counter create hit How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker

Availability: Ready to download

I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren's travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren's travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted, lost teeth and swallowed a cockroach. She fell into leech-infested rice paddies, was caught up in a tsunami, her motorbike's brakes failed and she experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand. It was just when Lauren was about to give up on travel that she stumbled across a handsome New Zealander with a love of challenges...


Compare
Ads Banner

I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren's travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren's travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted, lost teeth and swallowed a cockroach. She fell into leech-infested rice paddies, was caught up in a tsunami, her motorbike's brakes failed and she experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand. It was just when Lauren was about to give up on travel that she stumbled across a handsome New Zealander with a love of challenges...

30 review for How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker

  1. 5 out of 5

    Inge

    3.5 stars I think Lauren's misery during her travels stems 33% from bad luck, 33% from her own stupidity, and 33% from having an asshole boyfriend with zero tact and empathy, who has no idea how to comfort people with anxiety. But all her misfortune did make up a really good story, and I loved reading all the descriptions of the many places she's visited. Definitely a good one for your wanderlust.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fiona MacDonald

    I read this in one setting. I loved it. I love reading about people's experiences travelling because I have always been too scared to go myself, so it's reassuring to read about it whilst from the safety of my own house! Lauren has always lived an extremely shelteres life, to the extent that she has never tried eggs, she has never used a bus, she can't speak to people and she doesn't know how to function her own. Added to whcih, she has numerous psychological problems including anxiety, panic att I read this in one setting. I loved it. I love reading about people's experiences travelling because I have always been too scared to go myself, so it's reassuring to read about it whilst from the safety of my own house! Lauren has always lived an extremely shelteres life, to the extent that she has never tried eggs, she has never used a bus, she can't speak to people and she doesn't know how to function her own. Added to whcih, she has numerous psychological problems including anxiety, panic attacks and hypochondria which make her a walking disaster zone. Still, when she sets her mind on travelling for a year, her parents and friends are less than supportive, believing that she will back out at the last minute. But she doesn't, instead, she travels the world, getting mixed up in scams, having near death experiences, eating food she never dreamed she would like, and last but not least, meeting a man who will change her for ever. Heartfelt, tender and very funny, I loved Lauren's story and feel so proud of her conquering her worst fears.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra Crivelli

    You can read the full review on the blog (here) MEH. I struggle a bit to finish this book. I loved the premise and all but I just couldn't relate with. I didn't really appreciate the introduction of the love story and all. I understand that this book is probably a true story and all but I just aspect a different story. Also, I can relate with a bunch of anxiety stuff but Lauren really pissed me off on so many things. 1. How can you drink a margarita next to a super expensive computer? What the he You can read the full review on the blog (here) MEH. I struggle a bit to finish this book. I loved the premise and all but I just couldn't relate with. I didn't really appreciate the introduction of the love story and all. I understand that this book is probably a true story and all but I just aspect a different story. Also, I can relate with a bunch of anxiety stuff but Lauren really pissed me off on so many things. 1. How can you drink a margarita next to a super expensive computer? What the hell! Have a little respect for your money and technology. I don't even drink tea close to my computer. 2. You live in the UK and you never eaten rice? A cheesecake? Eggs? Did your parents ever feed you as a child? 3. She is so trusty with everybody. As an anxious person myself I never trust strangers. The main character is pretty unlucky on some things, sure. But most of the time Lauren is just so stupid. Super annoying. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    There is something truly depressing about reading a book written by an idiot who doesn't realise what an idiot they are. Though the delusional, whiney author would have you believe she is the unluckiest traveller to ever live, her problem really is that she is stupid. This is the story of Lauren Juliff, a phoney, anxious, hypochondriac who decides to travel the world. In the first few chapters Lauren talks up how bookish and intelligent she is. She says she studied physics in university and read There is something truly depressing about reading a book written by an idiot who doesn't realise what an idiot they are. Though the delusional, whiney author would have you believe she is the unluckiest traveller to ever live, her problem really is that she is stupid. This is the story of Lauren Juliff, a phoney, anxious, hypochondriac who decides to travel the world. In the first few chapters Lauren talks up how bookish and intelligent she is. She says she studied physics in university and read tons of travel books before deciding to go on her adventure. Some of the things this intelligent person decides to do are: -plan her trip for months then leave her packing for the morning of her 6:30 flight (poor organisation is a common theme) -fall for a tourist trap involving a tea house and scammers posing as schoolgirls when she was warned of this exact scam (stupidity level: 10) -eat raw chilli and then touch her eye (her defense was: she hadn't eaten chilli before), plausability of an intelligent person not knowing that chilli is spicy or that it irritates eyes - 0 -get a headache and then go see a dentist in Thailand about this problem (stupid, but the hypochondriac angle works for this story) -allow that same dentist to jab her with a needle and perform two filling procedures (oh yes, because hypochondriac's wouldn't be afraid of any diseases in possibly shady south-east asia dental practices. I don't think I should even mention that her dentist back home in London had told her her teeth were fine before she left.) -go adventure bicycle riding in worn-out flip-flops when specifically told to wear good shoes (sympathy factor: -10) -fall over in thise flip flops while wading through a rice paddy (to which she says: only this would happen to me, yes Lauren only you, or perhaps any idiot wearing inappropriate footwear) During the book she meets this poor man, Dave. This schmuck stands by her until he finally finds the balls to say: "Maybe you need to stop thinking of yourself as being unlucky and start thinking of how you can stop doing stupid things." To which Lauren replies, "... it's a lack of common sense, I guess. I just don't stop and think about what I'm doing before I do it." To which the world gasps and says "No! Really!?" Then she decides that she'll never stop being stupid, as she says, "Travel had taught me that common sense was unlikely to be something I'd pick up..." But she does decide to buy a mobile phone, which she is convinced will help solve a lot of her future problems. Way to go Lauren. And that, ridiculous as it is, is how that little dilemma of her being a moron was solved. So, Lauren, I wish you well on your onwards adventure, but please, for humanity's sake, do not write home... you'll probably end up turning that swill into a sequel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I loved Lauren's narrative voice in this travel memoir. There were many instances of laughing out loud at her cluelessness, and equally as many "how are you still alive you dummy?" moments where I wondered how someone with so little common sense could exist. But more than that, this book began to inspire me to look into countries I never would have thought to travel to - Croatia, Thailand, Cambodia, to name a few. All in all, an excellent and entertaining read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Yorke

