manage to convince me. Not only was the actual talk about traveling and the different countries limited, but the main focus was actually on the author, her feelings and self-discovery. This could have been an interesting read anyway once I adjusted my expectations, but I was really bothered by the tone and the fact that the different countries/cultures/persons were talked down to and didn't receive it's proper respect. I understand that it's hard to portray a foreign culture properly (I've had this experience lots of times myself), but this just wasn't the way. I liked the idea of the yellow envelope and what it represents though; it was probably the strongest feature of this memoir. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paula Vince

    Kim Dinan tells the story of her own true adventure. She and her husband Brian decided to leave the rat race and set out on a journey around the world. They had to sell everything, and sacrifice their lifestyles in order to do so. It's a pipe dream for many of us, so since these guys were prepared to make such a hardcore decision for real, I was happy to grab the book and live vicariously through their experiences. The yellow envelope was given to them by their friends Michele and Glenn, who want Kim Dinan tells the story of her own true adventure. She and her husband Brian decided to leave the rat race and set out on a journey around the world. They had to sell everything, and sacrifice their lifestyles in order to do so. It's a pipe dream for many of us, so since these guys were prepared to make such a hardcore decision for real, I was happy to grab the book and live vicariously through their experiences. The yellow envelope was given to them by their friends Michele and Glenn, who wanted to make a tangible gesture toward the trip. They presented the envelope, full of cash, to be distributed along the way to worthy recipients as Kim and Brian felt led. Whew, the first part wasn't at all like I expected, and I found myself getting irritated by Kim's impossible-to-please attitude toward Brian. The travelogue took the back-burner to whether or not their marriage could be salvaged. She convinced him to quit a job he liked to jump on board with her idea, then decided that maybe what she really wanted was just to be alone, because being regarded as one half of a whole cramped her style! The theme of that chunk of pages was, 'I want to figure out who I am without being defined by you. Just sit in this corner and give me space until I figure it out.' At that stage, she gave me the picture of a totally self-focused person. Kim does whatever Kim wants to do, and Brian learns that even when he gives up everything and lets her call all the shots, she's still not happy. Whenever she expressed puzzlement over not having as much fun and joy as she expected, I remembered the old saying, 'Wherever you go, there you are.' I think her spiritual crisis was the type we westerners have. From what I've observed, Easterners just seem to get on with their lives, knowing deep in their hearts that there's no point in buying into all the angst about finding ourselves, since we're all part of something larger anyway. Yeah, her attitude drove me nuts at that point, and all that kept me reading was the fact that she wrote Brian's point of view with sensitivity and understanding too. It gave me hope that she'd discover a new way of looking at things, which is what did happen. She experienced a revelation about the misguided focus of her attitude which revolutionised her way of seeing things and saved their marriage. The second part, when they set out as best friends on the same page, is far nicer to read. The descriptions of the places they visited were great, although there wasn't enough of them compared to the emotional angst. I love their initial plan, which was to have no plan. The book introduces snippets of the lifestyles of people who are living lives poles apart from most of us, with several interesting culture shock moments. Even day to day greetings show the different mindsets. While Americans and Aussies may ask, 'What do you do?' people in India naturally ask, 'What's your concept of God?' When they bump into other first world tourists along the way, Kim and Brian figure out the difference between tourists and true travellers. Tourists never actually leave home in their hearts, and demand their usual comforts wherever they are, whereas travellers are driven by a true desire to enter other worlds to the extent that this is possible. It's what Kim and Brian felt they achieved after the experiences of this book take them through Ecuador, Peru, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mexico. I do like how she says she found what she was looking for, even though it didn't look like she expected it to. That's something that tends to happen even to those of us who don't travel the globe. Thanks to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for my review copy. For more reviews and book talk, visit my blog, http://vincereview.blogspot.com.au/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Full Disclosure: I know Kim and until today I thought this was just an amazing book written by a good friend. It's about her journey, her love and her life. Set on the back drop of amazing countries filled with good times and hard times. Today, I too tried to randomly commit an act of kindness and now I understand. Kim's ability to be vulnerable, bare her soul and lay down her dark thoughts, fears and hopes is what makes this book worth the read. You will think she is insecure, selfish and fille Full Disclosure: I know Kim and until today I thought this was just an amazing book written by a good friend. It's about her journey, her love and her life. Set on the back drop of amazing countries filled with good times and hard times. Today, I too tried to randomly commit an act of kindness and now I understand. Kim's ability to be vulnerable, bare her soul and lay down her dark thoughts, fears and hopes is what makes this book worth the read. You will think she is insecure, selfish and filled with fear as she begins, but she blossoms and grows. Giving makes her listen to her soul. With each act she opens up a little more of her heart. As Kim's journey progresses she comes into her own and finds the grace to let her husband do the same. This book is meant for those who want to travel, who feel a large transformation upon them, and those that want to step outside the confines of what society tells them and move into the world as a messenger of love. After reading the book, you'll have to give a little love yourself and it feels so good.