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Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents

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Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves's insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she l Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves's insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself -- literally -- to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not. Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries: at its core, it's a journey of self-discovery. In the course of her travels, Eaves finds herself and the sense of home she's been lacking since childhood -- and she sheds light on a growing culture of young women who have the freedom and inclination to define their own, increasingly global, lifestyles, unfettered by traditional roles and conventions of past generations of women.


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Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves's insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she l Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves's insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself -- literally -- to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not. Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries: at its core, it's a journey of self-discovery. In the course of her travels, Eaves finds herself and the sense of home she's been lacking since childhood -- and she sheds light on a growing culture of young women who have the freedom and inclination to define their own, increasingly global, lifestyles, unfettered by traditional roles and conventions of past generations of women.

30 review for Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kayley Hyde

    The negativity surrounding this book baffles me, to be honest. Yes, Eaves talks a lot about sex. Yes, she is honest and writes how she thinks. How is that something to get upset over? Sure, you can dislike the woman and the way she sees the world, but this is a memoir. The world through one persons eyes. And that cannot be wrong. I adored this book. If you want to venture into my inter-Psyche, this is pretty much it. I found myself relating more than the other reviews are leading me to believe t The negativity surrounding this book baffles me, to be honest. Yes, Eaves talks a lot about sex. Yes, she is honest and writes how she thinks. How is that something to get upset over? Sure, you can dislike the woman and the way she sees the world, but this is a memoir. The world through one persons eyes. And that cannot be wrong. I adored this book. If you want to venture into my inter-Psyche, this is pretty much it. I found myself relating more than the other reviews are leading me to believe that I should. But there you have it. Cannot wait to read Eaves other work.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    "Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries"--that is completely false. This book is all about this womans sexual conquest on five continents-and nothing more. She claims she has "wanderlust" but the only thing that has lust is her insane libido. She does not embark on a single journey in this book that does not at some point result in her getting in the sheets with some guy, sometime just for the sake of it. I think it is sad that this is her life, and she t "Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries"--that is completely false. This book is all about this womans sexual conquest on five continents-and nothing more. She claims she has "wanderlust" but the only thing that has lust is her insane libido. She does not embark on a single journey in this book that does not at some point result in her getting in the sheets with some guy, sometime just for the sake of it. I think it is sad that this is her life, and she thinks that is okay. That she can just sleep her way through life without any consequences or regret and label it "wanderlust". She completely misses the point of what true wanderlust is. She is simply a woman who never grew out of her horny 20 year old stage and wraps this emotion up with traveling experiences. She is confused, lost, and sad. I actually pity her and at the same time hate her for terming her inability to connect with a person or herself as "wanderlust". If she truly had or understood wanderlust, she could feel complete, no matter where she were and would not need a man to associate with each of her adventures. Not even worth the 99 cents that I paid for it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kiki

    This book literally changed my life. I am not the same person for having picked up this book. It took me on a passionate, intense, personal journey and I feel so incredibly close to the author, as if she had sat five inches away from me and reeled off the story of her life. As a chronic sufferer of wanderlust (and it is an acute, unexplainable sort of suffering) I connected with, and was inspired by, this book in ways I can't communicate with much clarity. In the best way, this book has to be rea This book literally changed my life. I am not the same person for having picked up this book. It took me on a passionate, intense, personal journey and I feel so incredibly close to the author, as if she had sat five inches away from me and reeled off the story of her life. As a chronic sufferer of wanderlust (and it is an acute, unexplainable sort of suffering) I connected with, and was inspired by, this book in ways I can't communicate with much clarity. In the best way, this book has to be read to be believed. Eaves comes under fire for placing a considerable focus on her romantic relationships, but I never felt that as a travel memoir this book flopped. Without relaying the romantic elements, the reasoning and hopelessness of her wandering would be lost. Without the travel, her relationships would have no context. This is not a book about jungles and deserts and oceans, but the people who cross those jungles, deserts and oceans. It's about humanity, finding oneself, and the absolute dysphoria of not understanding just who is behind the face in the mirror. Towards the final fifth of the book, some momentum is lost, and it becomes vaguely laborious to stay connected with Eaves as a narrator, but somewhere along the line it all comes flooding back, and the final two pages had me in tears. While sometimes missing the mark with her storytelling, and while sometimes blundering on the feminist front (Eaves is quite second wave, and tends to spin a "I'm not like all the other girls" line) Eaves's story is nevertheless so compelling, so brave, and so utterly out of the ordinary. Some travel memoirs are stilted, cash driven trips that drive home too hard a message of "look at me, bettering myself" that they lose the rawness that Eaves has. I mean it when I say that this book changed me. It truly did.

  4. 4 out of 5

    MC

    It's really, really, really hard not to write off Elisabeth Eaves as an insufferable brat. She whines consistently about her inability to feel at home pretty much anywhere on the planet and flees in the other direction of anything she finds suspiciously boring or domestic or stable. Wanderlust is a bit misleading, I was surprised to discover that a good chunk of the book is devoted to her romantic relationships. It should've been subtitled: Love Affairs in Five Continents There's an air of condes It's really, really, really hard not to write off Elisabeth Eaves as an insufferable brat. She whines consistently about her inability to feel at home pretty much anywhere on the planet and flees in the other direction of anything she finds suspiciously boring or domestic or stable. Wanderlust is a bit misleading, I was surprised to discover that a good chunk of the book is devoted to her romantic relationships. It should've been subtitled: Love Affairs in Five Continents There's an air of condescension for us poor folk without the financial means or ambition to travel worldwide that permeates every chapter and can be hard to get by when she's pretty much talking about you, the reader. As someone who loves to travel, I was expecting more vivid descriptions of where she's been, what she ate and what she saw but she provides only a handful of some colorful, introspective examples mostly during her time in Egypt and sometimes while on a remote beach or hiking in the jungle. Her narrative is a bit robotic with some pages wasted on how she got from point A to point B with little regard for her personal impressions of those destinations. Really, she could've been in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa because it didn't really matter. Often, I found myself mentally screaming: Oh grow up already. You're in Peru, thousands of feet above seawater with access to brutally awesome hiking trails and stunning ancient Incan remains and you're whining, again, about a boy?! Still, she's self-aware about her flip-floppy emotions and "gypsy eccentric status" (well put) and that's a refreshing acknowledgement that prevented me from totally giving up on her. Despite all this, Eaves talent for travel writing is undeniable, I just wished I had read some of her other more travel specific work (for example her piece of Seville Flamenco dancing). Her analogies and metaphors can be charming. Sometimes not very robust, but it leads the reader beautifully - as if she were telling me her abridged life story over dinner. I have to remind myself, Wanderlust is a memoir based on her explorations as a 20-something kid then later into her 30's and hey, we're not all wise scholars at that age. But the explorations were mostly of a sexual, romantic variety and although she tries to explain the connection to travel, I really don't see it. I really wanted to love Wanderlust because I felt like we could have been kindred spirits but I felt like I was enjoying her travels more than she did.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    I have found a travelogue I didn’t like. I love travel books. They take me somewhere new or somewhere I’ve been before and make me want to jump on a plane. I enjoy vicariously having new experiences, meeting unique locals and trying amazing food I’ve never heard of. This book held none of that for me. I understand the bug to travel but her travel choices would never be my own and I couldn’t relate. Time after time the travel was about running away from something in her current location, putting h I have found a travelogue I didn’t like. I love travel books. They take me somewhere new or somewhere I’ve been before and make me want to jump on a plane. I enjoy vicariously having new experiences, meeting unique locals and trying amazing food I’ve never heard of. This book held none of that for me. I understand the bug to travel but her travel choices would never be my own and I couldn’t relate. Time after time the travel was about running away from something in her current location, putting herself in rather stupid and dangerous situations all the while falling in love with the boy du jure until it gets too serious and she runs away again restarting the cycle. I don’t have a problem with whirlwind travel romances or striking out on an excursion without plans but I just didn’t care about any of the guys or the places where she went. If you write a travel book, make me want to follow in your footsteps. If you write a love book, give me something to root for. I got neither from Wanderlust and instead just got increasingly frustrated. I LOVE travel books and this one is just not worth it with so many other great books in the world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ally

