My Year Worth Remembering will be the antithesis of Eat, Pray, Love.

Eat, Pray, Love picture, courtesy of EPL listing at amazon.com

Did you read or watch EPL? I watched the movie. Her year of travel was enviable.

But forget for a minute the travel around the world, paid for by a publisher with deep pockets. The freedom of a year off is more astonishing. To be able to take off for a whole year...it boggles the mind.

When I watched the movie, my kids were younger. They required more of me, and wanted even more. Schedules, school, physical needs and house upkeep occupied much of my time. So yes, I was jealous. I bet you were, too.

BUT...Say you had the money. Would you take a year off from your life?

I don't know that I would. Maybe two weeks, to be repeated later in the year. I would be worried that if the people in my life could do without me for a year, I'd feel useless. Besides, I am blessed with love and family. I'm lacking mostly in inspiration and fun. I take full responsibility for that because...well I'm responsible like that :)

Now add back in the financial backing required for that kind of adventure. A year of eating, praying and love Elizabeth Gilbert style is clearly not in our reality, at least for more than 95% of us.

I think it's the "rich girl syndrome" that bugs most about her fame and success. Kate Fridkis writes about the main criticism of her "year of" story in the Huffington Post:

"She was able to go because she had enough money to pay for it. That annoys a lot of people. It strikes them as unrealistic. Who has that kind of money? Why should we care what happens to this rich woman with her petty fantasy about self-realization? The words "navel gazing" come up a lot in reviews. Regular people don't have time to "self-realize." They have bills to pay. They can't just fly off to Italy, and then India, and then Indonesia."

So, how can I do something similar, within OUR time, money and travel constraints? I'm hoping you can help me out.

  • I won't be taking a sabbatical in the traditional sense. I will still have to tend to my responsibilities at home (house, husband & children) and in my writing projects.

  • I'll be funding my adventures from my existing budget.

  • I will be true to myself. That's why I'm asking for PG-13 suggestions. I won't do anything too crazy; no sense putting it on my list just so I have something to cross off.

My list is short. Too short.
Can you help me have an EPL epiphany that we can all share in? Will you start your own year of adventures?
I'd love to hear your ideas.


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