The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner
The odds that these three girls would all meet and then decide they would travel together for a year in 2006 (by the way, they were still friends at the end of the trip), all while busy building careers in New York – and then write a book about their adventures is slim to none! But this is exactly what Jennifer, Holly and Amanda accomplished with the release of this book in 2010 after their Round-the-World trip.
The book initially chronicles each of their desires to travel as well as their struggles to leave demanding fast-paced careers, “normal” life expectations and significant others.
But then the trip actually becomes reality; first stop is in Peru where they hike the Inca trail and explore the Amazon Basin.
It can be challenging traveling with three people. Each person has their own pace of travel, own travel agenda and budget. Similar travel interests and compromises are two important components to a trip like this. The first part of their trip involves getting to know each other better, adjusting to life on the road and finding a shared pace that was comfortable for all.
Admirably a return to New York after two months traveling does not lead to the cancelling of the rest of the trip – despite all the distractions and prior connections they have to this city. They continued on to Kenya where their eyes were opened by a free style volunteering experience in which volunteers set their own initiatives. During their time volunteering they wrote a play for schoolchildren which they later found out was distributed to schools across the country.
Part travel diary, part reflections on life on the road and part transformation that raw in the moment travel can bring – these are their stories of friendship and experiences across 60,000 miles and four continents.
Random memorable stories and incidents (some good, some bad) that invariably happen on long independent trips are entertaining to read about; an aggressive and hostile taxi driver in Vietnam, joining an Ashram in Southern India for yoga and meditation, crashing a van into a large tree branch which destroyed their roof in Australia and the pursuit of romance while on the road.
This is an inspiring read from several levels. First: they did it! Second – they proved you can leave a career and your goals won’t be derailed for the rest of your days. Third, a trip like this broadens one’s perspective from many different angles. Upon returning, they each were able to more clearly identify the important aspects in their lives – especially the importance of finding a healthy balance between work life and personal life.
Perhaps a bit of bias, but best chapter? Jen, Bangkok, Thailand February.