    As many of you know, I am obsessed with travelling. I don't know where this obsession began, but I think it had something to do with our trip to England and Italy when I was 14. Since then, I've visited a ton of places, some I loved (Vietnam, Peru) and others I couldn't stand (Mexico). I think the reason that Wanderlust is a 4* book is because I have never found a character that I have identified with so much. A year ago, I found myself in Vietnam on a 3-month internship. You know when you have As many of you know, I am obsessed with travelling. I don't know where this obsession began, but I think it had something to do with our trip to England and Italy when I was 14. Since then, I've visited a ton of places, some I loved (Vietnam, Peru) and others I couldn't stand (Mexico). I think the reason that Wanderlust is a 4* book is because I have never found a character that I have identified with so much. A year ago, I found myself in Vietnam on a 3-month internship. You know when you have that summer that just changes your life and moulds you into an entirely different person? That was my Vietnam trip for me. One of the girls I was there with was primarily responsible for me opening up and experiencing new things, particularly in the romance department. I learned so much about myself and actually managed to dispel a lot of ridiculous notions that I had held close before my trip. At the same time, my best friend was in Senegal, doing something similar. We both got back, full of stories, and realized that Canada was not where we wanted to be. So, in our last semester of school, we took off to Peru for a week, where we had a fantastic adventure. But upon our return, I still didn't feel at home in Canada and I took off to live in Prague. This is where things went wrong. I had spent all my money, and had no way of staying there for the period of time that I wanted. I came back to Canada, with my tail between my knees and thought that travelling wasn't for me anymore. Meanwhile, my best friend took off to live in Nepal, and our other close friend went to live in South Africa. Th Wanderlust crept up on me again, and I'm now going to live in Ireland. Throughout this story, I was so envious of Elisabeth and her adventures. I wanted to be able to just be cool with things and go with the flow in the Middle East (granted, she was there pre-9/11). I wish I could travel up the coast of Australia and work wherever I want because it's so easy there. In her, I recognized the inability to be with any man, to want to live two lives. While I've never been unfaithful, I completely understood her adultery on some level, which frightened me a bit. Others have complained about Elisabeth not having any meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, this is something I can relate to as well. I moved away from my hometown in rural Canada to the capital city for university. Over the 5 years that I lived there, I lost touch with my friends back home and made newer, stronger relationships. Now that I'm back home, I'm feeling the strain again, but this time with my friends in Ottawa. Aside from my best friend, who is a traveller like myself, there's no on that I am desperate to keep in contact with. And that's okay. That's the kind of person I am. All the above is to demonstrate how much my life is like Elisabeth's. Like I said, I think this is why I enjoyed this book so much. The writing wasn't particularly beautiful; the story was told in a matter-of-fact way that didn't exactly captivate me. But it was my ability to relate and to see myself in Elisabeth that made this story for me. Her story has made me want to write about my own experience, though I don't know how I'd feel, having all my escapades out there for my family to read about. Elisabeth's brutal honesty in her feelings about men throughout the book made me a tad uncomfortable, not because they were sexist in any way, but because I couldn't imagine ever feeling so ambivalent about a relationship. All in all, a fantastic read for anyone who feels like they don't belong in their home country, or who just has an insistent travel bug.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Findley

    Unlike an alarming number of reviewers here, I'm not annoyed that Elisabeth Eaves got laid a lot in her twenties. Envious, sure, because when it comes to love on the road, my travels always seem to involve awkward make-out sessions at best, and Eaves finds easy sex and even several serious relationships while moving about. Envious, then, but not angry. (Might I suggest Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape for those scared by the idea of a woman attuned to her l Unlike an alarming number of reviewers here, I'm not annoyed that Elisabeth Eaves got laid a lot in her twenties. Envious, sure, because when it comes to love on the road, my travels always seem to involve awkward make-out sessions at best, and Eaves finds easy sex and even several serious relationships while moving about. Envious, then, but not angry. (Might I suggest Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape for those scared by the idea of a woman attuned to her libido?) (ETA: After reading more reviews, a lot of people are angry about her cheatin' ways, and I get that; it made me uncomfortable too. But let's be careful not to be gender specific in our criticisms of that behavior, shall we?) Rather, I'm giving the book three stars because Eaves' reflection on her whirlwind romantic experiences is too shallow. When I read about the relationships she had in her twenties, I read her twenties-self's perspective. Memoirs should have more perspective and reflection from years after the fact, but there's very little of that here, and so it reads more like a diary (as other reviewers have noted) and less like a fully considered memoir. But! She has some great adventures, a few piercing insights, and a dedicated sense of movement no matter the cost (even as she realizes there are costs and that she's more beholden to a specific image of herself than she'd maybe like -- this is my favorite piece of honest reflection in the book because it rings so true to me as a traveler). Definitely worth a read; a superior beach book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Swapna