    I was very disappointed with this book. I picked it up when travelling myself and thought it looked like a light-hearted entertaining read that I'd probably be able to relate to, but I very quickly realised that Ms Juliff isn't quite the comically accident-prone innocent she is so keen to appear. There are just too many things that don't ring true in her description of herself and she came across to me as an obnoxious whinging fraud who played the doe-eyed damsel in distress in order to manipula I was very disappointed with this book. I picked it up when travelling myself and thought it looked like a light-hearted entertaining read that I'd probably be able to relate to, but I very quickly realised that Ms Juliff isn't quite the comically accident-prone innocent she is so keen to appear. There are just too many things that don't ring true in her description of herself and she came across to me as an obnoxious whinging fraud who played the doe-eyed damsel in distress in order to manipulate the people around her and the only reason I carried on reading to the end was to see how long it took the poor sap she attaches herself to ( a kiwi called Dave) to realise his mistake and make his escape.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    winter reading travel books memoir literature how not to travel the world lauren juliff PINIMAGE I’ve got a love-hate thing going on with female quit-my-job-to-travel memoirs. I start the book feeling hopeful, ready to dive in and swim in the wanderlust. And unfortunately, sometimes I barely make it out of the shallow end before giving up. Reading a book about one’s travel love affairs and nightly bar crawls gets old quick, with travel a mere background character to an unlikable author. Spare me t winter reading travel books memoir literature how not to travel the world lauren juliff PINIMAGE I’ve got a love-hate thing going on with female quit-my-job-to-travel memoirs. I start the book feeling hopeful, ready to dive in and swim in the wanderlust. And unfortunately, sometimes I barely make it out of the shallow end before giving up. Reading a book about one’s travel love affairs and nightly bar crawls gets old quick, with travel a mere background character to an unlikable author. Spare me the sordid details of your conquests and tell me more about what – not who – you did in Thailand, I think, before returning the book to the library. This is not one of those books, I am happy to say. Ms. Juliff writes about her experience with long-term travel in a way I’ve not yet read about, and yet related to in so many ways. A self-proclaimed ‘disaster-prone backpacker’, she battles her anxiety disorder as she sets off for her first solo travel experience, having never so much as ridden a bus in her life. Yes, you read that correctly. This book could have easily taken a woe-is-me turn for the worse, but the author remains optimistic and likable despite her naive tendencies and small worldview. I wanted to hug her and bring her a cup of tea after she was scammed in Shanghai, violated in Bangkok, and attacked by monkeys in Bali. She took each incident and learned from them, expanding her worldview and increasing her confidence as the book went on. I found myself rooting for her through the end of her book, and then went on to find her website and blog to learn more. This is one of the better travel memoirs out there, bringing humor and levity to some pretty shitty situations. Who should read it: Travelers with anxiety; people who are accident-prone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Iqra Choudhry

    A hilarious page-turner, and a testament to the difficulties that come with travelling solo with crippling anxiety. Loved it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angharad Elin