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Sorry Kim. Maybe this book would have been better in print vs audio. The writing sounds like a high school exercise in creative writing. The content is self congratulatory. I can't believe I listened to the whole thing! The synopsis said there was a twist in the end. There was no twist. The only redeeming part of this book is the challenge to do good in the world. Sorry Kim. Maybe this book would have been better in print vs audio. The writing sounds like a high school exercise in creative writing. The content is self congratulatory. I can't believe I listened to the whole thing! The synopsis said there was a twist in the end. There was no twist. The only redeeming part of this book is the challenge to do good in the world.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Three stars for the countries visited and all the people who had to come to the aid of the helpless and hapless for her preferred brand of tourism. This voice, Kim's- it is honest. Actually that's one of the best aspects of Kim. Most of the rest, not so much. Her husband Brian is a saint and knows what a vow means. Kim doesn't connote any such definition or most (maybe all?) aspects of life that doesn't reveal or entrap her own "plan" or destiny as she changes or perceives change. Most else, if Three stars for the countries visited and all the people who had to come to the aid of the helpless and hapless for her preferred brand of tourism. This voice, Kim's- it is honest. Actually that's one of the best aspects of Kim. Most of the rest, not so much. Her husband Brian is a saint and knows what a vow means. Kim doesn't connote any such definition or most (maybe all?) aspects of life that doesn't reveal or entrap her own "plan" or destiny as she changes or perceives change. Most else, if not all else including group/family objectives or others feelings in general, that comes secondary. It reads like a strange reveal of her own thought processes, much more than a travelogue. And she changed her life and broke the rules, including the Yellow Envelope rules listed- before she even left Oregon. Thank God my sons never married a woman like Kim. It was worth the read, if only for the natives met. 2.5 stars rounded up for the honesty. This is, for me and probably not the general demographic reader, the most observable example of self-involved and over-thinking to the concept of happiness within a selfish path, karma, destiny or whatever you would label it- that I've read since the turn of the century. She doesn't seem "other" minded enough to even realize the depth of her blindness. She holds uncountable amounts of guilt for being choice laden and "rich"- so I very much doubt the state she seeks is one she will ever find as she attempts to define it. Only partially maybe, for some moments of her best days "insight". But I give her credit to exposing so much of her definition for love. It is certainly not the more common one. And if she writes another book, I hope she can learn some new words instead of using the same adjectives and adverbs consistently.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    I'm a big believer that not every book is meant for every reader BUT that every book, if read with an open heart (or should that be: clear eyes, full hearts?), holds something worthwhile for every reader. That said, there is no pleasure quite so sweet as discovering a book that is so perfectly meant for you that you cherish every word of it and immediately feel a kinship with its author and start daydreaming about how you would be best friends in the real world. Such was the case with THE YELLOW I'm a big believer that not every book is meant for every reader BUT that every book, if read with an open heart (or should that be: clear eyes, full hearts?), holds something worthwhile for every reader. That said, there is no pleasure quite so sweet as discovering a book that is so perfectly meant for you that you cherish every word of it and immediately feel a kinship with its author and start daydreaming about how you would be best friends in the real world. Such was the case with THE YELLOW ENVELOPE. Except for the part about daydreaming about how I would be friends with the author in real life because—full disclosure—I have actually had the pleasure of meeting Kim in real life and am so pleased to call her a friend. Funnily enough, after years of following each others' blogs online, our meetup took place in Vietnam when Kim was on the round-the-world journey that is the catalyst for this book while my husband & I were also partway through our own "sold all of our belongings to travel the world for an indefinite amount of time" trip! How's that for synchronicity? So, while I admit to being a biased reader, when I say that Kim's book spoke deeply to me—not just as a reader but as a traveler and as woman who was not content to live an unquestioned life—I hope this gives you some context as to why that was. The story Kim relays in THE YELLOW ENVELOPE is so incredibly personal that it