    Found everything about this book so irritating- primarily the main character. I could never relate to her about anything and I thought I would enjoy this book as someone who really enjoys travel but it wasn't really about travel at all. I learned very little about each of the places the character visited- instead only saw it from very myopic lenses from someone who was never trying to understand the culture or people at all. Every single one of her relationships with men was just immature, self- Found everything about this book so irritating- primarily the main character. I could never relate to her about anything and I thought I would enjoy this book as someone who really enjoys travel but it wasn't really about travel at all. I learned very little about each of the places the character visited- instead only saw it from very myopic lenses from someone who was never trying to understand the culture or people at all. Every single one of her relationships with men was just immature, self-destructive, undeveloped and...stupid. She never seemed to evolve much as a person and in the end, that's what really made me mad at her and irritated about the time I wasted on this book. Additionally, Eaves is just not a great writer and it seemed liked she had to get unnecessarily raunchy in parts without context- again just seemed stupid.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Olivera

    This was so good! This was what I thought Eat, Pray, Love was going to be. I love how wonderfully this book was written. So many parts resonated with me on a deeper level. Now I definitely want to read more travel memoirs. I'm counting this for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge as a book set in Pakistan. This was so good! This was what I thought Eat, Pray, Love was going to be. I love how wonderfully this book was written. So many parts resonated with me on a deeper level. Now I definitely want to read more travel memoirs. I'm counting this for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge as a book set in Pakistan.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    The title is misleading. It should be "Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Myself While I Travel." I loved the parts that were about travel, especially the beginning when she's in the Middle East, but I found her such a selfish person it was hard to finish. She cheats on everyone she dates, including her fiancee, and genuinely doesn't seem to care how that affects other people. Her rationale is that she's "like a man" and that she's being persecuted for not being feminine enough to put other people's The title is misleading. It should be "Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Myself While I Travel." I loved the parts that were about travel, especially the beginning when she's in the Middle East, but I found her such a selfish person it was hard to finish. She cheats on everyone she dates, including her fiancee, and genuinely doesn't seem to care how that affects other people. Her rationale is that she's "like a man" and that she's being persecuted for not being feminine enough to put other people's needs before hers, but I think it goes beyond that. She can't be single and she can't be faithful, and I can't be bothered to like her. I wish the book was more about traveling and less about infidelity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I couln't get through this book. I got over halfway through and just disliked the attitude of the author so much - so spoiled, selfish, shallow... I'm hoping that she will redeem herself in later chapters, I just don't have the patience enough to read on and see if that happens. "Me me me me me me...and oh yeah, I'm still whining about how I don't belong anywhere." I felt sorry for her, but was too annoyed to continue. She just was lost, and her wanderlust wasn't for the desire to explore other I couln't get through this book. I got over halfway through and just disliked the attitude of the author so much - so spoiled, selfish, shallow... I'm hoping that she will redeem herself in later chapters, I just don't have the patience enough to read on and see if that happens. "Me me me me me me...and oh yeah, I'm still whining about how I don't belong anywhere." I felt sorry for her, but was too annoyed to continue. She just was lost, and her wanderlust wasn't for the desire to explore other cultures, it was for her to try to find herself (which of course is done internally, the outside setting doesn't really matter...). A disappointment, more about her sexual and romantic exploits than her experiences travelling.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Reilly

    *Spoilers* Honestly, I interpreted this story as more of a cautionary tale than anything else, which I doubt it was intended for. In fairness: the book is okay. It’s an easy read, it has adventure and some cool encounters and she does travel to a lot of fascinating places. It’s not terribly written, it’s not awfully insensitive to different cultures, and the author doesn’t waste time pointlessly describing what happened in the less interesting periods of her life, like some memoirs are determine *Spoilers* Honestly, I interpreted this story as more of a cautionary tale than anything else, which I doubt it was intended for. In fairness: the book is okay. It’s an easy read, it has adventure and some cool encounters and she does travel to a lot of fascinating places. It’s not terribly written, it’s not awfully insensitive to different cultures, and the author doesn’t waste time pointlessly describing what happened in the less interesting periods of her life, like some memoirs are determined to do. However. I have a few bones to pick. Firstly, I don’t think it’s justified to have on the cover of your book “a love affair with five continents” if you don’t even explore all that much of each continent. Is it fair to count it as having had a “love affair” with the entire continent of Africa, just because you spent a year in Egypt and went to a few other places in the Middle East? No, it’s not. A cool phrase, yes, but not an accurate one. Secondly, it frustrated me that in all Eaves’ wandering, she never seems to stop and ponder the differences between the cultures all that much. A little, yes, but nothing particularly deep; how is it that you can pass through Yemen and not question either elements of that culture, or elements of your own? There’s such clear differences in morality, in worldview, in understanding of women and classes and family and politics. I just genuinely find it strange that she passes through these places without really changing all that much. As a traveller, you try to be relatively impartial and observe without judging, being tolerant and understanding of differences, and hopefully learning something from it. But you still have some kind of a reaction to radical differences from what you’re used to! That’s what I felt like Eaves seemed to lack; that reaction, that moment when your perception of the world suddenly spins the other way because of something new you’ve never encountered before. Thirdly, and probably the one that left me a lot more unimpressed than the other factors, is the more or less unabashed patterns of cheating in her relationships. That’s not even a judgemental thing; it’s more just that the author doesn’t even attempt to acknowledge it until the last quarter of the book. For a while I thought “okay, maybe these are casual, open relationships she’s writing about – she is a long-term traveller, maybe there’s an understand going on here, I don’t know the whole story” so I wasn’t too perturbed by it. But then it becomes so painfully obvious that it’s literally just cheating, pure and simple. “Oh, I have a long-term boyfriend in New York? That’s fine, I just met a cute French guy in a nightclub in Cusco (quite possibly one I was in last weekend, eerily enough!) so I’ll just have a fling with him. And never confess it – and go on to have a few more affairs when I move to London.” To be fair, Eaves partially addresses it at that point in the tale. But it takes a good portion of the novel. It’s not even the cheating – that happens in plenty of stories that I love, and it doesn’t irritate me so much as this. It was just the sheer lack of acknowledgement that maybe it wasn’t a good thing to do, what comes across as a lack of responsibility for her own actions. Obviously everyone has different interpretations about love and relationships, and I wouldn’t put it in a review if it was a novel touted solely as about travel. Because that would be nitpicking. But it’s not irrelevant if the author keeps saying how it’s a story about travel and love/lust/whatever, all intertwined and intermingled. So I find the idea that once that initial spark, that early awareness of passion wears off, she is just automatically done and disappointed with the relationship fairly sad. Is there any long-term relationship that is exactly like it was at the start? I would be pretty surprised. Of course, you might not be looking for a long-term relationship. But she seems to be – but it just seems like an incredibly idealistic and naïve expectation to have of a relationship, that I’ve never heard evidence of existing, even. And it all ends rather sadly too. She loses Stu, who probably wasn’t the best fit for her as a partner anyway; but she loses the Englishman too, who seems like the good guy. She ends up basically just getting into a relationship because she needs to make rent; and seriously, how sad is it that you could live in a beautiful apartment in Paris, and be blasé? It’s almost like a warning – don’t get too cocky about travelling, or else you won’t appreciate the places that you do go to. Of course, some of it’s quite relatable. The whole idea of escape, that you can leave and in different places, live different lives – like you get more than one shot to create a character. I totally get that. And the desire to suddenly go everywhere, to the most difficult, far-flung places, just because you can; that’s half the reason I’m currently living in a small town in the Sacred Valley in Peru (that’s a long way from Melbourne, Australia, folks). But like I wrote at the start, appeared to me as quite a cautionary tale; to not let that sense of wanderlust carry you away to total abandon. And as much as it goes against a lot of my travelling instincts, it’s also to make sure you have something left somewhere. Cultivate friendships, even if you aren’t there in person; have somewhere as backup, something to do for employment, someone who will be there for you if all else falls through. Have roots; they don’t have to be strong, but have something.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    I can't believe I finished this book. It was totally lame and one of the worst travel logs I've ever read. The only reason I'm giving it two stars instead of one is because I love reading about people and places that I'll probably never visit. The author describes her sexual encounters more than she describes the beauty of the places she visits. The book should be called, 'Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Many Men'. At the beginning of the book she is more descriptive in her prose. The second half I can't believe I finished this book. It was totally lame and one of the worst travel logs I've ever read. The only reason I'm giving it two stars instead of one is because I love reading about people and places that I'll probably never visit. The author describes her sexual encounters more than she describes the beauty of the places she visits. The book should be called, 'Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Many Men'. At the beginning of the book she is more descriptive in her prose. The second half read like her journal and I found myself drowning in boredom.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Magdelanye