    I really don't want to be brutal, but this book was awful. I couldn't wait to finish it, get it out of my house and back to the library. Just awful. I really do hope that some of this book was made up, because parts are completely implausible. The narrator is infuriating, and completely unlikeable. I really wanted to delve into the book and shake her. I just felt like she was wasting an incredible opportunity by: 1. Not being prepared for anything! - Who buys closed shoes at 0700 in the morning be I really don't want to be brutal, but this book was awful. I couldn't wait to finish it, get it out of my house and back to the library. Just awful. I really do hope that some of this book was made up, because parts are completely implausible. The narrator is infuriating, and completely unlikeable. I really wanted to delve into the book and shake her. I just felt like she was wasting an incredible opportunity by: 1. Not being prepared for anything! - Who buys closed shoes at 0700 in the morning before getting a 0800 bus to Chernobyl? Who packs a couple of hours before they need to be at the airport after preparing for this trip for years? 2. Not reading any instructions whatsoever - I.e. taking food into Monkey World when specifically being told not to. She seems to be completely oblivious to any form of instruction and information, therefore reading about it becomes tiresome and annoying as she describes calamity after calamity, which could easily have been avoided. There is barely any detail whatsoever about the actual travel, just the problems. She starts off by being afraid of everything including rice and eggs, but is okay with meeting a guy off Twitter who she doesn't even know and moves in with him straight away?! The three references to sexual assault are brief, bizarre and exceptionally worrying. Utterly bizarre, and wouldn't recommend.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    As a fellow anxious person, I could relate to some of Lauren's worst-case-scenario feelings. While I've found solace in regular exercise, travel experiences (particularly ones in which I try something scary and/or unfamiliar) have been really helpful both for quelling anxiety and improving my self-confidence. Perhaps what stood out to me most in this book is Lauren completely owning everything about herself - the fact that she didn't know what she was doing, her anxiety and hypochondria, and bein As a fellow anxious person, I could relate to some of Lauren's worst-case-scenario feelings. While I've found solace in regular exercise, travel experiences (particularly ones in which I try something scary and/or unfamiliar) have been really helpful both for quelling anxiety and improving my self-confidence. Perhaps what stood out to me most in this book is Lauren completely owning everything about herself - the fact that she didn't know what she was doing, her anxiety and hypochondria, and being a magnet for disastrous situations. I imagine it was incredibly scary and difficult (especially for someone with anxiety) to write a book so honest and I really respect that. While you'd think reading about someones real life horrible travel experiences would end up deterring you from long term travel, it actually has the opposite effect. I'm a firm believer that travel can challenge you, change you, and help you grow both through the amazing experiences AND the not so great ones. Lauren obviously is a little more prone to those not-so-great experiences, but she's a great storyteller and manages to maintain a great sense of humor throughout it all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samita Sarkar

    A funny, laugh-out-loud page turner. I enjoyed reading about Lauren's (mis)adventures and was happy to watch (read?) as she overcame her mental health issues and her anxiety slowly but surely faded away. As someone who has struggled with anxiety myself I rooted for her throughout the book, even through some of her less thoughtful moments (do not go to the dentist if you have a headache)! Oh, and that Chinese scammer totally deserved what Lauren gave her. :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Tolson

    I'm so disappointed with this book. As a keen follower of Lauren Juliff's travel blog, I was so eager to read this, plus as a person who also 'lives to travel' but has severe anxiety, I too find myself dealing daily with the fear & panic attacks verses the yearning for traveling; so her fears (be them rational or irrational) resonated with me very much. However I felt this book was a little misleading and at times the anxiety & mishaps too 'manufactured' for the story. First of all I want to say I'm so disappointed with this book. As a keen follower of Lauren Juliff's travel blog, I was so eager to read this, plus as a person who also 'lives to travel' but has severe anxiety, I too find myself dealing daily with the fear & panic attacks verses the yearning for traveling; so her fears (be them rational or irrational) resonated with me very much. However I felt this book was a little misleading and at times the anxiety & mishaps too 'manufactured' for the story. First of all I want to say, I love the authors writing style - it flows beautifully, she is hilarious with her turn of phase and sets scene and pace wonderfully - this is one of the reasons I love her travelblog - she constantly has me in stitches with her 'misadventures' and the way she writes about them. So for anyone who hasn't read the blog, you'll find this book a real treat in the narration style. But I was disappointed with the book as the author gives the impression she is a complete novice when it comes to travelling and in the blurb states that she has 'no life experience.' I found this to be misleading and hard to believe, because previous to this trip, the author had travelled to Majorca (several times) France, Hawaii and New York - yes with other people, but was NOT a first-time traveller which is the impression the reader gets with this book and it's not until almost at the end of the book there is a brief mentioned that the author had travelled prior. However, readers of the blog know that Lauren had travelled prior, so excerpts where she writes that she didn't know what 'checked luggage' was is ridiculously unbelievable. (in the book she thinks the airport check-in person is asking her what colour/pattern her luggage is when asking her if she has any checked luggage ???!) The author writes about her fear of eating anything new/different but again her story doesn't read believable. Most of the first part of the book is about her fear of eating eggs and rice and that she thinks she may be allergic, yet on page 62 (in China) she eats a bowl of Ramen (noodle soup) with an egg floating in it. Now the book doesn't say if she ate the egg, but for me I couldn't fathom why someone who thinks they are allergic to something, would then eat the meal which had that item they may be allergic to in it (re:cross contamination), then make out they still think they are allergic and then on page 130 eats eggs for the 'first-time', but states she doesn't know what an omelette is or how it would be presented. The author writes in the book that she has never eaten rice and thinks she is allergic to it, yet in her blog Juliff writes about how she had tried rice (several times) and that she had eaten Indian, Chinese, Thai before she even embarked on this trip. Also not believable is the author stating that she didn't know what a cheesecake was - thought it was a sponge cake with a slice of cheese on top! It's such a shame Juliff wrote about her food experiences this way, because again, when reading her blog, her food experiences in Asia where much more believable and I must say, absolutely hilarious. This book is set (starts) in 2011, the author is from London, England, is well educated, has been to collage and has lived alone in her own place. She had travel prior to parts of Europe and Hawaii, and New York - and yet in the book keeps playing up the 'no life experiences' game and it just doesn't work. For me, this book could have been fantastic if the writer had kept to her style and stories as those she writes in her blog. There they are believable and don't come across manufactured. Lauren Juliff is a great writer and I'm sure she could have written a brilliant travel memoir, because her style can be entertaining, clever and the places she's been to are amazing but In "How Not to Travel the World" it just reads to0 'try-hard' and false.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    2.5 stars I gave Lauren 2.5 stars mostly because she was brave enough to tackle writing a book, but also good enough to get it published. In her own words, Lauren describes herself as having little common sense. That is the biggest understatement since the famous, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". She has absolutely ZERO common sense. I think she has delved into the world of hyperbole, because someone who has never eaten rice and was afraid of eggs, simply wouldn't travel to a count 2.5 stars I gave Lauren 2.5 stars mostly because she was brave enough to tackle writing a book, but also good enough to get it published. In her own words, Lauren describes herself as having little common sense. That is the biggest understatement since the famous, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". She has absolutely ZERO common sense. I think she has delved into the world of hyperbole, because someone who has never eaten rice and was afraid of eggs, simply wouldn't travel to a country where rice is a staple - let alone have dental procedures carried out in a suspect country. Strewth! She didn't even know what cheesecake was! I think I knew about cheesecake when mum shoved some in my gob at the tender age of two. While the story is reasonably well written, I just find it too hard to believe. I reckon LJ would do a good job on a fictional book though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Booktart