could be no one's but her own, and yet she writes so candidly about the human condition and the fundamental desires so many of us keep secret, that you can't help but feel a connection with her; even if you don't have a passport or have never made a drastic decision to change the direction of your life, I am willing to bet you will find something in the pages of Kim's memoir that makes your heart beat just a little bit faster as it recognizes the plight of a kindred spirit. I trust y'all are capable of reading the synopsis of the book for yourselves, but for those who have chosen to read my summary of it instead: Kim & Brian have a good life—a comfortable life—in Portland, Oregon. They have a house and a retirement fund and are both successful in their careers, all while surrounded by friends while living in a city that they love. And yet. Kim finds herself dissatisfied with the life they have built, not because it is a bad life, but because it has meant ignoring some fundamental truths about herself: She wants to travel and see the world. And she wants to write. So, she convinces her husband to sell all their belongings (and the home that once contained them all) so that they can travel the world for a year or two. Before they leave on their trip, their friends Michele and Glenn gift them with the titular yellow envelope filled with $1000 for them to give away on their romp around the globe. The only rules for Kim & Brian are that they aren't to overthink the money, they should share their experiences (if they feel like it), and they shouldn't feel compelled to give all the money away. This incredibly generous gift adds another dimension to their travels and, in its own way, provokes Kim & Brian even further outside their comfort zones. Kim quickly realizes that giving money to strangers in foreign countries isn't easy and the yellow envelope challenges her to reflect deeply on what it truly means to be generous and kind, the different ways in which we can honor these qualities (not solely monetary), and also heightens their awareness to opportunities in everyday life to offer generosity and kindness to their fellow human beings, each other and themselves. THE YELLOW ENVELOPE is a beautifully candid and raw memoir of Kim's journey, not just geographically, but (more importantly) internally. I think some readers may have been done a disservice by how the book has been marketed: Those simply looking for a travel guide with a bit of narrative thrown in about cool things to see and do in South America and Asia will probably be disappointed. Similarly, those looking to vicariously volunteer abroad or for life-changing charitable opportunities that they themselves could recreate will likely feel somewhat underwhelmed and perhaps frustrated that it takes Kim so long to really get into the "spirit" of giving. I did not expect that the first half of the book would focus so much on the tension in Kim & Brian's relationship, and I realize this has been a stumbling block for some other readers who just want Kim to act as a tour guide to the places she visited. However, for me, this part of the book really sets the scene for Kim's subsequent transformation and gave this memoir its heft. People who have not taken a trip on this kind of scale or uprooted their lives may feel that Kim is ungrateful or show a lack of compassion for the very real turmoil that she relays, but I commend her bravery in presenting the realities of what long-term travel as a couple can entail. Kim is not afraid to tell the truth, even when it's not pretty or what her readers might wish to hear: The truth is that traveling full time can be hard, and being married is sometimes hard, and you can be objectively successful to the world and still feel deeply unsatisfied and unhappy when you are not living an authentic life. To pretend otherwise is to dismiss the importance of these great things and do them a disservice. It's so easy to feel, from the comfort of our armchairs, that we would face the same adventures with grace, good humor, and unflagging gratitude and never lose our tempers or behave badly, but we always seem to forget that being pushed outside our comfort zones necessarily means being uncomfortable and that this tends to cause us to behave badly. This is true even when we willingly decided to do something (like quitting a good job, selling a home, and traveling in places where nothing is familiar) with the express goal of stepping outside our comfort zones and expanding our horizons. Kim brings readers right into this space with her, into the heart of her frustrations and doubts and sadness and neuroses; it's not a comfortable place to be, but this is what allows for Kim's inner growth, adds tension to the narrative, and ultimately gives her trip lasting meaning. As a recovering Type-A perfectionist who has firsthand experience of how stressful traveling with one's partner and traveling full-time can be, I admired how forthright Kim was, even if it meant painting herself in a less-than-positive light. There were several passages that I read aloud to my own husband, asking him if they reminded him of someone only for him to nod knowingly in recognition of our own misadventures (ok, let's be honest: fights) on the road. Marriage is complicated. People are complicated. Though it may not be to some people's tastes, I for one thought it was so refreshing that Kim shared her story and journey truthfully and as it happened, not as we may have wished it had our how we feel it "should" have gone. I don't want to make THE YELLOW ENVELOPE sound like a downer, because ultimately, I believe it is a story of hope and goodness and the value of trusting in ourselves enough to do the things that scare us the most (not just big obvious things, either, but things like allowing ourselves to be vulnerable... which ultimately