    I'd seen her around in my travels. Even her silence was loud. Making breakfast in the hostels kitchen, scowling into a shop window or a painting, I could never figure out if she was was so intent on an image or her reflection. Often I would notice her at one of the sidewalk cafes, more often she was just arriving as I left. This kind of woman can be of either gender, not entirely aloof but extremely self possessed, fit for the portable spotlight that shone on all her accomplishments. They would I'd seen her around in my travels. Even her silence was loud. Making breakfast in the hostels kitchen, scowling into a shop window or a painting, I could never figure out if she was was so intent on an image or her reflection. Often I would notice her at one of the sidewalk cafes, more often she was just arriving as I left. This kind of woman can be of either gender, not entirely aloof but extremely self possessed, fit for the portable spotlight that shone on all her accomplishments. They would be the one who not only trekked 5 days over risky territory to see a cliff jumping ceremony,but also, arriving early and bearing gifts, is immediately embraced and initiated into the rituals, under the protection of her new boyfriend (a local, of course). You've seen them around too. Shortly after their constant presence becomes acceptable, they are gone. Of course we find ourselves put-off and perhaps even offended by the cavalier attitude or the inevitable hypocrisies. "Love is onle a moment you pass through, not somewhere you can go and live. " she believes. p259 Almost in spite of myself I starting warming up to her early on, when she began a serious study to learn Arabic as preparation for travel in countries where this would be a great advantage. This is not an easy language! I like how she set out to be independent and refrain from passing moral judgements on her for her tendency to latch on to relationships that offered some stability. When things fall apart, she moves on. In these pages EE cracks the facade of the blase world traveler. With the unabashed candor of a born storyteller, she shares her confusion along with random observations as she tracks herself across the globe. Her issues with identity and her concern to achieve some kind of personal ethic are still extremely pertinent in this age of mass displacements. Are we obligated to know the important events of our time ? ....Is it enough to do no harm to the world , or do you have to contribute to it too ? p299 We may not particularly like EE we may even, (as some reviewers have), deplore her, but we may, as I did, come to care enough to drop any judgemental envy of someone who does exactly what they please. We may very well tap in to our own wanderlust, and when we encounter her next, we will not heckle but salut her.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mollie

    I read Eat, Pray, Love and while it can be hard to admit, due to the big budget, low quality Julia Roberts movie, I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit. Sure, Gilbert was a little self-involved - but, wasn't it a memoir? What is a memoir, if not self-involved? Anyway, that's neither here nor there, I bring this up because Wanderlust is pretty much the same story as Eat, Pray, Love, only less spirituality and more infidelity. Wanderlust chronicles the nomadic life of Elisabeth Eaves. From the ag I read Eat, Pray, Love and while it can be hard to admit, due to the big budget, low quality Julia Roberts movie, I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit. Sure, Gilbert was a little self-involved - but, wasn't it a memoir? What is a memoir, if not self-involved? Anyway, that's neither here nor there, I bring this up because Wanderlust is pretty much the same story as Eat, Pray, Love, only less spirituality and more infidelity. Wanderlust chronicles the nomadic life of Elisabeth Eaves. From the age of 19, Elisabeth can't seem to sit still. Moving from one country to the next, working internships, temporary jobs, or not working at all, she soaks in the culture in places as far away as Egypt and Papa New Guinea and as close as Manhattan and Seattle. Originally from Vancouver, Elisabeth, by her mid-thirties, has found herself homeless. Without a "base" to go back to after a(nother) messy breakup, she is forced to question the lifestyle she chose and whether the country hopping was superior to having a family and home. I throughly enjoyed retracing her steps from a college nanny position in spain all the way to a freelance writer's life in Paris. Besides recounting her travels, Eaves spends almost equal amount of page space admitting her second weakness: men - young men, old men, manly men, metrosexual men, men when she already has men in other countries, and men when she is utterly alone and admittedly desperate. Discretion is of no concern to Eaves, as she describes in Danielle Steele fashion the beds she has shared and the men she has chewed up and spat out, over and over again. If you're in the mood for a book that tidily in one package wraps up love, sex, food, travel, and the ultimate question: WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE? Give Wanderlust a chance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    lori light

    I am shocked to read all the negative reviews about this book. I had my own feelings of disdain for Ms. Eaves, but I thought that this book was pretty damn relatable. Okay, I'm not privileged. And, I've never been told I can do whatever I want: I had to make that discovery on my own. But, underneath the privilege and the unsettling romance, she is just a girl trying to find her way in the world and prove that she can do it, man or no man, by her side. It's not my favorite book ever, but I found I am shocked to read all the negative reviews about this book. I had my own feelings of disdain for Ms. Eaves, but I thought that this book was pretty damn relatable. Okay, I'm not privileged. And, I've never been told I can do whatever I want: I had to make that discovery on my own. But, underneath the privilege and the unsettling romance, she is just a girl trying to find her way in the world and prove that she can do it, man or no man, by her side. It's not my favorite book ever, but I found it impossible to put down and I found some excerpts to be pretty beautiful: "Photographers, like writers, want to pin things down. Not entirely happy with the flow of time, we try to capture and explain, to seize moments and then hold them up to the light for examination, salvo ring what's passed." "some people think that too much travel begets infidelity: separation and opportunity test the bonds of love. I think it's more likely that people who hate to make choices, to settle on one thing or another, are attracted to travel. Travel doesn’t beget a double life. The appeal of a double life begets travel." "when traveling stops changing you, it's time to go home."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Swaisland

