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About the Book
A memoir of a young woman’s passion for an uncommon life, self-abandonment for love, and the struggles she faces as she questions everything she thought she knew about the world and herself.
Lusting after the world to see what it was made of, and enticed by a former boyfriend’s romantic promise, a naïve twenty-two-year-old New Orleanian finds passage on a Spanish freighter to meet him in Barcelona. Without a scheme for survival or time or distance definitions, almost no money, and led only by the prevailing winds, she begins with her partner what becomes a five-and-a-half-year odyssey through thirty-two countries. The adventure, suffused with ridiculous risk, is most often enlightening, sometimes exquisitely beautiful, and frequently perilous. Together, the two hitchhike, or travel third or abominable class through Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the Far East.
Carroll and her partner sleep everywhere from rooftops and lone desert sands, to railway platforms, the rebar-laden bed of a dilapidated truck, and the lawn of the Taj Mahal. Along the journey, she fends off sexual aggressors, prompts a near riot in Tehran, and confronts a stone-faced Afghani and a deplorable madman. Facing myriad physical and emotional challenges and hardships, by all rights she should be dead. She survives them because of her tenacious spirit, and because the journey is also the glue that binds for a time, her ragged, imploding partnership.
Readers will recognize some of their own battles within this book’s pages, and witness a triumph of spirit.
"When Carroll steps onto the ship bound for Spain she never looks back—and neither will you. Each destination brings a new revelation, making her story a traveler’s adventure and a journey of the soul.”
- Susan Roesgen, WGNO TV, “News With a Twist” Host