    The author comes off as a bit naive and almost self sabotaging sometimes but really, her story of overcoming fear and severe anxiety is very inspiring. I could relate to a lot of her fears and found it helpful to read about her overcoming them. I enjoyed her writing voice and she is quite funny. I also appreciated her awareness of and reflection upon her privilege in being able to travel as she did. A fun and worthwhile read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kat Jacobi

    I absolutely loved this book! I takes courage to talk about your insecurities, bad luck and anxiety while traveling and Lauren Juliff is absolutely honest in this one! I can recommend the book to everyone who loves traveling, feels wanderlust, battles insecurities and anxiety and basically everyone who's up for a good laugh!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    While this book is full to bursting with hilarious misadventures and still manages to make the backpacking life seem appealing, there are a lot of anecdotes here that are obviously so stretched as to be completely unbelievable. For one thing, I have a hard time believing that someone who doesn't know what checked luggage is and has never eaten eggs or rice would spend years of her life planning a years-long trip around the world. For another, about half of the misadventures are a direct result o While this book is full to bursting with hilarious misadventures and still manages to make the backpacking life seem appealing, there are a lot of anecdotes here that are obviously so stretched as to be completely unbelievable. For one thing, I have a hard time believing that someone who doesn't know what checked luggage is and has never eaten eggs or rice would spend years of her life planning a years-long trip around the world. For another, about half of the misadventures are a direct result of the author's own inability to heed literal, actual warnings against doing the exact thing she does, which makes it very hard for me to relate to her and is also at odds with her descriptions of spending years and years planning and researching. There's also just a whiff of unexamined privilege contaminating the whole thing. Like, I think I would have liked to have heard more about how she managed to save $35,000 to fund this adventure in the first place. And then there's the part where her boyfriend says, "you can make some money as a travel blogger like me. It's easy. I'll put you in touch with some advertisers." And then money ceases to become a concern. Wait, what? There's also the fact that whenever she gives a person in her story a name, that person is usually a fellow backpacker and most likely a white person. Locals in her story are basically unnamed extras. Did she really live for months in Chiang Mai without picking up a word of Thai or making friends with anyone actually from there? She mentions attempting to talk to a bartender in Bali but finding him uninteresting because she can't make small talk around where he's from or where he's been because he's from there and lives there. And then there's the veiled contempt for any traveler less savvy than she is, making mistakes similar to ones she made at the beginning of her journey, and getting different things out of the experience from what she's doing. I guess most travel memoirs fall into the trap where the writer risks coming across as believing their motives and goals are the purest and only right ones. In conclusion, BUY SOME REAL SHOES. Preferably closed-toe, with good support and some traction. OH MY GOD.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Blum

