Oct 09 2010
Three women, all in their late twenties, struggle to balance careers and relationships. Work deadlines, happy hours, caffeinated beverages, and workouts at the gym fill their fast-paced, over-scheduled New York City lives. That is, until they up and decide to take a year-long, round-the-world trip. Starting in South America, they travel to Africa, then to Asia, ending with Australia and New Zealand. Then, they turned their experiences into a book – The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World, by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner.
The story is filled with romance and adventure. Together, Holly, Jen, and Amanda hike the Inca Trail, try medicine from an Amazonian shaman, party at a Brazilian favela, write a play in Kenya, visit a Laotian spa, go surfing in Australia, and bungee jump 440 feet into a river valley in New Zealand.
Relationships form fast and intensely on the road, as friends and acquaintances come and go with lightning speed. Amanda has a fling in Laos, Jen falls in love in Bangkok, and Holly continually calls and Skypes her long-term boyfriend back home.
But it’s not all fun and games, as the girls battle armies of cockroaches, have to fend off rabid dogs, and get into a near-violent disagreement with an aggressive taxi driver. Holly, Jen, and Amanda meet AIDS patients in Kenya, witness extreme poverty in India, observe rampant prostitution in Thailand, and visit the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum in Cambodia.
There is also much hope, however, as in Holly’s words “the darkness cast by some gives others the chance to let their light shine.” The girls volunteer in a Kenyan village and decide to sponsor a little girl named Esther. They give business to restaurants and hostels in Southeast Asia that hire and train street kids. Holly finds peace while meditating at the Shraddha Ashram in India. And as always with travel and life in general, there is much beauty: sunrise over Machu Picchu; sparkling beaches in the Thai islands; misty mountains in Vietnam; a child’s smile.
I highly recommend this book but warn that it will make you want to drop everything and hop on the next plane.Read more: Africa, Around the World Travel, Backpacking, Book Reviews, Love & Relationships, New Zealand, South America, Southeast Asia, The Lost Girls, Travel, Volunteer Travel, Women's Travel
Elissa recently graduated from college and has no idea what to do with her life. But she would like to continue traveling. Anywhere. Even the moon...