aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Browse by Travel
Browse by Food
TheRoadUnleashed.com
the lost girls book review + giveaway

Four years ago, when our round-the-world trip was a passing thought in our stream of consciousness, Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner, three 20-something friends, left their careers in journalism to travel around the world for a year, dubbing themselves The Lost Girls.  I was hooked on their blog as soon as I read their 20 Reasons We Took Off (my favorite being #4, "We want to ban the phrases 'in the loop,' 'per our conversation,' and 'out of the box' from our daily vocabulary.")  At that time, I was still working long hours at my law firm, spending my weekends at Home Depot for renovation projects, and cramming quality time with Patrick and our dogs in the remaining few waking hours.  I was completely and totally blown away by the gumption of these women to leave behind their lives, careers, and relationships for the thrill of the open road.  I wanted that to be my lifestyle.

A week ago, I received a review copy of their new book: The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World. The book is written from the first-person viewpoint of all three women; each woman writes a chapter and the story progresses sequentially, a la The Sound and the Fury.  This was a clever way to structure this book because each woman has specific challenges that she wants to resolve: one is obsessed with her career, another is searching for faith, and the third is looking for romance. 

These women left New York City because they were bored and bogged down and wanted to do something daring and inspiring to revitalize their lives.  They had serious wanderlust and needed to satisfy their desire to see the world.  And, they didn't clamp down on their dreams, shutting it out with short two-week trips, but instead, took the leap out the door and into the world. 

The book beautifully details the intensity of their lives when they stepped out of their comfort zones.  They talk in no uncertain terms about the horrors of long-term travel, from sleeping in stinky hostels with even worse toilets to dealing with unscrupulous strangers and wearing the same clothes over and over again.  They laugh about the silly and crazy adventures that happen to them like setting up a dance class in Kenya or their difficult hike up the Inca Trail.  They cry over their fears, sorrows, and romantic struggles (and there are quite a few of those). 

Most importantly, these women describe a truth about humanity, a truth that I believe with all my heart:  there are good people in this world.  They talk about people who welcome them, care for them, help them, and touch them, like party-goers in Buenos Aires, an old woman in a Vietnamese market, and an orphan child in Kenya.  (This also leads to the only negative to this book: the cast of characters is huge and, at times, I lost track of who was who.)  The more I travel, the more I see what they see: in every country, every place, people love, laugh, hurt, anger, and live.

Travel is a gift --- a gift of realization, discovery, beauty, and joy.  These girls gave themselves that gift and, in return, they formed a sisterhood, built out of the closeness from living with someone 24 hours a day for nearly 365 days.  Four years ago, the Lost Girls helped inspire us to walk out our door and head into that Great White Somewhere.  I hope that you will read this book and feel the same way, even for just a short while.

To get you started on that path, I am giving away a copy of The Lost Girls book.  Woohoo!  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me one travel destination that is on the top of your bucket list and why.  You'll get extra entries if you tweet about this giveaway, or post on Facebook, or on your own blog.  Just let me know below that you tweeted, Facebooked, or posted on your blog about this giveaway or copy our Twitter ID (@theroadforks) so I give you credit for posting at the various places.  All entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, May 14, 2010.   And, sorry international readers, but you must be a resident of the United States or Canada to participate.

I'll go first:  Antarctica, because there is something magical about an uninhabited land built of ice.  And, I would like to pretend that I am Superman in his Fortress of Solitude.

05/11/2010 11:49
On the top of my bucket list is Santorini. Ever since I was in sixth grade and working on a school project, it's been one of my dream destinations to be at a place where it looks like the sun is setting into the ocean.
Liz's recent blog post: Clipart.
05/11/2010 13:01
Well, first let me say that your blog has really inspired my own "wanderlust". For some reason, maybe it is the struggles with my infertility, maybe it is facing turning 30, I have a very strong underlying desire to not only travel, but to MOVE to another country. I would have to say that Thailand is on my bucket list, but I will be checking that off of my list this Summer (assuming things don't get too crazy over there). So, after checking that off, I would really like to visit ANYWHERE in South America or Africa! Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy reading about your journeys, and admire you and your husband!
05/11/2010 14:21
Virginia
Australia has a bit of everything I could want. Unique animals, big cities, beautiful landscapes, and a laid back culture.
05/11/2010 16:00
I love these girls--knew them in NYC--and am jealous you got a review copy! Can't wait to read the final draft (I read the rough copy) somewhere down the line =)

