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Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents [Kindle Edition]

Elisabeth Eaves
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Spanning fifteen years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’s insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself—literally—to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not.

Wanderlust, however, is more than a chronological conquest of men and countries: at its core, it’s a journey of self-discovery. In the course of her travels, Eaves finds herself and the sense of home she’s been lacking since childhood—and she sheds light on a growing culture of young women who have the freedom and inclination to define their own, increasingly global, lifestyles, unfettered by traditional roles and conventions of past generations of women.


Editorial Reviews

Review


"[A] heady, headlong chronicle of a decade and a half spent adrift…"
The New York Times

"Eaves is searingly honest…"
—Editors' Choice, The New York Times

"Eaves, a travel writer, has an eye for detail and the worldly insight of fellow globe-trotter Pico Iyer."
ELLE Magazine

"Wanderlust celebrates the life-changing possibilities of the world around us and the rigors and riches of embracing them body and soul."
National Geographic Traveler Magazine

About the Author

Elisabeth Eaves is the author of Bare: The Naked Truth About Stripping, and her travel essays have been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing, The Best Women's Travel Writing, and A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures from Around the World. Her writing has also appeared in numerous publications, including Forbes, Harper's, the New York Times, Slate, and the Wall Street Journal, and she holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Born and raised in Vancouver, she lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 660 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1580053114
  • Publisher: Seal Press (May 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TM1QW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Full of promise, but ultimately soulless July 15, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an often-solo female traveler who's exploring her 20th foreign country this year, I had really high hopes for this book. Finally, a compilation of essays / short stories about what it really feels like to travel the world alone and what compels a woman to do so! I found some of the author's insights really wise and telling, and a few things frankly hit close to home. That said, I ended up being surprisingly disappointed for two glaring reasons:

1. There really isn't enough description about the places in later essays. I not only wanted to understand her motivation and read some juicy relationship gossip, I also wanted to learn more about the exotic, and not-so-exotic, locales. I found that severely lacking in the latter half of the book, as she instead focused almost solely on her relationships with men. Granted, a great deal of traveling tends to be about one's relationships with other people, but I didn't sign up for that to be all-encompassing, especially when recounted in such a gratuitously bland and uninteresting manner, sans depth of feeling.

2. That brings me to pretty much my main point, and what soured the whole experience for me: the narrator comes across as cold, devoid of emotion, impersonal and detached. She wrote of these grandiose (and not-so-grandiose) love affairs, but there was a distinct lack of passion throughout. I can forgive almost anything, but not that robotic retelling. I just couldn't empathize with her - despite really, really wanting to - and I actually ended up actively disliking her. Honestly, that really took me aback, as it wasn't that I found her to be morally bereft, necessarily, I just found her tone to be steely, humorless, unfeeling, and completely unsympathetic.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Time or Money January 9, 2012
By BQE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I am currently 25% finished with this book on my Kindle, and am so exasperated, I honestly don't feel like I can continue reading it. The following review reflects my feelings toward the first 25% of the book.

I had read an article in the New York Times entitled "A Place to Lay My Heart" by Elisabeth Eaves. Poignant and intriguing, the article touched on points like the needlessness of excessive material goods, the complications of love and long distance relationships, and the complexities of life for an American residing outside of the United States. I was excited to find her book, "Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents" and couldn't wait to read it.

Much to my dismay, I found myself reading (with multiple eye rolls)about her sexual exploits in various countries around the world. Elisabeth's judgmental, single minded comments, general ignorance, and arrogant entitled-white-person-in-a-developing-country attitude are exhausting to read: her implicit irritation with seeing a fully veiled 12-year-old girl in Yemen, [paying 6 pounds for a taxi from the airport in Cairo back to her apartment in Zamalek (equivalent to $1 American dollar-- would you show up at an airport in the United States with only a few dollars in your pocket to pay a taxi driver to get home?), complaining about an "obese" American counterpart with whom she knew of in Spain, the ugly Birkenstocks her roommate wore about the American University of Cairo... the list goes on.

