Reading: The Lost Girls

In their late twenties, three successful New York career-oriented women said good-bye to their boyfriends, put their worldly possessions in storage and took off on a year-long, around-the-world trip.

It’s the kind of thing friends joke about doing over half-off, happy hour cocktails. The only difference is that Amanda Pressner, Holly Corbett and Jennifer Baggett actually did leave the pre-marked trail of life to set off on a journey that took them across four continents and a spectrum of satisfying, disappointing, frightening, exciting and unexpected moments along the way.

The Lost Girls is the story of this around-the-world adventure. The girls begin their trip with a hike up the Inca Trail in Peru, spend a month mentoring girls at a boarding school in Kenya, study yoga in India, are taken on a wild ride by a cab driver in Vietnam and go bungee jumping in New Zealand.

Along the way, they find true love, have their hearts broken, argue with each other, reconcile their differences, try to hold onto the past, learn to let go, contemplate the future and realize that it’s okay not to scale the career ladder, be married and have 2.2 children before they’re 30 years old.

What I appreciated most about the trip that Amanda, Holly and Jennifer took around the world is that they didn’t try to conform to anything. They didn’t shirk from checking out the popular sites or checking in with their guidebooks for advice. But they also didn’t feel the need to run around the world at breakneck speed. By slowing down and spending extended periods of time in different locations, they got to know the people and problems in the places they visited.

At nearly 550 pages, this book looks a bit heavy in weight, but with each girl telling a chapter at a time, it was easy to read, engaging, fun and over before I wanted it to be. The girls have done a great job with putting the reader in the moment while they debate the merits of their worldly travels. They share their insecurities and concerns, their hopes and observations without any preconceived notions. In particular, I appreciated their thoughts about how their travels impact the world on a greater level.

I highly recommend The Lost Girls to anyone who is looking for a good, solidly written and interesting read. But, if you’re a twenty-something unsure about your path in life or you feel like you’re simply going through the motions because you’re supposed to, you absolutely must get your hands on a copy of this book.

I received a free copy of this book to review, but all of the opinions contained in this review are my own.

4 Responses to “Reading: The Lost Girls”

    • JoAnna

      You definitely should. It’s a quick read and very well written.

  1. Manu Stanley

    Seems like an interesting read, JoAnna. Though I cannot equate myself with the protagonists of this book, I feel there might be some common threads I share with them, 🙂
    I would like to add it to my list too!

    Best regards,

    • JoAnna

      I think one of the most interesting things about this book, Manu, is that, while it is a travel memoir, there’s also a personal journey that these three women go through. I think that’s something we all experience, regardless of who we are.


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