is what allows us to be kind!). It just takes a while for Kim (and consequently, the story) to get there. She works for her victories and her happy ending, which I personally think gives the lessons she learns all the more impact and meaning. While I found myself relating to some of Kim's darker moments, I also fully agree with the premise she puts forward that ultimately people are good and that kindness is a gift that is so simple and yet one that benefits both the giver and the recipient. Throughout my own travels, I have experienced so many moments of incredible kindness that I know unequivocally that this is true. I also know that sometimes your heart has to be battered and bruised and cracked wide open before this is a lesson you are able to understand the true weight and importance of. Some of us will learn this lesson by traveling or undertaking our own life-changing journeys, but for others, you can learn it just as well by reading THE YELLOW ENVELOPE. Brave & emotional, even knowing from real life how things would turn out for Kim, I still found myself riveted by THE YELLOW ENVELOPE, and I liked it so much I read it twice! Disclaimer: I received a free review copy from Sourcebooks via NetGalley of this book in exchange for my review. That said, I also ponied up my own money to buy a copy of THE YELLOW ENVELOPE because this one deserves a permanent spot on my bookshelf (or backpack, when I'm back out on the road).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Care

    The Yellow Envelope is a memoir of Kim and her husband Brian's travel experiences when they decide to quit their jobs, sell everything, and go abroad with no particular plans. Friends gift them with a yellow envelope of money before they leave to be gifted as they go along, and from their first encounters struggling and failing to give yellow envelope money to it becoming second nature, they learn more about who they are as individuals, as a couple, as people in the world. This was a fairly larg The Yellow Envelope is a memoir of Kim and her husband Brian's travel experiences when they decide to quit their jobs, sell everything, and go abroad with no particular plans. Friends gift them with a yellow envelope of money before they leave to be gifted as they go along, and from their first encounters struggling and failing to give yellow envelope money to it becoming second nature, they learn more about who they are as individuals, as a couple, as people in the world. This was a fairly large departure from my normal fiction or famous-historical-figure memoir taste, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it delightful. While the writing at some points seem a little wordy or rambling with offshoots that weren't necessarily interesting, the overall experiences of living both frugally and generously over a period of greater than a year were conveyed well and descriptively. It is inspirational in the way many books involving travel are, lighting a small flame of jealousy and desire to similarly see the world, but it also was able to capture a very different feel. The author manages to capture well the unique dilemma of traveling - of the fear that sets in at first, of the homesickness that never goes completely away, of the exhaustion of always sleeping in different beds in different houses. And while the author was lucky enough to have had momentous and eye opening experiences, she also conveys the disenchantment and disillusion that can accompany adventuring when it doesn't live up to all your expectations. While the memoir is filled with some rather gross scenes, it comes off as honest and well-written. I would recommend this for anyone who loves travel memoirs, particularly the gritty kind that showers infrequently and never sees the inside of a five-star establishment of any kind. The concept of the yellow envelope is also fascinating and inspiring in its own right, and should be an interesting read for anyone who spends any time thinking about altruism and how altruism is conveyed and gifted. Thanks to the publisher for an advance digital copy!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    3.5 stars I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review Kim Dinan is unhappy and wants to explore the world. So she and her husband sell their house, and all their worldly belongings, so they can travel around the world for an entire year. The journey ends up being one of person self-discovery and comes close to destroying their relationship for good. Keeping them going is The Yellow Envelope - an envelope of money that is to be used to hel 3.5 stars I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review Kim Dinan is unhappy and wants to explore the world. So she and her husband sell their house, and all their worldly belongings, so they can travel around the world for an entire year. The journey ends up being one of person self-discovery and comes close to destroying their relationship for good. Keeping them going is The Yellow Envelope - an envelope of money that is to be used to help make the world a better place, in little or big ways. I quite enjoyed this book. For a non-fiction book, it had a really great flow to it and was very story-like. It didn’t come off too preachy and I really enjoyed finding out about Kim’s journey and all the different people she meets on her journey. Her relationship with her husband Brian did irk me at times, more so because there was a point she did seem to be unnecessarily selfish though I liked that she was eventually able to recognise this and apologise for it. The relationship problems came close to overpowering the story of the travelling and different countries at times. Near the end of the book, Kim did appear a bit pretentious at times with her opinions on other travellers and she seemed to place herself within a higher power of travellers and seemed to think she was better than others at time because she had seen and done more at that point. I did love all the different, unique stories that Kim was able tot ell and all the wonderful people she met and who helped her and Brian on their journey. It does give a sense of relief that there are still good people in the world. Overall, this was a great look at different countries and their culture and the inclusion of the yellow envelope money gave the story a nice twist to make it stand out to others.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mareli Thalwitzer