    Just reading the prologue of this book will grab you and make you want to know what happens to this character introduced. It jumps ahead of time, while she is on her travels and it is at a time where she believes she is about to die. "I stood frozen to the spot, 100 m from the glistening turquoise ocean, and waited to die." How Not to Travel the World is about a young girl who decides to follow her dream and travel the world. The book contains her stories and mishaps along the way. It reminds th Just reading the prologue of this book will grab you and make you want to know what happens to this character introduced. It jumps ahead of time, while she is on her travels and it is at a time where she believes she is about to die. "I stood frozen to the spot, 100 m from the glistening turquoise ocean, and waited to die." How Not to Travel the World is about a young girl who decides to follow her dream and travel the world. The book contains her stories and mishaps along the way. It reminds the reader to follow what you believe in and enjoy life while you can. I liked the book a lot because I think traveling is a great thing and something I may do when I'm older at some point. The book really gave me an idea of how hard it can be however. The main character, Lauren, runs into troubles along the way such as losing expensive belongings, being robbed, falling into leach infested rice patties, and coming close to death a few times. She also runs into love however and finds herself along the way. It was a very good book for anyone to read especially for those who enjoy travel and reading about the world. Lauren has a bad past which causes her to finally go on this journey that she has dreamed about doing for so long. The book was definitely what i expected it to be as in the description it talked about her mishaps and there were plenty of them to read about in the story. Overall i would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to those who are fascinated with travel and the world itself.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    In the throes of googling about anxiety and travel I stumbled upon a blogger named Lauren Juliff. in the article she speaks about anxiety and travelling and gave brilliant tips on how to cope with both. When I found out she had written a book I immediately downloaded it and began to read. I only had to read the first 3 chapters to realise that we had a lot in common, disaster -prone wise. Her struggle with anxiety as well as her accident prone-ness through Asia are incredibly relatable to me as In the throes of googling about anxiety and travel I stumbled upon a blogger named Lauren Juliff. in the article she speaks about anxiety and travelling and gave brilliant tips on how to cope with both. When I found out she had written a book I immediately downloaded it and began to read. I only had to read the first 3 chapters to realise that we had a lot in common, disaster -prone wise. Her struggle with anxiety as well as her accident prone-ness through Asia are incredibly relatable to me as I'm about to embark on my own solo travels. Reading this book helped give me the confidence to go ahead with my own travel plans, as whilst I desperately love to travel, I manage to be the person who's going to mess up or have something bad happen to, so this helped me realise that I wasn't alone in thinking I was the worst traveller ever. My only wish was that this book was longer and I feel like it didn't really have a climatic point. I was getting all ready to read About Laurens travels in India and suddenly there was just acknowledgements on the page. Bummer. Overall, this book will help if you're an anxiety prone person hoping to travel. Laurens writing and storytelling proves that you don't have to be the best traveller out there, you just have to stand up a have a go. Thanks Lauren for sharing your amazing stories and I hope there is a sequel coming soon!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kory

    I've been reading a lot of travel memoirs lately, and Juliff's debut is well-composed, interesting, and somewhat humorous as she recounts her horrifying travel experiences. Afraid of nearly everything, and having never even eaten rice or eggs, Juliff decides that she will face her fear of the world--of certain death--by traveling. Descriptive accounts of her escapades make me long to reach for my passport, while at the same time they make me shudder because I am often subject to catastrophe. (Al I've been reading a lot of travel memoirs lately, and Juliff's debut is well-composed, interesting, and somewhat humorous as she recounts her horrifying travel experiences. Afraid of nearly everything, and having never even eaten rice or eggs, Juliff decides that she will face her fear of the world--of certain death--by traveling. Descriptive accounts of her escapades make me long to reach for my passport, while at the same time they make me shudder because I am often subject to catastrophe. (Although, knock on wood, I've been able to laugh off my travel disasters because I know that I must be flexible and roll with the surprises that aren't always so fun, but they DO make for excellent stories.) And that's precisely what Juliff does with this breakout memoir of her adventures: she tells of her misadventures in a way that any seasoned backpacker can look at and chuckle because we can relate. Different from most travel memoirs, but in a good way! I'm also happy to know that Juliff is still adventuring and blogging, always pushing herself to try things that just may lead to her impending doom...even if it's just eating some unique food from a street vendor.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Bridges

    This book has officially made its way to the top of my list of favorites. It's a fun book that really shows the thoughts and emotions of a person who deals with anxiety. As a person who suffers with anxiety myself, I can relate to so much to this book. The chapters are pretty long, but I never got bored while reading it. If you are someone who deals with anxiety, you will love how relatable the book is. And if you know someone who is going through anxiety and/or you are trying to learn more abou This book has officially made its way to the top of my list of favorites. It's a fun book that really shows the thoughts and emotions of a person who deals with anxiety. As a person who suffers with anxiety myself, I can relate to so much to this book. The chapters are pretty long, but I never got bored while reading it. If you are someone who deals with anxiety, you will love how relatable the book is. And if you know someone who is going through anxiety and/or you are trying to learn more about it, then this will show you what it feels like to suffer through this mental disorder and will probably give you a better understanding of it. I gave Lauren Juliff 5 stars for her bravery to share her story of traveling with anxiety. However, there is a lot of bad language in it as well as some sexual content. If you also are triggered by mention of panic attacks, rape/sexual assault, language, or extensive explaining of medical problems/practices, then be warned before reading this book. I would not recommend it to children 13 years of age or younger.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Idun