Bhutan...not sure why except that it's so inaccessible and not a lot of people talk about it...also, Nepal.
Camels & Chocolate's recent blog post: When in DubaiDont Fly Emirates Airlines
05/11/2010 16:05
The Australian Outback. I want to go horseback riding through the amazing Australian outback and discover this continent and ride off into the sunset as a lost cowgirl.
Katya's recent blog post: A Day of Reflection
05/11/2010 16:09
Only one location on my bucket list? I think I'm going with a classic one here: Paris. I have these romantic ideas of this city and I am just in love with it. It also really seems like a photography heaven; I would love to photograph the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc.
Wendy's recent blog post: Tall/Short
05/11/2010 18:26
Bucket list destination - South Pacific, by sailboat :)
Can't wait to read the Lost Girls book, I've been a loyal blog follower!
05/12/2010 08:00
Greek Islands! I need sunshine and warmth. And cute Greek men.
Candice's recent blog post: Video Post: Candice Does Vegemite
05/12/2010 08:32
nelli
Lovely! Your question created a wonderful few minutes of daydreaming! Spain would be my country of choice. I have been to most of Europe but never made it to Spain.
Are you really planning to go to Zambia at some point?? I was born there, maybe I'll get a chance to visit one day.....
Love your blog!
05/12/2010 17:53
Cambodia. A country with such a sad horrific past and yet home to one of the wonders of the world - Angkor Wat. I can't wait to see it. Plus the people seem so kind and friendly - I sponsor a little boy in an Orphanage there - maybe I'll get to meet him in person one day.
05/12/2010 18:50
@Danni
South Pacific by sailboat is my bucket list destination too!
Lost Girl--Amanda P's recent blog post: The Lost Girls book is now on shelves!
05/12/2010 19:54
I'm not from the US or Canada so I can't participate. But you've now made me prioritise the top destinations and put Santorini on top!
05/12/2010 22:51
I have tons of destinations on my bucket list but right now I think all of South Africa and Rio are competing for #1. Rio because it's Rio of course! And I'm a sucker for beautiful people and beaches and South Africa because of the culture, the scenery, the history. I had a friend study abroad there and have been wanting to go ever since!
05/12/2010 23:30
I have wanted to travel to Bhutan ever since I read "Beyond the Sky & Earth: A Journey into Bhutan" several years ago (and I have re-read every year since). I'm fascinated the only remaining Buddhist Himalayan kingdom -- the natural beauty of Bhutan, the people & their culture, as well as the nation's guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness.
05/13/2010 00:03
Antarctica..before it melts away. To view magical wildlife, take in the sheer beauty of a world of ice and snow, and savor time to reflect in the silence of nature would be a travel dream come true.
Ann Lombardi's recent blog post: Who are The Trip ChicksĀ® ?
05/06/2016 02:25
Howdy, it turned out to be a really fine experience for me when I visited your website. I hope you don't mind if I congratulate you on the excellent quality of the work and to send you good luck with it as you develop from now on. It was a pleasure to view your site and I shall certainly be stopping by again shortly to find how you are doing. All the best and I shall see you here soon - Kameron Fitters
05/06/2016 02:26
Howdy, it turned out to be a really fine experience for me when I visited your website. I hope you don't mind if I congratulate you on the excellent quality of the work and to send you good luck with it as you develop from now on. It was a pleasure to view your site and I shall certainly be stopping by again shortly to find how you are doing. All the best and I shall see you here soon - Kameron Fitters
05/06/2016 02:26
Howdy, it turned out to be a really fine experience for me when I visited your website. I hope you don't mind if I congratulate you on the excellent quality of the work and to send you good luck with it as you develop from now on. It was a pleasure to view your site and I shall certainly be stopping by again shortly to find how you are doing. All the best and I shall see you here soon - Kameron Fitters
05/13/2016 08:10
i like ur website,nice work thanks for information
http://my-mp3song.com/
06/07/2016 04:27
generalcategorie
You will find all forms and shapes of fashion blogs as the internet is full of them. It can talk about the advantage of wearing skinny jeans over boyfriend jeans or how pink takes the place of black plus all the extras. As you go online, you will get your fill of the latest in fashion trends via fashion blogs. www.fashionsaint.us


An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business's website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. These searchable online directories allow their visitors to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. www.anybusiness.us


The hit movie "The Secret" brought the power of one of the Law of Attraction to millions of people worldwide. The Law of Attraction was brought into the spotlight and millions of people thought that this was the answer they had been looking for. www.lawcareer.us


Now is the time for businesses to make a decision to get online. Factors such as the decrease in the number of customers, rise in cost of fuel, growth in the number of people who shop online, oblige companies to shape their online presence. www.shoppingnow.us


Some of the home improvement financing programs will have specific things that you can and cannot do with the money. But generally speaking you can improve or expand upon any area of your home through these programs. www.luxuryhomeimprovement.us


Since kung fu is more than 1,000 years old, there are hundreds of styles of kung fu. Old styles are mixed to create new styles. Then there are many families of styles. Kung fu styles also change from region to region, as kung fu reflects a way of living. www.stylekeeper.us


Businesses are looking for opportunities to obtain alternative financing in the face of the dwindling lending appetite from banks. Distributors of wholesale produce can possibly take advantage of five sources of alternative financing: equipment leasing, equipment financing, merchant cash advance, P.O. financing and factoring/accounts receivable financing. www.localfinance.us