    "The yellow envelope taught me how to give, not just money, but to give of myself." I've never been fond of memoirs, can't give any good excuse why not, it's just not my reading-thing. But this travel memoir by Kim Dinan might just change my future views on memoirs. Kim turns into a wonderful storyteller through her travels across the globe. Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, India, Vietnam - all these places reel by in your mind and yes, they are all so infinitely google-able. Every time Kim and Brian touch "The yellow envelope taught me how to give, not just money, but to give of myself." I've never been fond of memoirs, can't give any good excuse why not, it's just not my reading-thing. But this travel memoir by Kim Dinan might just change my future views on memoirs. Kim turns into a wonderful storyteller through her travels across the globe. Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, India, Vietnam - all these places reel by in your mind and yes, they are all so infinitely google-able. Every time Kim and Brian touched shore at a different location - it was googled. Even more than enjoying all the great "sight-seeings", I thoroughly enjoyed the way Kim shared her thoughts through all the different places, people, animals and transport devices she experienced. - "As a traveler, I'd only ever be passing through, but I wanted to slow down and stay still long enough for the country to make an imprint in my bones. As we cycled on, I knew I missed something that could only be learned by stopping". For more quotes from this highly Enjoyable travel memoir, follow my blog: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Antonella

    2.5 stars. If you love traveling to exotic locations or dream of quitting your job to travel full time, you’ll love this book. Kim Dinan is 31 and works at a job she hates and wants to write and travel. She convinces her husband to quit their jobs, sell everything, including their home in Portland, and travel for a year so she can write. Before leaving Portland, friends give them a yellow envelope with $1000 to give away as they wish. They visit Ecuador, Peru, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Viet 2.5 stars. If you love traveling to exotic locations or dream of quitting your job to travel full time, you’ll love this book. Kim Dinan is 31 and works at a job she hates and wants to write and travel. She convinces her husband to quit their jobs, sell everything, including their home in Portland, and travel for a year so she can write. Before leaving Portland, friends give them a yellow envelope with $1000 to give away as they wish. They visit Ecuador, Peru, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. All of the countries have their own set of challenges, with India having the most. If I’m being honest, I just didn’t like Kim very much as the book went on, especially how she treated her husband and some things she did were quite selfish. I did enjoy reading about the Rickshaw Run she entered in India.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Smithey

    This book made me long for the ability to pick up and go and travel the world. I did find myself to be annoyed with the author in the first third of the book. Her husband gave up his job, home, friends and family to join her on this adventure, but in the beginning she seemed to be very selfish and more concerned about her experience than his. In the end things were better. I do like the idea of taking a yellow envelope and sharing with others during your travels.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    5 stars Very good book. I really enjoyed this one. It was nice to see Kim and Brian's journey. Their travel sounded really fun. Would recommend to anyone who is a fan of biographies. 5 stars Very good book. I really enjoyed this one. It was nice to see Kim and Brian's journey. Their travel sounded really fun. Would recommend to anyone who is a fan of biographies.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin Seidemann

    I really enjoyed the parts about how they gave away the yellow envelope money but wished that there was more about that. This is a nice, feel-good book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thanks to Sourcebooks for providing an advance copy via NetGalley. I recommend this book to those who enjoy stories about travels, adventures, new experiences, relationships and challenges. Kim and her husband, Brian, left everything behind to travel the world. Even though they had nice jobs, a good house and most of the things that people consider essencial for a happy life, they weren't happy. Especially Kim. Something was missing for her. She always wanted to be a writer. She felt like she wa Thanks to Sourcebooks for providing an advance copy via NetGalley. I recommend this book to those who enjoy stories about travels, adventures, new experiences, relationships and challenges. Kim and her husband, Brian, left everything behind to travel the world. Even though they had nice jobs, a good house and most of the things that people consider essencial for a happy life, they weren't happy. Especially Kim. Something was missing for her. She always wanted to be a writer. She felt like she was wasting her