    I found this book a challenge to finish and underwhelming in its entirety. Billed as a memoir about wanderlust, I found myself questioning the author’s real intentions for travel and slightly saddened by her inability to find a sense of comfort anywhere she went. Wanderlust is defined as “a strong longing for or impulse towards wandering”. I found the author’s motives almost entirely contradictory to this statement, frequently driven to run away from her situation and often seemingly attempting I found this book a challenge to finish and underwhelming in its entirety. Billed as a memoir about wanderlust, I found myself questioning the author’s real intentions for travel and slightly saddened by her inability to find a sense of comfort anywhere she went. Wanderlust is defined as “a strong longing for or impulse towards wandering”. I found the author’s motives almost entirely contradictory to this statement, frequently driven to run away from her situation and often seemingly attempting to run from herself. As the saying goes - everywhere you go, there you are. To me this book was less about a deep lust for travel, and more about the author’s inability to find a sense of peace within herself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Wow. Eaves does not spare herself much scrutiny in this taut, reflective report of her years spent traveling the world. Super interesting, more for the glimpses inside a totally different kind of mind (for me, anyway) than for the adventurous locales she sought out. While I feel certain I wouldn't be able to stand Eaves in person--if she were my classmate or coworker, say--I appreciate her writing and her willingness to report past the pleasantries, and will happily look for her other work. Reco Wow. Eaves does not spare herself much scrutiny in this taut, reflective report of her years spent traveling the world. Super interesting, more for the glimpses inside a totally different kind of mind (for me, anyway) than for the adventurous locales she sought out. While I feel certain I wouldn't be able to stand Eaves in person--if she were my classmate or coworker, say--I appreciate her writing and her willingness to report past the pleasantries, and will happily look for her other work. Recommended for anyone interested in women's memoir or travel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joel Robbins

    Trouble is it's a good travel/adventure turned into why the main character and her sexuality are so screwed up. Good read if you're studying to be a psychologist. Trouble is it's a good travel/adventure turned into why the main character and her sexuality are so screwed up. Good read if you're studying to be a psychologist.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Wanderlust: Let the Summer reading begin! I waffled back and forth on what star rating to give this book. I’m not totally convinced that Wanderlust deserves a full three stars, but it certainly deserves more than two. I, like many people, have had a lifelong love of travel. I am one of those people who relishes solo travel, and Ms. Eaves (sort of, as it turns out) appeared to enjoy that as well. Though money has always been tight, I have been a fortunate traveler. I have had adventures by myself Wanderlust: Let the Summer reading begin! I waffled back and forth on what star rating to give this book. I’m not totally convinced that Wanderlust deserves a full three stars, but it certainly deserves more than two. I, like many people, have had a lifelong love of travel. I am one of those people who relishes solo travel, and Ms. Eaves (sort of, as it turns out) appeared to enjoy that as well. Though money has always been tight, I have been a fortunate traveler. I have had adventures by myself in Australia, Denmark, England, Fiji, Iceland, and Wales, as well as many solo domestic travels and adventures. I thought it might be fun to read about another person (in this case another woman) who likes to travel solo. I did indeed enjoy the book, but I was disappointed in a few things. First off, this ended up being a lot more about sex and romance than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong - I'll read about almost anything if it’s written well, and I certainly didn’t mind this being partly about sexual escapades or romance. Having said that, there is ALOT of romance, relationship, and sex talk. She seems to be one of those people who are always drawn to being in a relationship yet equally unhappy when monogamous. I find I cannot relate to that, but my real problem was that all this sex talk was at the expense of travel talk. There were a couple of times I caught myself thinking ‘Okay, can you describe the area around where you are having hot sex because I’m getting no sense of this place! Wait! Where are we again?” Secondly, I liked the author, but she did come off as a bit of an entitled brat, which was unfortunate. There were, however, moments when Ms. Eaves talked about the freedoms she had as a woman in some countries versus others and her appreciation of that was...well, appreciated! However, there were many more moments of irresponsibility and selfishness that I found highly annoying at times and morally repugnant at others. I did like the honesty, and I like that she owned up to A Bad Thing she repeatedly did. I’m also a fan of the fact that she realized it was indeed A Bad Thing. While Ms. Eaves didn’t do a great job of evoking whatever environs the book was taking place in at different times, she did a serviceable job. Speaking of jobs, I really enjoyed hearing about the jobs she held in different countries, as well as her studies for a year in Egypt. I try to stay away from regrets, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I found myself regretting that I had never studied or worked overseas. Then I slapped myself and reminded myself to be grateful for what I HAVE done. In addition, I would have enjoyed more discussion of cultural differences, racism, and sexism. These things are discussed, but the conversation is more skimming the surface than any kind of a deep dive. One last quibble- a map of the author’s travels would have been nice. However, I still enjoyed the book a good bit and am glad I read it. It made me think of the wonderful trips I’ve had in the past and the trips I want to take in the future. It made me think of the mistakes I’ve made in the past (Oh Yes! Mistakes Were Made) and the good I’ve been lucky to be a part of as well. It also makes me think of the future, and what else I might like to do with that time. I thank the author for that; any book that makes one think is indeed a good thing. This would be a good book to have on hand while in transit. It could really get you in the mood for travel...as well as other things (wink, wink!). Happy Summer Reading, everyone!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    The first part of this book I enjoyed immensely. I loved her candor and vulnerability. I felt she made some very true observations about traveling. I lost her story around the time she developed an affair between two men. I lost sympathy for her selfishness when it started to hurt other people. I had trouble relating to her reasons for the affair, as well difficulty interpreting her opinion on the matter. By the time I got to the end, the book felt more like a ballad to her lost lovers. Like I s The first part of this book I enjoyed immensely. I loved her candor and vulnerability. I felt she made some very true observations about traveling. I lost her story around the time she developed an affair between two men. I lost sympathy for her selfishness when it started to hurt other people. I had trouble relating to her reasons for the affair, as well difficulty interpreting her opinion on the matter. By the time I got to the end, the book felt more like a ballad to her lost lovers. Like I said earlier, she makes some lovely observations about traveling and some good insights on romantic state-of-mind. "Something as simple as figuring out where and how to buy ibuprofen could be a two-hour project...checking stores, asking for directions, and finally finding a pharmacy and learning that you didn't pick things off the shelf, you waited your turn and then pointed, and the team of shopkeepers - everything was overstaffed - retrieved your items from the shelves and packaged them more than necessary, wrapping them in brown paper before placing them in a plastic bag..." "Moreover we thought of the streets as both an obligation and a right. The obligation: We were here to see the place, and had some idea that the real Egypt wasn't a country club.It would be wrong of us only to see the rich. We saw the extreme stratification as soon as we arrived on campus, sa that the lives of the wealthy and the poor intersected only as master and servant. We immediately abhorred this state of affairs, and resolved not to embrace it...Instead we'd learn that as a middle-class North Americans we were also part of a global-class, and that class was stronger than any of us. As for the right: We thought that public space belonged to us. We thought it ought to be a safe commons, where strangers were equal." "Traveling with a lover creates a sense of forward momentum where it might not otherwise exist. The relationship adopts the motion of the physical journey, eliminating the risk of boredom and making the travelers complicit. It shows each person in a new, maybe sexier, light. A journey can drive two people apart, as they realize the different ways they handle fender benders and lost luggage. But if it doesn't, it binds them in a filament of romance and camaraderie." "Yemen was already globalizing, but in ways I couldn't recognize, because I thought the direction of change was always towards Westernization. I thought modernization meant that for better or worse you ended up with a Pizza Hut." "Falling out of love for the first time is as surprising as falling in love...instead of feeling like you've been granted a superpower, you feel like it's been taken away". "Everyone was talking about other countries they'd been to, name-dropping like social climbers" "I took pride in having my own two regions, and was also embarrassed by my pride, so distant did my job seem from whatever it was I was supposed to have been doing." "How much of who I am is defined by the world around me, and how much is something more innate?...The obvious way to find out is to move from one context to another." "From my distance the loss was theoretical, and though I couldn't have said so, I preferred it that way. I felt relieved to be so far away, because I was excused from grieving." "It's amazing how quickly the dust settles when you don't move" "What we needed to get through this was no longer physical strength. That had stopped mattering hours, maybe days ago, when we all exceeded what we'd thought were our physical limits...Now it was psychological strength that mattered, the ability to stay calm and keep pushing ourselves." "The mind isn't cut out to remain frightened and panicked for long periods, even when the frightening conditions go on. At some point you adjust, the conditions become the new normal, and the fear recedes." "If I had a masked ball to go to every year, during which I could play a warrior or a devil, I wonder if, with that outlet at hand, I'd be more able to settle into my own time and place. I think of the carnivals in Brazil and the Caribbean, and the ecstatic dancers I saw during Ashura in Pakistan, bloodying themselves into another state of mind. I have no ritual to take me away. Halloween is a dull and distant cousin." "When you're two people living in the same city, you're not forced into this kind of decision, because you've built up a life where you are...But when you've come together in a foreign country...the decision carries more weight." "I never stopped thinking of him entirely. If we'd had a chance to settle down and become irritated by each other's idiosyncrasies, maybe things would have been different. But we separated at the precise moment of falling in love, and now those feelings seemed to have frozen into a solid, permanent thing." "I recognize that this man isn't really part of my life. I know that I don't know him anymore, that my idea of him is just an idea...Over the years, our ideas of each other have floated away from the actual people we've become...Confronted with the real person, all the intense emotions would go away."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tiffani

