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Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething's Guide to Seeking Adventure Paperback – January 4, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Recent Yale grad and island-hopping adventurer Kinder advises fellow 20-somethings to shun the fluorescent-lit cubicles of the corporate world in favor of the great outdoors in this useful guidebook. Writing in a comfortably hip, conversational manner, she offers ideas for exciting changes of pace that will appeal to others in her age bracket: work in a rural New Zealand vineyard, lead a group of teens on a Caribbean yacht trip, be a flight attendant, try out for a Las Vegas show, etc. She covers some of the beaten paths (the Peace Corps, Teach for America) and encourages ventures into the unknown, such as riding the Russian rails or working at Thailand’s Wild Animal Rescue Foundation. The pages are filled with blurbs from young people, both those who have taken time off before getting a job and those who wish they had; they tell their stories and give tried-and-true tips on making the most of the post-college, pre-"real world" experience. Perhaps recognizing that those who lack her privileged background or daring may not be convinced, Kinder provides some ideas for utilizing downtime at home, though many are decidedly less interesting ("go on a pub crawl;" "gut your closet and have a yard sale"). Kinder includes numerous Web site addresses so people can research her suggestions, and she grounds each chapter with a section on how these out-of-the-box experiences can be beneficial in the long run. Even the most timid will find her enthusiasm infectious, and both the book’s subject and style are sure to appeal to college seniors and those who don’t want to settle into the rat race just yet.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Colleen Kinder is a graduate of Yale University. She has delayed the real world by living in Cuba, traveling through Latin America, and volunteering with the elderly.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (January 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762421894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762421893
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am certainly not the target audience for this book. A few of my children would be among those for whom the book was written. That being said, I was in my twenties once and have some idea of the decades that come afterward.

The notion of the book is that a person has the whole world open to them in their twenties and need not - should not - simply rush into the mundane world of work and simply accept the easy and obvious job waiting for them when they get out of college. When you are in your early twenties you have time to take risks and even start over. The cubicle will always be there. An opportunity to visit exotic locales or take an internship to explore a fascinating career will not. Eventually, you have to get serious about life. For most people marriage comes and then children and the ability to just take off and explore something simply for the experience becomes something in your past.

This is NOT a book about slacking. It is a book about releasing the energy of your youth and contains all kinds of helpful information that will help you explore your dreams. I think it will even help people develop dreams. Why not say, "why the heck not!" and go do something cool?

I know from firsthand experience that simply living abroad for a couple of years is a terrific educational experience. It broadens your view of the world and enables you to see your previous life as an outsider. Most helpful in relating to others as you get older.

All this encouraging support being said, I do have to add this bit of caution. If you want to pursue an aggressive career to the "top", you have to remember that you are competing with everyone in your age cohort whether you know them or not.
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Format: Paperback
This book is definitely a good brainstorming tool for those who seek alternative means of long-term service work. However, it is overwhelmingly catered to a middle/upper-middle class audience (not everyone has parents/relatives who would willingly support them for free, Colleen) and is borderline derogatory towards readers who have obligations other than self-righteously "experiencing life to the fullest." (I had to take an office job in D.C. after graduating so that I could be near both my boyfriend while he works to pay off some of his college debt and my father while he struggles with illness; the first few chapters of Ms. Kinder's book made me feel frantic and frustrated for being so "tied down" so young. Not very inspirational.) The testimonials that pepper the book, though sometimes interesting, are more distracting than anything and are basically repetitive variations on the exact same theme.

All that being said, the resources that Ms. Kinder lists are helpful. The tone and organization also make this book very magazine-y so that the reader can flip through to relevant sections without really "missing" anything. I would recommend this book but NOT to anyone more than a few years out of school and only in conjunction with more thorough, serious literature on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
While the author does share some good resources and helpful hints, there was nothing eye-opening about this book. Basically it's just some advice from young people who share their stories and tidbits on venturing out on your own.

It gives many motivational first hand account "stories" told by various twenty-something year olds of experiences they've had abroad or in a new city.

Based on their "voices", positions they are in,(desirable internships, research grants, etc.) most of them seem to come from priviledged backgrounds as does the author, (it seemed she didn't venture too far from home for the interviews!) so this advice is slightly biased.

The tone of the book is cheerleader like designed to rally the confidence of the reader and while, yes, it is positive and possibly encouraging I found it to be a bit on the overly optimistic side as well as slightly pretentious.
1 Comment 40 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This has been one of the few books I've ever read that has truly changed the way I think about life. It isn't just a list of awesome jobs, internships and opportunities around the world, but it's a way of living. The working world can wait! Why act like your 35 when your only 22? You've spent 16 years of your life being educated the way they want. Now spend a few years of freedom and independence to learn about the world your way. See the world, see the people in it. Money and material things can wait; they can never replace experiences, memories or relationships.

This book talks about all that. It gives you hundreds of very specific ideas on jobs, finding jobs/opportunities and how to make ends meet. The whole book is mingled with personal accounts from people who actually went out into the world and lived an amazing life. I work in a news room for my college newspaper, and half of the staff is seniors. I've left the book in the office, and everyone of them reads it and tells me how great it is. Best $10 I've ever spent!
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Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of inspirational books, but nothing quite like Delaying the Real World. This book encourages people of all ages to step off the proverbial bandwagon and do something extraordinary.

But, unlike most other books, this one goes one step further. The author actually provides her adventure-seeking audience with all the details necessary to "delay the real world." And, no, it doesn't require parental funding. Delaying the real world is actually possible on a limited budget.

This book provides real life examples of people doing amazing things and going to amazing places in an effort to avoid the traditional 9-5 desk job. READ IT AND YOU'LL SEE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!
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