time in a life that wasn't making her feel whole. Then, this idea came up and they decided to go. Just go. Her ex-boss, Michele, became a good friend over the years. She gave all her support to this journey. She and her husband, Glenn, also wanted to be part of it somehow, so they gave them money. Kim and Brian should donate it to the people they'd meet on their way. It could be anyone, anywhere, for any reason. There were only 3 rules: Rule #1: Don’t over think it. Rule #2: Share your experiences. Rule #3: Don’t feel pressured to give it all away. They've been to Ecuador, Peru, Germany, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mexico. In each place, they came across someone who could make good use of money. Kim started a blog, where she shared her thoughts, photos and experiences. **SPOILER ALERT** After some time on the road, she started to feel lonely. Everyone knew all her steps because of the blog, but she didn't exactly know what her friends and family were doing. She missed them. It was hard to keep in touch, but she tried to be more available for Skype calls and texts. At the same time, their marriage went through some issues and then she felt more alone than ever. Away from home, with no job, no other plan other than just keep going. So, that's what she did. They traveled some more, even if they weren't together. Luckly, they were able overcome their problems after a while, but this time apart was good for both of them. It was a way of getting to know who you really are when you don't have anybody else, and what really matters in life. Favorite quote: "Money was just one way to give. I could also give of my time and my energy. I could give compassion and respect and tenderness. Those gifts were renewable and they were free."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Crain

    Kim and Brian lived a good life in Portland, Oregon. They both had good jobs, lived in a great house, and had amazing family and friends to spend their days with. Yet, for Kim, something was missing. Then one day a lightbulb went on inside Kim's head and she knew what it was she wanted- needed- to do. She needed an adventure, and what better way to find one than to travel the world?! Agreeing to join his wife on her quest, Brian and Kim downsized their lives completely and prepared to set out on Kim and Brian lived a good life in Portland, Oregon. They both had good jobs, lived in a great house, and had amazing family and friends to spend their days with. Yet, for Kim, something was missing. Then one day a lightbulb went on inside Kim's head and she knew what it was she wanted- needed- to do. She needed an adventure, and what better way to find one than to travel the world?! Agreeing to join his wife on her quest, Brian and Kim downsized their lives completely and prepared to set out on a journey that would not only take them clear around the world but would also thoroughly change them. However, before setting off Kim and Brian were given a fantastic gift, one they wouldn't fully realize immediately. This gift came in the form of $1,000 USD in a yellow envelope. The thought behind the gift, give the money away as you see fit and bless people along the way. The Yellow Envelope is a beautiful memoir that should not be missed. Detailing the author's journey not just around the world but also to self discovery, this is a story that will fill readers with joy and inspiration. Kim goes on to show that it isn't necessarily the destination that matters, but how you go about getting there. It isn't that you live a life free from frustrations, aggravations, pain, or struggles. It's that you learn from those moments and experiences so that you can grow and become more at one with yourself and the incredible world around you. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book before its publication next Spring. I truly believe it will be flying off the shelves once readers see how brilliant it is.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather T

    Gah, my feelings on this are SO mixed! I haven't read anything previously by this author, so I went in with no knowledge about how it was going to turn out. I'm an avid traveler who would love to travel the world someday, but so far it's been "limited" to the US and most of Europe. I was fascinated by the places visited in this book, but felt like their details often lacked depth. I felt like more time was spent on the relationship between the author and her husband, vs the author and the places Gah, my feelings on this are SO mixed! I haven't read anything previously by this author, so I went in with no knowledge about how it was going to turn out. I'm an avid traveler who would love to travel the world someday, but so far it's been "limited" to the US and most of Europe. I was fascinated by the places visited in this book, but felt like their details often lacked depth. I felt like more time was spent on the relationship between the author and her husband, vs the author and the places she visited. I actually thought the book could have been a little longer, and I don't say that very often! In the places where she does go into more detail, I did really enjoy the interactions with the locals, the dog(s) she temporarily adopted everywhere she went, and the descriptions of places...I just wish she had gone into that level of detail in more than 3 or 4 places in the book. I thought the yellow envelope approach was brilliant - kudos to her friends who set her up with that. How it's woven into the story and how their friends' names now are written all over the world is very cool. I like how that theme progressed throughout the story! I've noticed a few other reviews stated they thought the author complained a lot. I thought that too - at first. It's subtle, but her attitude shifts throughout the book as she grows, and the complaints are fewer and the appreciation is greater (aside from complaints about that one american on their tour later). Overall I enjoyed it, but I didn't expect it to be a book about a relationship with her husband (vs travel). Please note - this book was provided to me courtesy of NetGalley.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carmel

