Book Review: Wanderlust

Author: Elizabeth Eaves

Publisher: Seal Press, June 2011

Genre: Travel Memoir

Source: The publisher for the TLC Book Tour

My Rating: B

Why do we love to travel? What is it that causes our feet to itch for new landscapes? I’ve always thought it was something I inherited from my parents and grandparents (all immigrants). We may never know the exact cause, but I certainly recognize the feeling when it comes over me.

Elizabeth Eaves, the author of Wanderlust: A Love Letter to Travel and Exploration, has been consumed with a desire and a passion for traveling. It started when she was nine and her family spent a year in Spain and a summer in a VW bus traveling Europe’s campgrounds.

Then her first serious boyfriend set off on an around-the-world trip and sent her aerograms from exotic places. That did it. She wasn’t sure whether she loved him or his traveling life style.

In her sophomore year of college Elizabeth enrolled in a study-abroad program and she never looked back. She went from the Middle East to the South Pacific to Europe. She worked to keep on going. For Elizabeth, travel wasn’t to keep moving or about seeing the next new place. She had a deep desire to explore and understand new cultures and meet new people.

Wanderlust is a memoir written with intelligence and honesty. It’s more than a travelogue. It’s about living in the places she discovered. We meet the people she meets. and see the rooms and apartments she lived in.

I was surprised by the number of men she accumulated along the way. A part of me said, “Well, why not – she’s young.” The other part of me was concerned that there were too many men. The traveling was supposedly for the purpose of discovering herself. It took her a while before she saw that she had accomplished that goal. By age thirty-four she was ready to go home. When I turned that last page my first thought was, “I wonder where she is now.” I don’t think her itchy feet will let her stay in one place for long.

I’d recommend Wanderlust for anyone who loves travel memoirs and people with their own bug to travel. It will probably appeal more to women.

Check your local library or your local bookstore for Wanderlust. It’s also available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all. For other reviews on Wanderlust visit the schedule here: TLC Book Tours

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12 Responses to Book Review: Wanderlust

  1. JoAnn says:

    I do enjoy travel memoirs… will keep this one in mind. Thanks!

  2. I love your reaction to the young-men-collecting! So many times I have to wonder if my reaction to things is because of my age or if it is “real” or “legitimate” on its own!

  3. I love to travel and haven’t had as much opportunity as I’d like. Carl and I recently took a trip and he told me that he hates to travel, so I guess I need to find a friend who will travel with me. This book sounds like the perfect fit for me.

  4. Barbara says:

    I was born with itchy feet and have been in one place too long without a nice long trip. I must read this travel memoir.

    As for Jill’s comment, I think after a certain age we all wish we could stop young people from making mistakes. However, I remember that age well enough to know positively absolutely none of them will listen to us. They just have to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

  5. TheBookGirl says:

    I really hate to fly, so though I like to visit new places, I tend to do so vicariously through the travels of others. This sounds like just the thing for me 🙂

  6. I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I would like and there are some places I have little interest in traveling (very hot climates are not my thing). I think I would enjoy this book, though I do wonder what I’ll feel about the man-collecting. Maybe I’ve reached an age where I don’t find that nearly as charming as I might have.

  7. I read somewhere recently about a entire subculture of romantic hook ups during travel and suddenly had a whole new understanding of something that I witnessed on a trip in New Zealand years ago — a man from the US and a woman from Canada on separate long-term trips who were sharing hotel rooms and adventures for awhile. I didn’t find what I read, but here’s an interesting article on The 8 Types of Travel Romance:
    I’ll stick with #3 (the couple that travels together) but I adore #8 (meet me in Paris).

    On a non-romantic note, I’m also intrigued by Kathy’s notion of wanting a traveling friend because I like to travel more than my husband does.

  8. Staci says:

    I’ve always thought I wanted to travel all over the world but when I do travel I can’t wait to get back home 😀 Sounds like a fun read though!!

  9. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I too wonder where the author is now … certainly not “home” …

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  10. Amused says:

    I had similar feelings to you about the author’s connection to men. While I enjoyed the book, for me I connected most with the first half of the book.

  11. Lisamm says:

    My next door neighbor is a traveler. She’s retired and goes with her women friends (different ones). When she’s not traveling she is planning and saving for her next trip. Verrry itchy feet!

  12. Annie says:

    Travel is for me a difficult word ! I hate to travel and love to travel too ! Before leaving my house I’m really sad and full of anxiety. I’m in a so dark mood that it’s always my husband who prepares our luggages. But, when the house is left all is OK ! I enjoy the trip, i’m happy to discover new countries, people and …food. My feet are never itchy and yet I’m a traveller !

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