    I've been following Laurens blog for 2-3 years now, so when she finished this book, I obviosuly had to read it as I know how well she writes. Unsurprisingly it was a great read which made me both laugh and cry a little, as well as feel sympathy for her in some of the worse situations she experienced. Lauren has really managed the feat of writing so well the the reader gets pulled into the story and almost feel you experience it yourself. Perhaps particularly for me in some cases because I've bee I've been following Laurens blog for 2-3 years now, so when she finished this book, I obviosuly had to read it as I know how well she writes. Unsurprisingly it was a great read which made me both laugh and cry a little, as well as feel sympathy for her in some of the worse situations she experienced. Lauren has really managed the feat of writing so well the the reader gets pulled into the story and almost feel you experience it yourself. Perhaps particularly for me in some cases because I've been in similar situations myself, but only because she managed to convey her experiences and feelings so well. Now, I haven't read many travel memoirs so I can't compare with that so much, because it's not really a genre I usually enjoy. But seeing as this is a book I very much enjoyed (to the point of staying up later and going to work later than I should have to read a bit more) despite it being a genre I usually don't care much about, is a clear sign that this is a great book. Read it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linzi Sutcliffe

    I first saw this book when I was in my local library..picked up, read the back and thought hum.. Sounds like something I'd like.. I loved it! I loved reading all about Lauren's adventures, from the story of her packing her bag up until the last page! I am quite sad that I've finished it, but after realising she's one of the bloggers I'd recently heard of , I think I'll be reading through her blog from the beginning to read even more of her adventures! I love that she shares all of the horrors that I first saw this book when I was in my local library..picked up, read the back and thought hum.. Sounds like something I'd like.. I loved it! I loved reading all about Lauren's adventures, from the story of her packing her bag up until the last page! I am quite sad that I've finished it, but after realising she's one of the bloggers I'd recently heard of , I think I'll be reading through her blog from the beginning to read even more of her adventures! I love that she shares all of the horrors that could happen while travelling, and the misfortune that they all seem to happen to her, and I hate to admit but at some points I couldn't stop laughing, just at the way she faces the problems, she sounds so easy going and joyful, definitely a long way from how she first described herself! Great read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    The interesting thing about the author of this book is that she makes a living from travel blogging and has made a home in Thailand. It would have been interesting to hear more about how this alternative career choice works for her, but there's only passing mentions of it. Most of the actual travel experiences she does cover are fairly mundane - not to downplay them, but they are the experiences of every slightly naive backpacker in Thailand who only grazes the surface of the country and are not The interesting thing about the author of this book is that she makes a living from travel blogging and has made a home in Thailand. It would have been interesting to hear more about how this alternative career choice works for her, but there's only passing mentions of it. Most of the actual travel experiences she does cover are fairly mundane - not to downplay them, but they are the experiences of every slightly naive backpacker in Thailand who only grazes the surface of the country and are not really noteworthy outside the traveller's own experience. It was an OK read, very light, but would have benefited from more unique and deeper insights into the places she visited and interactions she had to justify the writing of a book, especially in the travel genre. The personal journey she undergoes seems a bit manufactured.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sam Warren

    I'd very much like Lauren to come round for tea one evening, that's how much you warm to this lovely, disaster-prone young woman who is - quite frankly - living my dream for me. I've loved her warm chatty and very useful blog for a while now and she makes a huge effort to interact with her followers on FB (replying to posts etc) which as is confirmed in the book must take up heaps of time! I found I just couldn't put this down... hence the 5 stars even though it's really just one girls story of I'd very much like Lauren to come round for tea one evening, that's how much you warm to this lovely, disaster-prone young woman who is - quite frankly - living my dream for me. I've loved her warm chatty and very useful blog for a while now and she makes a huge effort to interact with her followers on FB (replying to posts etc) which as is confirmed in the book must take up heaps of time! I found I just couldn't put this down... hence the 5 stars even though it's really just one girls story of a year travelling about the world, and on that level nothing special. But there's something about Lauren that draws you in and I made myself late for work on a couple of occasions wanting to know what happens to her next!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate Sortino

