So we all know I love to eat. And I love being in love. I guess you could say I don’t pray too much (okay, not at all) unless it’s for love…or some really tasty cheese. Mmm…cheese.
The much-hyped movie Eat Pray Love starring Julia Roberts comes out this weekend. Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling book of the same name, it tells her story of chucking it all to travel around the world while doing some eating in Italy, loving in Bali, and praying in India. Sound familiar? Well, as I mentioned I didn’t do much praying unless you count praying for certain rickety buses to make it to their destinations safely. You’ve probably already been bombarded with the marketing machine for the film, but just in case you have not… here’s some more for you.
I did read the book and have a mixed review of it. Many who have asked me about it said it reminded them of me and my trip and understandably so. But personally, I actually found it a bit dry. Perhaps it was because I read it during my own real life adventures around the world. Yes, similarly, I had made the decision to chuck it all: the boyfriend, the car, the condo, the cushy television job, to travel around the world solo. But that’s where the similarities ended. I also honestly feel that since I’ve read and enjoyed so many other travelogues , I have more to compare it to and just enjoyed others more. I think for many readers, this may have been their first travel memoir since it managed to get off the travel book shelves and onto the best sellers’ table and in that respect it is a very inspirational story.
And then there’s the envy part. Since I am writing my own book about my travels and had some amazing moments and stories to tell, I can only hope that the successes of Eat Pray Love will help expand this genre.
The good news? Books and movies like this are shining a spotlight on long term travel. Because of this, I am excited to be hosting the Chicago portion of a nationwide event in September fittingly called Meet, Plan, Go!
We hope to really show people who have been dreaming of doing this, HOW to actually do it. The good folks at Briefcase to Backpack and Three Month Visa are putting together this travel ‘movement’ to help inspire others to really do it and give them the tools and info they need to make it a reality.
It’s all about inspiring other would-be travelers and answering all those common questions like:
- Where do you get the guts to quit your ‘life’ and do this? The spleen store.
- How did you pay for it all? Sold my other spleens.
- What did you pack? Not a lot.
- How did you plan for such an long trip? You don’t.
- What about your safety? Weren’t you scared traveling alone as a woman? Nope.
So, if you are thinking of making a life change, a career break, or a major trip, then good for you! Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because something will always come up to get in your way. And there are very few excuses that really fly. I have met many people traveling who had lots of possible ‘reasons’ that would stop them: pets, spouses, children, careers, homes, cars, lack of funds, on and on. Just as beautiful spots are ‘touristy’ for a reason (um, they’re beautiful!), so are clichés: Where there’s a will…there’s a way..
Join us September 14th for this exciting network of FREE events. Besides Chicago, the event will be held simultaneously in 13 cities around North America. You will meet many others who want to do what you want and talk to inspiring world travelers that have already done it. Come and learn from them. Come be inspired. Come to make your dream a reality too. Please join us for Meet, Plan, Go!
Here I am on WGN News Midday show talking about my travels and the event: