Are you a Global Vagabond?
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back. (From Goodreads)
I put off reading this one for a really long time because I knew it was going to be amazing. Makes sense right? It does - I promise. Here's what I mean: I get restless very quickly. I'm the anywhere but here girl - no matter where I'm living I tend to feel ready to move on after a few months. I love to travel. I love new places and seeing new things. So I knew I would read this book and it would be amazing and it would fuel my restlessness.
Which is exactly what it did. It's the kind of book that makes you want to give up everything you own and just wander. It's about meeting people, taking chances, seeking out new things, and letting yourself just be who you are no matter where you are. I've done my fair share of traveling, mostly in Europe. I've backpacked, I've lived in Spain, I've done day trips and weekends. I've flown in planes with pilots who I swear never learned how to properly land a plane, I've ridden on local buses, been in cars with drivers who like to have close personal relationships with the side of mountains, and slept (or at least drifted in and out of consciousness) on a bunk in a train sleeper car. I've traveled. And this book captures what it is to be a traveler perfectly. All the emotions of learning a new place, feeling a little helpless, and then all the wonderfulness that occurs once you open yourself to new people and experiences - those things are all so vivid and punctuated here.
Bria is the perfect character to bring these things to life. She's at that crossroads where high school is over and she's ready to shed that past and become someone different. She's also spent a good amount of time in a relationship with someone who made her feel worthless. So it was so beautiful to watch her growth and for her to come to realize that she's strong enough to travel on her own and open up her life to change - to embrace who she really is. And Rowan, who's an experienced traveler who is the perfect character to lead Bria through her transformation. The way Bria and Rowan's relationship unfolded was just as awe-inspiring as being in a new country. The actual journey paired with their relationship was wonderfully complimentary and made every emotion in this book so poignant that, even though it wasn't meant to be a sad story, I found myself crying at the end when things got intense.
There were so many moments in this book where I just thought, this is it - this is why people travel - but this one is my favorite:
"'I think I kind of get it,' I say. 'Your Wanderlove thing...It's about always looking to the future. You can appreciate the good things all around you, but the best part is imminent, just out of reach. Like...perpetual anticipation'" (Quoted from the e-galley).I want everyone to read this book - whether you've traveled or not - whether you're dying to go or have no desire to - I swear you'll find something in this book that speaks to you. If you're anything like me it'll make you want to get up and go explore the world. Finally - I definitely recommend that you check out the Wanderlove Tumblr page where you can submit your own travel photos and see the places others love. Wanderlove is out tomorrow (March 13) so pick up a copy and start your travels.