Eat, Pray, Love… And Why This Isn’t That

Disclaimer: my trip is not based on nor inspired by Eat, Pray, Love. While I liked the book and was satisfied with the movie, my journey is not designed to be anything like Elizabeth Gilbert’s trek from Italy to India to Indonesia.

Considering how much I enjoyed the book, it surprised me to find out how many travel writers I follow were put off after reading it. Many found it to be a whinging, self-indulgent, over-spiritualized melodrama, and some of it was.

Compared to what many travelers sacrifice to see the world, Liz had it easy. She received a sizable advance from her publisher to write a book about her experience and then lived in very comfortable accommodations while she dealt with her personal demons. In the neatly packaged conclusion, Liz found everything she was looking for (solace in food, a dude and her version of God) and ended up making a financial killing in the process. Maybe all that snark was jealousy?

But let’s go back to my reality vs. Liz’s reality. Like Liz, I’m a single gal who left everything behind to travel the world alone. That’s about it for similarities.

Liz bailed on her marriage and traveled to escape conflict. She was confused and lost and needy and sad and lonely and broken.

I just love to travel. That’s it.

Due to the fact that she was already a published writer, Liz had the financial means to live it up in self-financed comfort during her trip. Her spiritual journey ultimately brought her love, a best-selling book and a Julia Roberts rom-com. While I don’t know if I’ll end up with love, a writing career or a movie about my trip (ooh maybe Rachel McAdams could play me!), on the financial side, I saved for years and am footing the bill for most of my experiences.

Liz was trying to figure out all sorts of existential questions… what’s the meaning of life? What’s my purpose on this planet? Why did my marriage fail?

I’m not expressly looking for anything or anyone. I’m not recovering from a divorce or seeking enlightenment or trying to find myself. I don’t have any questions I need to have answered by a guru or a yogi or a healer to feel satisfied with my life. It’s a given that I will learn new things about myself this year and will gain perspective that I didn’t even know I didn’t have, but I’m not actively trying to figure anything out. I am not expecting anything in particular, but I am expectant.

Liz was searching for meaning, grasping at bits of various cultures and religions along the way, looking for answers and fulfillment. On the other hand, I am a Christian, straight up. I’m very grounded in my beliefs.Like Liz, I will be seeking God all along the way, but the difference is I know where to find Him.

Apparently, grand journeys like mine often lead to epiphanies and lifestyle change and whatnot, so who knows what parallels my trip may end up sharing with Eat, Pray, Love. I may ride an elephant, get my yoga on or meet someone hot in Bali. For now though, the only thing I have in common with Liz is a yearlong trip.

One more disclaimer: if Javier Bardem is waiting for me in Bali, then I might have to change the title of this post and just flipping go with it.

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  • January 03, 2011

    Angie, as a fellow PR girl and travel lover, I am so psyched for you and your trip! I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and I can’t wait to read about your adventures along the way!

    • January 03, 2011

      Thank you for the comment, Jessica! I’m really excited now that I’m actually on the road… will keep you posted!

  • January 03, 2011

    I LOVE THIS. This is the sort of post I wish more bloggers–those with strong writing abilities but who focus on SEO-driven posts–would write more of. Well done, my friend. Well done.

  • January 03, 2011

    KL – you just made my day =)

  • January 04, 2011

    Bon Voyage my friend! I’m here reading and cheering you on! 🙂
    Safe travels and I can’t wait to read about it all.

  • January 05, 2011

    Love this post, my friend!

  • January 05, 2011

    Your book would be oh-so-much better than Elizabeth Gilbert’s. Just sayin’… hehe!

  • January 15, 2011

    So excited for you!! I’m doing the same thing next year – got some saving to do first. Have an awesome time! x

    • January 28, 2011

      Perhaps we can meet up somewhere on the road!

  • November 19, 2011

    Strong post Angie and I really enjoyed reading it! I look forward to read more of your journey! Safe Travels!

    I can’t wait to get on the road again!!!

  • January 18, 2016

    Great post Angie. I too love traveling

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