Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Book Review: Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free

I have been trying to space out my book reviews for you because not everyone else is a maniac and reads non stop, some of you have actual lives and do fun stuff on a regular basis.

Which is why this book might be right up your alley!

Where To? How I Shed My Baggage and Learned to Live Free - Jennifer B. Monahan

When Jennifer Monahan announced her intention to leave her well-established career as a business strategy consultant and give up her rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco to do a global walkabout for an undetermined amount of time, her friends and family thought she was insane. But Jennifer was excited about taking the time to truly explore and immerse herself in a variety of cultures, so their scepticism didn’t faze her; plus she was used to traveling alone as a woman with only one carry-on bag. What she didn’t count on was discovering all the excess baggage she had been carrying with her from her past. 

WHERE TO? chronicles one year of Monahan’s life, primarily in the Guatemalan jungle, but also in Japan, Cambodia and Thailand. Living in a thatched-roof hut in a tiny village, Monahan connected with local shamans and participated in their ancient rituals, became fully integrated into the daily life of a local family, and ultimately faced down some of the greatest losses and long-buried pain she had experienced. WHERE TO? shares the six steps she took to heal and courageously create the life of her dreams, and includes a workbook for readers to do the same.

Right off the bat I will tell you I liked this book because I have always wanted to pack up my crap and travel all over. Realistically that's not going to happen because my health is precarious and I would be in real trouble should I get sick abroad. So that ship has sailed for me, but it doesn't mean I can't apply her concept and principles to traveling in general, even if it is within this continent because those don't really change for your destination. Secondly, at the very end of the book is a "Courageously Authentic Life Worksheet" and it's only 7 questions but they are BIG questions that require some real thought and reflection of your life, and that might mean confronting some uncomfortable truths.

I really enjoyed her journey from San Francisco all the way to Bangkok and everywhere in between. She completely uproots her life to go on this journey, not really knowing what the end result was going to be or what the plan upon coming home was going to be. She speaks with candor, she has some kind of frightening experiences, and certainly some frustrating ones. You know when we get pissy about a two hour delay in the airport? It's that times 791, which is what I imagine traveling abroad is like anyways. I really liked that everywhere she went, she made friends, the kind of friends you actually keep in touch with long after you've gone home and you know you can visit anytime.  She realizes some experiences she's had in life had become barriers to her even though she felt like she dealt with/got over/moved on from them so she found herself have to really get into them so that she could get beyond those barriers and get to a place that was freeing for her.

I'm going to definitely give this one 4 stars. My only quip was at times it was meandering and I felt like I wasn't understanding the exact point of a chapter or experience and how that played a part of the bigger story. It could have been refined a little better in some parts, basically. It really reminded me of the book Excess Baggage by Tracey Carisch so if you enjoyed that you will enjoy this one as well.
A big thank you to author Jennifer B. Monahan for providing a copy of this book for review and Pump Up Your Book for coordinating this tour! All thoughts of this book are my own, and this post does contain affiliate links that help keep this blog going. 

Happy travels!

1 comment:

Jennifer Monahan said...

Thank you so much for the review Sara!