    Travel memoir doesn't quite seem adequate to describe Elizabeth Eaves's Wanderlust. It is as much a documentation of the author's emotional and sex lives as it is about her actual travels. I equate traveling with joy, personal and intellectual growth, adventure, and curiosity. Though Eaves's adventures around the world make for an impressive list - Yemen, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, and Australia are just a few of the places she has lived - Wanderlust elicited feelings of adventure and curiosity, p Travel memoir doesn't quite seem adequate to describe Elizabeth Eaves's Wanderlust. It is as much a documentation of the author's emotional and sex lives as it is about her actual travels. I equate traveling with joy, personal and intellectual growth, adventure, and curiosity. Though Eaves's adventures around the world make for an impressive list - Yemen, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, and Australia are just a few of the places she has lived - Wanderlust elicited feelings of adventure and curiosity, perhaps some degree of growth but oddly, not much joy. There is a thin line between running away from responsibilities or difficult situations (especially emotional ones) and running toward something - toward exotic cuisines in exotic locales, toward experiencing the world up close and in person rather than reading about someone else's experience, or toward facing one's fears. Much of time I wasn't sure which side of that line Eaves was on. She definitely is adventurous but for her adventure seems to equal escape. She repeatedly invokes Harry Houdini and his daring escapes from life threatening situations. Likewise, the stamps in Eaves's passport could be interpreted as evidence of her escape from some imaginary prison. Eaves floats from one man to the next but even her long term relationships appeared to have little to do with love, romance, companionship, or even emotion. It was more like she needed an excuse to travel and the excuse needed to be in the form of an escape from whatever self-imposed box she had put herself in. As she readily admits near the end of her relationship with an Englishman (never got his name, not sure if it was there and I just missed it or if his name was never revealed), as soon as he consents to stay with her in one place for awhile, she immediately ceases to want him. For Eaves travel seemed not to be about the destination or even the journey, but rather about the act of freeing herself from any kind of obligation. Buying a house, signing an apartment lease, or maintaining a job may as well have been shackles the way Eaves chafed under them. I sort of get how buying a house could feel like a prison. It is a huge commitment that can dominate one's life and finances for decades, but even an apartment lease was too much for her. Anything that suggested commitment terrified her. Towards the end of the book Eaves decides it is time to stop juggling multiple boyfriends across multiple continents. She starts making moves to settle down with one man. This doesn't mean she is bound for a house in the suburbs or has to give up her passport - his State Department job means Eaves's travels will continue. It only means that her solo trips will decrease in number and her long distance relationship pattern will be replaced by actually being present for the relationship. At first this seems like a happy compromise as she enters her 30s and starts to feel the need for some stability. It is foregone conclusion that this relationship is unlikely to last since Eaves enters into it partly out of love but mostly because her nomadic lifestyle has left her emotionally and financially unstable and she needs someone to be her anchor. As I write this I am beginning to think that this might be the saddest travel memoir I have ever read. This is part of a larger review available at http://passportbooks.blogspot.com/201...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Elisabeth loves to travel and that's putting it mildly. She's spent fifteen years traveling the world; in fact, she's traveled to five continents. Many of those trips, she faced alone as a young women and she's always immersed herself in the culture of each new place she visited. Travel is Elisabeth's everything as she is truly unconventional and challenges society's expectations of women. She's not satisfied by the usual life and wants something more. Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves is a travel m Elisabeth loves to travel and that's putting it mildly. She's spent fifteen years traveling the world; in fact, she's traveled to five continents. Many of those trips, she faced alone as a young women and she's always immersed herself in the culture of each new place she visited. Travel is Elisabeth's everything as she is truly unconventional and challenges society's expectations of women. She's not satisfied by the usual life and wants something more. Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves is a travel memoir that every globe-trotter will love to be lost in. Although I didn't always agree with Elisabeth's decisions, I understood her need for travel as I, too, love to travel. I loved how Elisabeth really dived into the various cultures she visited and was always up for an adventure. She's someone I would LOVE to be friends with. I admired the fact that she's extremely independent, spontaenous, and a bit of a man-eater. She's like the Carrie Bradshaw of the travel world. Ah, the stories we would share over cocktails! *sigh* Elisabeth used travel to avoid responsibility, to discover herself, to forget, to move on, as a companion, etc, Travel was like oxygen to her. An obsession. I found that aspect of Elisabeth to be fascinating. She visited and lived in such incredible places, such as Papua New Guinea, Cairo, and Australia. Her stories of her time spent exploring had me salivating to plan my next escape. On the other hand, I had a weird longing for home and routine as I was reading her story. Travel can be overwhelming and I don't think I could handle as much as Elisabeth did. For example, she makes a trip sailing in which she encounters a massive storm. Her descriptions of this event had me gripping the book, sweating and picturing the worst storm ever. That experience in itself would have caused me to throw in the towel, but Elisabeth is a strong person with an even stronger desire: wanderlust. This memoir would truly be appreciated by feminists as Elisabeth paints a picture of an unconventional life....one that doesn't include homemade apple pies while made barefoot and pregnant. I'd like to think that women today don't have to pick either life. Why can't they have both? I'm sure many people that will read this might say that Elisabeth missed out on marriage, 2.5 kids and a house in the suburbs, but how many people will ever get to experience what she lived through? The sights she witnessed? The adventures she experienced? You don't need to convince me that travel is life-changing. Amen! I am a believer. So, if you can't get away this summer and you want a vacation for the mind, pick up a copy of Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves. You can live vicariously through her adventures while never leaving the comfort of your backyard. After all, don't you want to know where Elisabeth ends up?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    "To be in love felt expansive. It included the whole world, made anything possible." This pretty much sums up the journeys Eaves documents in Wanderlust. She can't settle down. She can't pick a career. Or a relationship, really. It all boils down to her continuing to go, pursue, have new experiences, in travel and in love, in a way that the two were inseparable. I loved that spirit, and it definitely took her some places that aren't even on my list - Pakistan and Papua New Guinea, for instance. S "To be in love felt expansive. It included the whole world, made anything possible." This pretty much sums up the journeys Eaves documents in Wanderlust. She can't settle down. She can't pick a career. Or a relationship, really. It all boils down to her continuing to go, pursue, have new experiences, in travel and in love, in a way that the two were inseparable. I loved that spirit, and it definitely took her some places that aren't even on my list - Pakistan and Papua New Guinea, for instance. Some other favorite bits (forgive me, I have my own wanderlust for wanderlust): "The traveler always betrays the place." "A voyage has to have a destination to give it shape and flavor. We quest for something desirable, but we also desire quests." "Traveling with a lover creates a sense of forward momentum where it might not otherwise exist. The relationship adopts the motion of the physical journey, eliminating the risk of boredom and making the travelers complicit. It shows each person in a new, maybe sexier, light. A journey can drive two people apart, as they realize the different ways they handle fender benders and lost luggage. But if it doesn't, it binds them in a filament of romance and camaraderie." "The masquerade was too real. What if I was like them? I couldn't bear the idea that this life might be my only one. I couldn't bear the thought of being ordinary." "For someone who liked to please, it would be easy to end up with a concealed life. You just did what your boyfriend wanted, and got on with your own thing inside. You might end up with a case of cognitive dissonance, when two versions of your life came crashing together. Or the twain might never meet." "Putting myself in new situations, I thought, would act as a purifying fire, charring away all the dross and leaving some essential self." "By leaving our safety net, we have thrown our souls upon the wind, exposing ourselves to all of the fears and dangers that we sought to protect each other from, and in doing so, we have made ourselves available to experience things that border on the magical." "He's on a bicycle ride, he says. From Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America, to Alaska. I could love him just for that." "I think it's just too tempting to have two lives rather than one. Some people think that too much travel begets infidelity: Separation and opportunity test the bonds of love. I think it's more likely that people who hate to make choices, to settle on one thing or another, are attracted to travel. Travel doesn't beget a double life. The appeal of the double life begets travel." "Are we obligated to do something useful in the world, or just not mess it up?" "My wanderlust hovers, repressed, under the surface, while I both desire and fear its potential consequences."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Looking at some reviews of Wanderlust, it's obvious that some people didn't like it. I loved it though. Elisabeth spoke to me. In the book she talks about paths and how choosing one path can close the door on the other. In my generation (and hers) we are told we can do anything we want. And while that's true, we can't do everything. Elisabeth realizes this through her life and travel and it's something I've started to realize as well as I try to make sense of who and what I want to be as an adul Looking at some reviews of Wanderlust, it's obvious that some people didn't like it. I loved it though. Elisabeth spoke to me. In the book she talks about paths and how choosing one path can close the door on the other. In my generation (and hers) we are told we can do anything we want. And while that's true, we can't do everything. Elisabeth realizes this through her life and travel and it's something I've started to realize as well as I try to make sense of who and what I want to be as an adult. Will you like the book? That depends if you have wanderlust. If you have an indescribable urge to travel, to seek out new experiences, new adventures, and if you don't play by the rules. Elisabeth has lots of sex with lots of men and has an issue with fidelity. Many people will see this as weak. Many won't understand it. But it's tied to Elisabeth's wanderlust as well. Many people try to put her in a typical role. That yes you can travel and see the world. But you will also get married, have a career, develop a home, etc. Elisabeth struggles with these ideas. And the freedom she discovers while traveling is her freedom. It is her escape from trying "to be an adult" in the way that we are taught and programmed to be. Yea, I know that's deep. But as long as you are okay with her inner turmoil (even if you don't understand it), you'll love the book just for her travels and stories. I can see myself in her shoes in Spain, Egypt, Yemen, Australia, Papua New Guinea, London, & Paris. This is definitely a book I'll go back to. Because even though I didn't make the same choices Elisabeth did, I see her path as one of the ones I could have taken. And I often wonder if I should have.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sean McGrath

