In no way do I have a thing out for Liz Gilbert. I think it's fantastic that she did all the things she did in her book, "Eat, Pray, Love" and I think it's even better that she was able to inspire people to take life into their own hands and make a change.
With the new Julia Roberts movie adaptation of the book garnering much press and attention on people leaving their "established" lives to travel the globe and find love and inner peace along the way, I've been getting a lot of attention from friends, family and even journalists asking me how I've been inspired by the book.
Let me set this straight: Eat, Pray, Love did NOT inspire me to live the life I am currently living. And I doubt that it was the catalyst for many of the world travelers making their way around the world right this minute, no offense Liz Gilbert.
Yes, I may be gratuitously eating my way around the world and yes, I did in fact go to a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and yes, in fact I have fallen in love ( a number of times) during the course of all this. Does this mean that I have a story similar to Liz Gilbert's? Not by any stretch of the imagination! First off, I backpack around the world. Second, I'm on a major budget since I haven't had a paying job in almost 2 years and I'm living off my hard-earned savings. And lastly, no one is financing this journey for me in any way (unless YOU'd like to, hey, I'm open to the suggestion). No book deals, no film in the works, no donations, nothing.
People travel for a number of reasons, all individual and unique to the traveler in question. Just because someone has gone down a similar road as we have, it doesn't mean we're copy-cat travelers. I think that idea does a disservice to Liz Gilbert and to every single traveler out there.
We're all trying to make sense of the world and how we fit into it in our own ways. Let's give each individual due credit here.
And Liz Gilbert, if you're reading this, I wish you continued success in life and love, along with everyone else reading this, traveling or otherwise!
© Connie Hum 2010