Last night I attended the book launch party for The Lost Girls, written by one of Shape's former editors, and my very good friend, Amanda Pressner. Amanda, along with her two best friends, Holly Corbett and Jennifer Baggett, ditched their jobs, broke up with their boyfriends, and took a year-long, 60,000 mile journey across four continents and more than a dozen countries (mostly Third World areas)—and they blogged about it too! Now, a few years later, their first book, The Lost Girls, by the same name as their popular blog, has become a huge success and is even a top ten must-read from USA Today!
Before Amanda, Jenn, and Holly, decided to take this trek they had come to a crossroads that we all may have felt at one point in our lives. They were in their mid-20’s and questioning if following their “passion” was truly their passion after all. Did they really like their jobs? Did they want their careers to define who they were becoming? Was this really it? They didn’t know and were unsure about where they were going.
So this is how a seemingly quarter-life crisis evolved into the idea of traveling the world and letting go of all those big time responsibilities that “adult life” knocks us with after we’ve shut the door on our college years. Although the idea of doing this would completely scare me (as Amanda thought, “Would this be career suicide?”), the notion that your life, is your time, and the world is an open book for you to explore makes it tempting to escape. Although I wouldn’t have the guts to do what my friend Amanda did, I’m so proud that she took a risk—and got to see the world through her very own eyes. If you just aren’t that adventurous like me (my version of this is competing in triathlons, marathons, and swimming in the Hudson River!), or other reasons prevent you from packing up and exploring the world, then you should check out their blog, and read The Lost Girls memoir. I think this book is the Eat, Pray, Love for the pre-marriage girls in the midst of their first career (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is the post-divorce memoir of spiritual and self-exploration, which hit newsstands while the girls were on their journey—they knew nothing about it!). Not only does The Lost Girls website chronicle where the girls are today, and all the exciting places they’re still visiting, but you’ll get firsthand accounts from all the “Lost Girls” around the world—they’ve inspired so many people to follow their guts as well.
The Lost Girls was an idea that I was lucky enough to see grow from the very beginning. Amanda started working at Shape the same week that I did and we bonded right away. She was an idol, mentor, and such an inspiration for me right away (and still is)! It’s crazy to see how Amanda’s life has taken off (I remember the days when she was putting in double time at work and then staying up all night to write this book!). So if you have the traveling bug or want some inspiration to follow your dreams, check out The Lost Girls website, www.lostgirlsworld.com, for all you need to know about traveling from city to city, state to state, or even across the world! Congratulations Amanda!