    My very first book review! Posted here: https://katesortino.com/writings/book... I want to start this out by saying, I like Lauren Juliff. I like her blog, her writing style, her approach to life. She’s literally living my dream and killing it. That being said, I didn’t expect to like Lauren when I first started How Not to Travel the World: she sounded like a privileged, college educated, wealthy white girl, the same kind you see positively littering the #wanderlust #hashtags on Instagram. The fi My very first book review! Posted here: https://katesortino.com/writings/book... I want to start this out by saying, I like Lauren Juliff. I like her blog, her writing style, her approach to life. She’s literally living my dream and killing it. That being said, I didn’t expect to like Lauren when I first started How Not to Travel the World: she sounded like a privileged, college educated, wealthy white girl, the same kind you see positively littering the #wanderlust #hashtags on Instagram. The first few pages I had already started to build up a preconceived idea of who and how she was. But I kept reading, and I’m glad I did. She wasn’t as privileged as I thought (she explains that she worked for 5 years to save for her trip), and things weren’t as effortless as many of the so-called Travel Bloggers try to make it seem (as evidenced by absolutely crushing anxiety, eating disorders, and a pretty devastating recent break-up). She planned and planned but nothing seems to go right for her, between being scammed, getting locked out, getting lost – it’s a rough go for a sheltered, fragile British girl from a pretty insulated childhood. Her tales of woe range from the funny to the outright ridiculous. A lot of her stress is self-imposed (which can be said for 99% of life’s stressors in the industrialized world), but there was a certain point where I was like, “Come on, girl! So many of your problems could be solved with a little positivity and planning! Wear the right shoes!” I think one thing that stood out to me was Lauren’s selective social anxiety. She seemed to make friends easily with other English-speakers, including her boyfriend Dave. But she never really shared about her relation to the different culture, like meeting locals and interacting with real people in interesting places. It seemed like Lauren was writing like she was at places (usually with Dave), but never in them. I don’t want to hear about the friendships she made with other European travelers, I want to hear about the friendships she made with Cambodians, and Thai people, and, you know, the people who live where she’s visiting. At one point in the book, she said “Travelling as a couple hadn’t been conducive to meeting new people” and this felt painfully true throughout. It gets a little better at the end as Lauren gets a little braver, but the whole time I just felt like there was a lot of beautiful landscape but not a lot of beautiful culture being explored. How Not to Travel the World is inconsistent in the sense that Lauren is doing very brave things in a very un-brave ways. Long term travel is axiomatically an incredibly courageous thing to do, but it reads like she insulates herself from a lot of the adventure and in doing so, from the opportunities for growth. But that’s the thing: based on her blog (Neverending Footsteps, which I really like), I don’t get the impression that this is the case. I feel like she does embrace the local culture (I mean, she would have to after literally living in Asia for as long as she did), but she keeps cutting herself off at the knees throughout the book in order to portray a constructed idea of somebody whose lack of common sense would have gotten herself seriously hurt or killed if not for various people stepping in and rescuing her (i.e. Dave). Dave is the other problem I have with the book. I don’t fully understand their dynamic, and I felt like his treatment of Lauren was extremely paternalistic, condescending, and lacked any sort of empathy. I don’t understand why somebody so adventurous would be drawn to somebody who had never eaten rice and obviously struggled with normal daily activities, and then be so critical of that person when they’re just trying their best to keep up. She seemed to exist in his shadow as a sort of extension of him, and I feel like that does a disservice to the success that she has built through her blog and her career as a writer and traveler. At one point she damages her laptop and he calls her “stupid” and “an idiot”. Excuse me? What the hell. While he does spend a lot of the book reassuring her and helping mitigate some of the consequences of her carelessness, he does so as more of an annoyed older brother figure and not as a loving partner, and Lauren deserves better than that. I like Dave’s blog too, but this book did not make him look like a good partner. I think this book’s main flaw was that it was just too much Manic Pixie Anxiety Travel Girl in one go. I related to Lauren because I suffer from extreme anxiety, but I haven’t had nearly the amount of sympathy and resources that she’s seemed to so I’ve had to develop a lot more resilience early on. I didn’t have supportive family to fall back on the same way that she appears to. I think her stories, if told in bits and pieces (like over dinner, or on her blog) are very funny and engaging and charming, just like she is. But one after another after another after another of schadenfreude and mishap just became exhausting after a while. And I can imagine this feeling would only be magnified significantly for those who don’t have anxiety and don’t know the irrational but very visceral panic that comes from having that specific set of mental health issues. I also just kept having this re-occurring sense of “damn, when is this girl gonna have a good time?!” Lauren went from injury to disaster to mishap to mistake to tsunami. Rarely was I thinking to myself, “ah yes, now we’re living the dream! It totally makes sense why she would want to be doing this instead of living comfortably in Europe.” I think Lauren does a good job of demystifying some of the misconceptions about long-term travel, and you do see her grow during the last 1/5th of the book, but I really do think she undersells the strength that she has by relying so heavily on Dave, both physically but also for her own actualization as a strong, resilient, successful person. Like I said, she’s literally living my dream and I appreciated the candor, but I’m sure Lauren is a lot stronger than she lets on and I wish that had shown through a bit more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dan Lowry

    Wow there’s a lot of hate on the author’s decisions in here. While yes, a decent chunk of the decisions she made were naive, I feel like a lot of these reviewers must never have found themselves in an extremely ambiguous situation, in a strange country, while also having anxiety. I found the book super relatable to my early days of solo, shoestring travel. It’s a different world, and nothing really ends up being as smooth as you hoped. I do wish there was more of a focus on travel than the relat Wow there’s a lot of hate on the author’s decisions in here. While yes, a decent chunk of the decisions she made were naive, I feel like a lot of these reviewers must never have found themselves in an extremely ambiguous situation, in a strange country, while also having anxiety. I found the book super relatable to my early days of solo, shoestring travel. It’s a different world, and nothing really ends up being as smooth as you hoped. I do wish there was more of a focus on travel than the relationship, but I understand that it’s written as a memoir and that was a huge part of that time for her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karolyna Foret