    As someone whose own travel book is set to hit shelves in the spring, I’m admittedly hypercritical of the genre, reading it less for the stories and more for the construction. And this book is constructed like a journal. For the incredible journeys the author goes on, the vacillating definition of “home,” and the double-helix of emotions that attends to that schism, the author does herself a disservice, truly, by including more detail than feeling. I don’t care about an “obese” sunbather whose d As someone whose own travel book is set to hit shelves in the spring, I’m admittedly hypercritical of the genre, reading it less for the stories and more for the construction. And this book is constructed like a journal. For the incredible journeys the author goes on, the vacillating definition of “home,” and the double-helix of emotions that attends to that schism, the author does herself a disservice, truly, by including more detail than feeling. I don’t care about an “obese” sunbather whose description goes on for about two pages before never being mentioned again. In fact, 80% of the people mentioned in this book play such a minuscule role in the story itself that I have to think their inclusion was only to fill out its pages. Going abroad for any period of time is transformative; doing it when you’re 18, 21, 25... is life-changing. But the narrator remained static, stuck in a mindset of privilege, acknowledging it only briefly. She was an outsider and seemed to have disdain for the very people she lived amongst. The last full paragraph I fully read was when she described a group of street urchins as “dusty” with no apparent regard for the way that phrasing came off. That same page spent particular effort describing a Dilbert comic. For all the wonder of travel, and all the lusting done over being unmoored from societal constraints, this book was hyperbolic, it was messy, and it was pleonastic. Did not finish.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A book review in a fashion magazine made me add this book to my "must read" list. Considering that I have read very few books over the past couple of years, and that I have started a bunch that I have never been able to finish, I think it’s important to point out that I read this one fairly quickly and hated to put it down. Elisabeth Eaves is a fearless, strong woman. Her travel memoir takes her to exotic, even dangerous places—ones the average girl probably wouldn't think about traveling to. Fo A book review in a fashion magazine made me add this book to my "must read" list. Considering that I have read very few books over the past couple of years, and that I have started a bunch that I have never been able to finish, I think it’s important to point out that I read this one fairly quickly and hated to put it down. Elisabeth Eaves is a fearless, strong woman. Her travel memoir takes her to exotic, even dangerous places—ones the average girl probably wouldn't think about traveling to. For many reasons, I related to her instantly. Eaves had an inherent desire to travel, and in college, she applied for a study abroad program in Cairo, Egypt, not because she particularly wanted to go to Egypt, but because she wanted to go somewhere far, and that was what the school offered. Her time in Egypt inspired her to travel farther east. She went to Yemen, Australia, Papua New Guinea, all the while traveling lightly and living simply. I admired her ability to pack up her entire life into a few boxes and relocate so easily. Reading this book has helped me to put some things into perspective. I’m fascinated by Eaves and her strong will to do whatever she wants. The book has also rekindled my desire to travel and seek adventure. Overall, a great book that I will probably read again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah S