    Reading this book felt like going on a trip with a friend - except this friend actually tells you what's on her mind when experiencing the hardships of travel. Full disclosure, Kim and I became friends while we were both planning our round-the-world trips. But I was first drawn to her through her writing. I read a blog post of hers and felt compelled to write to her when I realized we both lived in the same city. This is the beauty of Kim's writing - she doesn't just tell a great story, descript Reading this book felt like going on a trip with a friend - except this friend actually tells you what's on her mind when experiencing the hardships of travel. Full disclosure, Kim and I became friends while we were both planning our round-the-world trips. But I was first drawn to her through her writing. I read a blog post of hers and felt compelled to write to her when I realized we both lived in the same city. This is the beauty of Kim's writing - she doesn't just tell a great story, descriptive of the unique locations she and her husband experience, she also invites you into her world and into her head, allowing you to connect and see the world through her eyes. Travel so often isn't about the things we see, but the way we allow the world to shape us. This was even better than the snippets I ravenously consumed from her blog while she and Brian were on the road - this book really got to the meat of why she chose to travel. I know I will be picking this book up again to relive her travels (and my own) again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Richard Keller

    One of the other reviewers here mentioned how Kim came across in the book turned her off. But I think that is what the overall theme was about. In 'The Yellow Envelope" there's the cosmopolitan Kim and the comprehending Kim. Throughout the first leg of her trip to South America, Kim does whine and constantly questions the relationship with her husband. This is because she didn't shed her old skin quite yet. It took time and a long ride through India to break that part of her apart and see the tr One of the other reviewers here mentioned how Kim came across in the book turned her off. But I think that is what the overall theme was about. In 'The Yellow Envelope" there's the cosmopolitan Kim and the comprehending Kim. Throughout the first leg of her trip to South America, Kim does whine and constantly questions the relationship with her husband. This is because she didn't shed her old skin quite yet. It took time and a long ride through India to break that part of her apart and see the true beauty of the rest of the world. You can think of "The Yellow Envelope" two ways. First, as a travelogue with some tips on what and what not to do in numerous countries. Second, take it as a philosophical guide when deciding if you want to head down this path, one which more and more people are taking. This is not about being a digital nomad, house sitting, and finding co-working spaces. This is about a couple's journey to a new life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    love to travel and was quite intrigued by the idea by the envelope to share with who they thought needed it. I felt that the book could have focused more on those experiences with the envelope than with themselves. I enjoyed learning how a couple grew with their experiences. Kim and Brian were brave to try this experiment out, it can be quite stressful to a relationship. I enjoyed their adventures and the places they visited. They visited places that I probably would not visit. I thought Kim re love to travel and was quite intrigued by the idea by the envelope to share with who they thought needed it. I felt that the book could have focused more on those experiences with the envelope than with themselves. I enjoyed learning how a couple grew with their experiences. Kim and Brian were brave to try this experiment out, it can be quite stressful to a relationship. I enjoyed their adventures and the places they visited. They visited places that I probably would not visit. I thought Kim really matured emotionally as the book continued, which made the book more of a memoir than a travel novel. I thought Kim and Brian were brave to share their experiences with us.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    I really enjoyed this travel memoir with a difference. I loved the author's wonderful descriptions of the countries she visited, making me feel as if I was on the journey with her. Although difficult to read at times, I did enjoy her honesty about her emotions and feelings toward her husband and their marriage. The dilemma about about who and how to share the yellow envelope money with was fascinating, I could imagine myself feeling the same way in each situation. I definitely recommend this if y I really enjoyed this travel memoir with a difference. I loved the author's wonderful descriptions of the countries she visited, making me feel as if I was on the journey with her. Although difficult to read at times, I did enjoy her honesty about her emotions and feelings toward her husband and their marriage. The dilemma about about who and how to share the yellow envelope money with was fascinating, I could imagine myself feeling the same way in each situation. I definitely recommend this if you enjoy travel writing and memoirs and for those who enjoyed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Source books for my digital copy.

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