    How not to travel the world is a very fitting title for this book. The book is very well written and does grab your attention.. BUT the author is the worst kind of traveler. Blind to the ways of the world, unsure of self and dependent on a man. Definitely wouldn’t suggest to anyone wanting to travel, it’s more of a feel sorry I’m a mess kind of book

  28. 5 out of 5

    thereadytraveller

    How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker is a travel memoir written by well-known travel blogger Lauren Juliff. Suffering from an anxiety disorder, Juliff's memoir is an inspiring and uplifting account of the early years of her travel experiences around the world, since she first left the UK in 2011. Sick of simply being obsessed with reading about countries she had no real plans of visiting, Juliff finally plucks up enough courage to leave on a one-way flight to Cro How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker is a travel memoir written by well-known travel blogger Lauren Juliff. Suffering from an anxiety disorder, Juliff's memoir is an inspiring and uplifting account of the early years of her travel experiences around the world, since she first left the UK in 2011. Sick of simply being obsessed with reading about countries she had no real plans of visiting, Juliff finally plucks up enough courage to leave on a one-way flight to Croatia as part of a one-year tour of the world. A self-professed walking disaster with no life experience and little by the way of common sense, her friends are so sure she'll fail that they place bets on just how long she actually will last. Juliff's decision to leave the UK, is an extremely brave one. Prone to panic attacks, having previously suffered from an eating disorder and being a hypochondriac of the highest order, she literally does lurch from one disaster from another. Despite this, she throws herself into the world of dorm beds, flip flops, motor-scooters, dead bodies and fried cockroaches with either abandoned or more often than not, oblivious glee. Early days, Juliff makes a vow that she won't spend her trip heading only to the "easy places", as well as educating herself on the horrors of recent history and the reality of other's lives in order to put her privilege into perspective. This approach enables Juliff to do some amazing things such as visiting Chernobyl, facing down potential tsunamis, endure the hardships of China on her own and learn about some of the atrocities that took place in Cambodia under the Khymer Rouge. There are plenty of times through the book where it does make you wonder whether all of what Juliff writes about is true. Having studied for a Masters in Physics, Juliff obviously is extremely clever. Yet, when turning up for her flight to Dubrovnik she seemingly has no idea what checked luggage is. Fair enough if she simply decided to turn up at the airport on a spur of the moment decision, but she had spent the past 5 years extensively researching trips. However, if you're able to park the scepticism to one side, it is very easy to get caught up in the narrative of Juliff's story. How Not to Travel the World is an extremely good travel memoir written by a gutsy young woman who has made a life changing decision to not let her ailments rule her life. Juliff writes about her never-ending string of calamities that accompany her travels without any pretension and has delivered an inspiring read for anyone wanting to lead a non-conventional life centred around travel. Full Review Here

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Dodsworth

    I’ve read Lauren Juliff’s blog, Never Ending Footsteps for years, so was looking forward to her travel memoir, How Not to Travel the World. With the subtitle ‘Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker’, you know it’s not going to be the usual story of fabulous experiences in exotic locations. Leaving the UK with an anxiety problem, a broken heart and no life experience, Lauren headed off on a solo round-the-world trip, hoping it would transform her into a confident backpacker. Instead she ended I’ve read Lauren Juliff’s blog, Never Ending Footsteps for years, so was looking forward to her travel memoir, How Not to Travel the World. With the subtitle ‘Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker’, you know it’s not going to be the usual story of fabulous experiences in exotic locations. Leaving the UK with an anxiety problem, a broken heart and no life experience, Lauren headed off on a solo round-the-world trip, hoping it would transform her into a confident backpacker. Instead she ended up facing disaster after disaster, from being sat next to a dead body for six hours to getting caught in a tsunami – having had my own RTW trip misadventures I could definitely empathise. But the story of how she went from panic attacks and constant anxiety to pushing out of her comfort zone and falling in love with both travel and a fellow blogger is inspiring. Travel might not be all glamour but even the messy, disastrous bits can be life-changing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Enya-Marie

    First half a dozen chapters or so were fantastic - I had so much empathy for Lauren and was rooting for her to do well. It's truly commendable how much she pushed herself out of her comfort zone in the initial chapters. Had the book followed on like that, it would have easily been a five-star rating. However, once Lauren meets up with a guy, the book becomes unreadable. Lauren's independent adventures are reduced to whole passages of her essentially hero-worshipping this man and the book reads li First half a dozen chapters or so were fantastic - I had so much empathy for Lauren and was rooting for her to do well. It's truly commendable how much she pushed herself out of her comfort zone in the initial chapters. Had the book followed on like that, it would have easily been a five-star rating. However, once Lauren meets up with a guy, the book becomes unreadable. Lauren's independent adventures are reduced to whole passages of her essentially hero-worshipping this man and the book reads like a teenage love-struck rom-com. It's such a shame. I understand wanting to share with the world how in love you are but that's not at all what the book is advertised to be about. I DNF'd at around 65% when the hero-worship didn't improve. I would have loved to have read more about Lauren's adventures and her experiences overcoming her mental health issues while travelling the world but instead, it was nauseating love letters about a man who didn't come across as being very likeable.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.