    This was more about about who she was doing and who she wished she was doing more than it was about traveling. Would not recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura Davey

    Enjoyed this honest and engaging travel memoir. Follow Elisabeth Eaves around five continents as she recalls the lessons that life, love and travel have taught her about the world, but mostly about herself. This is the story of a true wanderluster, she is a traveller through and through. If you're looking for stories of backpacking through Thailand and travelling through Europe, you won't find them here. Elisabeth goes truly off the beaten path from living in Egypt, Yemen and Australia, she hikes Enjoyed this honest and engaging travel memoir. Follow Elisabeth Eaves around five continents as she recalls the lessons that life, love and travel have taught her about the world, but mostly about herself. This is the story of a true wanderluster, she is a traveller through and through. If you're looking for stories of backpacking through Thailand and travelling through Europe, you won't find them here. Elisabeth goes truly off the beaten path from living in Egypt, Yemen and Australia, she hikes to remote places in Papua New Guinea, China and Peru. Often putting herself into emotionally or physically difficult places and situations as she attempts to know herself better and reconcile her need for freedom and to take a different path from the 'norm'. She is brutally honest about herself, her relationships and her choices and I was left admiring her bravery and courage to be true to herself against all other external forces. She makes no compromise or apologies, something I hope to learn from in some way.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Camille Cusumano

    Only those afflicted or blessed, as the case may be, with early onset wanderlust (and wonder lust) can fully appreciate the travels and adventures of the author. I'm happy that women are finally expressing what they've done for ages (but didn't have the same license as men to write about). Eaves writes "The best kind of travel---the kind I wanted to experience---involves a particular state of mind, in which one is not merely open to the occurrence of the unexpected, but to deep involvement in th Only those afflicted or blessed, as the case may be, with early onset wanderlust (and wonder lust) can fully appreciate the travels and adventures of the author. I'm happy that women are finally expressing what they've done for ages (but didn't have the same license as men to write about). Eaves writes "The best kind of travel---the kind I wanted to experience---involves a particular state of mind, in which one is not merely open to the occurrence of the unexpected, but to deep involvement in the unexpected, indeed, open to the possibility of having one's life changed forever by a chance encounter." Readers who seem overly preoccupied with the author's occasional (and they are occasional) sexual adventures have never opened up to that deep wonderous (wanderous) feeling. Back, a few weeks later with an updated review now that I've finished the book. I have deleted one star. (You may notice that I'm a lax reviewer - that's because I rarely finish reading the one-, two-, and three-star books so I don't review at that level. If I finish a book, it's usually at least a 4 star. Back to WL). Yes, indeed, it does seem that Eaves is all about falling into bed with the next guy she meets. And being a self-described tall, thin, blonde, green-eyed fair maiden, she seems to have no problem. Let's recall two things: the book covers 15 years, so the bedding downs are scrunched together, seeming more frequent than they actually are (I'm guessing, who knows). And, in the first pages of her book, Eaves described what she means by "wanderlust" and if you read closely it would seem to include a love of, a compulsion for, the very "longing" itself for a man who is far away. The first half of the book is still five stars - I loved being with the author in the Mideast and thru some of her coming of age. The writing never flags - her style is engaging and even when I felt disappointed by getting too much maudlin detail about the courtships and not enough about the cultural immersion or exchange that we world travelers invariably experience, I couldn't put the book down. The courtships, which begin to dominate the second half of the book, take place in what I call "international limbo" - that is they could be men anywhere (the same flaws and attractions beset them all). In New Guinea, I awaited so much more about the culture and the Pacific theater of WW II (my father was a soldier there), but it never came. On a rugged hike there, the Kokoda Track, the author gives us details about James who nearly dies from malaria and has to be airlifted out. She never comes back to James - did he live or die, we'll never know. It made me feel that he was unimportant as he was not a "love" interest. Too bad, that. One more small but significant criticism. The author is intent on using the F-word where I would use "making love." She never explains why. Her use of "f---ing" is baffling. If she is trying to desensitize our culture to a word that is most often said in anger, during violence, or as an unequivocally intended vulgarity - it's not working. Making love is perfectly descriptive - it's how I feel about sex. The word was a big speed bump in her otherwise admirable literary style.

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