All the new inventions that are marketable and are expected to make profits must be protected and an online patent attorney is the best person to help you get that protection. You have successfully come out with a new invention. You are sure that your invention is going to create a good market and fetch you profits. www.legalguide.us


An energy efficient home will always be a more comfortable and healthy environment. There are various ways you can improve your home's energy performance. Some of the methods involve small changes made by your family and some involve bigger changes that can be made by a home improvement professional. www.homeimprovementguide.us


A brief introduction to the theory behind time travel and how we could make it a reality. With advances in modern physics, we could be as little as 7 years away from leaping 500 years into the future. This article will introduce you to the theory behind it all, and how to make it a reality. www.toptravelers.us


Country style incorporates a range of styles, with American country style arguably being one of the most popular. What all these styles have in common is an emphasis on comfort and warmth and a sense of ease and hospitality. www.styleblog.us


When times get tough, it is quite easy to fall "out of love" with your work from home business. However, it might not be the business, it might be your attitude that is failing. Read more... www.gobusiness.us


What is law of attraction? This question has been in air for the last decade since the theory of this law became public after the release of the book "The Secret". In this article the law of attraction has been mentioned in details and the steps to implement it in your life are also highlighted. www.lawtoday.us


Ways to improve your home's value There are many ways in which you can improve home's value and appearance even in cases where the home is newly acquired. You may improve your home due to necessity or due to sheer desire of having a better or different look. The number of things to do so that you can improve the value and appearance of your home are almost unlimited. www.besthomeimprovement.us


Thinking about traveling with a group? Group travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to see the world and visit popular destination sites; not only is the vacation care free, but you can make lifelong friends on the way! If you are planning on experiencing group travel for the first time soon, here are some traveling tips to help you have the best group traveling experience. www.travel101.us


Fashion production has continued to be a moving trend all over the world. Several kinds of fashion attires are all over the place. Fashion trends keep coming onboard on yearly basis. The fashion enterprise is indeed an interesting aspect of business that is generating waves across the world. www.topfashion.us


Believing in what you do is that most important step when creating a successful start-up business. But sometimes your great idea comes with little to no money to get it started. Great credit for a business loan or a huge amount of money in savings is not always needed if you are able to start thinking outside of the box. www.mrbusiness.us


Times have changed, the world is a different place and in this case we are talking because of one thing. That one thing is the internet. While there are actually some bad things that can be blamed on the internet there are also good ones. One of those good ones has been the inception of an internet shopping mall. www.internetshopping.us


Thousands of burglaries are committed each year in the United Kingdom. Many people fall victim to these criminals - who in the majority of cases show no remorse for the pain they cause with their actions - simply because they haven't taken the steps to ensure that their homes are protected with a good level of home security. www.homeimprovement101.us


Tired of riding a horse or other animal to get around in a MMO? Want to swing on a grappling line throughout the city or ride a large chunk of ice through the desert? Champions Online offers a wide variety of travel powers to travel around the city and more! From flight to tunneling, CO offers something for nearly any type of hero. www.protraveler.us



Choosing your kitchen style can be confusing. Let's see what your choices are. If your confused about what yours style may be read on to make the decision easier or it may confuse you more. makestyle.us


Starting a small business or a home-based business is not something that should be entered into lightly. More often than not you'll go through a long period languishing while trying to make your business viable. dobusiness.us


To date, traditional international law does not consider human environmental rights to a clean and healthy environment to be a jus cogens human right. Jus cogens ("compelling law") refers to preemptory legal principles and norms that are binding on all international States, regardless of their consent. lawforum.us


Shop Insurance policies and packages are designed to cover shops and retail premises and all the risks that a shopkeeper may face in the daily running of the business. Most polices contain a wide range of liability and property covers as standard, with the ability to choose levels of buildings, contents and stock cover. smartshopping.us


This is a list of creative travel blogs that I read and follow. They are written by independent travel writers, the list include those that I consider as heavy-weights in travel blogging. abouttravel.us


Learn the many varieties of house plans available today. Many are influenced by European and historical styles while some are completely modern. Today's home builder has many different styles to choose from. style101.us


Many small businesses do not realize the importance of having a website. People today are searching for products & services using their mobile devices and if your business is not online you could be missing out on valuable sales. getbusiness.us


All civilized societies pay lot of emphasis on the rule of law. The developed countries are quite proud of their strict enforcement of law while the poor nations are often ashamed that they can't make their society law compliant. lawsystem.us


The internet finally fulfilled one of its great promises: People are making money by selling products on the ecommerce websites. If you're new to ecommerce, or selling products and services on the internet, read on. This article explains how to choose an ecommerce shopping cart solution for your online business. topshopper.us


There is no dearth of travel enthusiasts in India. Most Indian travelers prefer international destinations to spend their holidays. In spite of increased awareness about travel insurance policies, most people shy away from buying travel insurance plans because of their lack of understanding about the benefits associated with travel covers. travelerguru.us


*Name:
*Email (won't be shared):
Website:
*Image text:
To personalize your comment with a picture, get a gravatar.