Elisabeth goes on to complain about the wealthy Egyptians with whom she attends AUC-- "boys and girls in real designer jeans and sunglasses. They wore heels...".
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing but Ultimately Vapid June 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book seems to be what happens when a young person doesn't wait long enough to write a memoir: it's colorful, descriptive, and takes the reader to unusual destinations, but it ultimately ends up reading like the story of a human on a habitrail wheel, just running and getting nowhere. The reader develops very little insight into the causes or lessons of her wanderlust, and seems to keep doing the same thing over and over again - leaving before anyone or any place can domesticate her. I'd love to read her re-write of this tale in another 20 years or so, when she hopefully has a little more perspective on what all her traveling was for.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All that was missing was the rock 'n' roll October 1, 2011
Format:Paperback
I was expecting to read an interesting journey of a woman's travels around the globe, but instead, the only things I read about were Elisabeth Eaves's sexual exploits with numerous men and about the drugs and partying they all did. As mentioned in another review, all the guys mentioned sound very similar---long-haired, outdoorsy, weed-smoking burnouts. I couldn't keep up with who was who and lost count of how many men were mentioned, since they all seemed to meld together into one guy. Let's just call them all "John" and call it a day!

The way she mentioned being "in love" was irritating. Sex (or the more vulgar term she uses which can't be used in this review) is not love. I doubt she knows what it is. "I love Graham...no wait, I love Stu...but no, I actually love Justin...no wait, I love Stu more..."

I hated how she wrote people off who didn't fit her idea of what constituted as "cool," such as a study abroad student she considered fat, her roommate in Egypt whose fashion sense she didn't like, and even a little Yemeni girl she mentioned as chubby with acne. Seriously, you're going to belittle the looks of a child who's still growing?!

She mentioned feeling uncomfortable with the sexual harassment she got in Egypt and Yemen, but does the most ridiculous thing by dressing up as a Yemeni woman with her friend and wandering alone at night, putting herself in danger. I have no clue what she was trying to gain from doing that. Common sense is not one of Eaves's strongest attributes.

I wanted descriptions not only of the different countries Eaves traveled to, but of the people she encountered in these countries. (No, I'm not talking about her many men who could've easily been found in the States.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great. Very Happy with product and service.
Published 28 days ago by Judith Kew
4.0 out of 5 stars Wanderlust
I'd love to travel, I'm somewhat scared of commitment. These are the things that make me readily identify with the author of this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Reynard
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
This book started out strong and became disappointing as it continued. The end was much more about her shallow relatinships with men and less about travel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Renita J. Lovell
1.0 out of 5 stars What was she thinking
This book is just about her sexual explorations and not even in a good. IF you want something similar, read the Italian affair- now that was entertaining!
Published 6 months ago by Shazia
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
Great concept with a very interesting and unorthodox outlook on life. Would recommend to any girl who has that desire to travel. Read more
Published 6 months ago by kaitlin eileen valentine
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful monologue of a world travelers inner demon
Eaves captures the romance and adventure of traveling across the globe perfectly. She intellectualizes her cultural experiences with an unyielding curiosity which takes the reader... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tamara R Levien
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, waste of time and money
I love to travel, so I was hoping to enjoy this book. I'm so glad I only spent $0.99 on it, because I could not bring myself to read past the first third of the book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ren
5.0 out of 5 stars The first time in years I've paid full price for a book
and it was worth it. As a single mom of 2 small kids I have no money or time to travel so I read, too much. This is a great book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by pantherose
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read for women who like to travel
Nice combination of travel stories linked into the psychology of relationships and why we do what we do. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Karen Heale
5.0 out of 5 stars tales of love, misadventure and wringing every second of life out of...
I highly recommend this book.

Elisabeth Eaves, in Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents,tells tales of love, misadventure and wringing every second of life out... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Lisa Niver Rajna
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More About the Author

I'm a writer and editor, born in Vancouver and living in New York City. My first book, "Bare," was about stripping, and my second book, "Wanderlust," came out of a lifelong love of travel and trying to figure out why I felt so compelled to keep moving on. My travel writing has also appeared in "Best American Travel Writing 2009," "Best Women's Travel Writing 2010," and Lonely Planet's "A Moveable Feast." One of the things I love about my work is that it's an excuse to talk to anyone about anything. Before finding my way to journalism, I worked as a waitress, a bartender, a deck hand, a landscaper, an office temp, and a peep show girl. To read some of my stories, please visit www.elisabetheaves.com.


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