Top menu

Book Review: Miss-Adventures by Amy Baker (plus GIVEAWAY)

There’s a moment in Amy Baker’s Miss-Adventures: A Tale of Ignoring Life Advice While Backpacking Around South America that made me realise I was going to fall in love with this book straightaway. Sitting in a London office, giving in her notice before taking off to explore a new-to-her continent, her boss says to her,

“‘This is a foolish, hasty decision. Chances are you won’t be able to find a job when you come back, have you thought about that? […] I’ve worked in this business a long time, Amy, and I know that you’ll come to regret this, mark my words.'”

Amy writes, “I knew in that moment that I couldn’t carry on listening to these kinds of reasons for not doing what I wanted. If I did, I’d never do anything. I finally looked up and met his eye.

‘I’m going to do it anyway.’

And I did.”


I met Amy Baker a few months ago at a travel blogging event. I only had a few hours at the event; I was due to fly to Antigua and Barbuda that weekend, and was swamped with work and life and God knows what else. I wanted to make sure to network as much as possible and have time to chat with old friends before I had to take off. Somehow, over a glass of cheap red, I started talking to Amy. And then, quite frankly, all that networking and socialising went out the window, because upon meeting Amy I only wanted to hang out with her.

Because if you take away nothing else from this book review, know this: Amy Baker is fucking hilarious.

I almost immediately put two and two together that she had recently published a travel memoir, Miss-Adventures, a book that was sitting on my Amazon wish-list. After chatting (read: laughing and drinking lots of wine) for the better part of an hour, I knew I HAD to read her book. Amy very kindly sent me a copy the very next day, and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

I’ve read quite a few travel memoirs and travelogues over the years, and I find myself, more and more, shying away from the classic and iconic books that shaped the genre, especially those by male writers. While I think it’s important to read from the past, I naturally don’t relate to the adventures had by many early 20th century or mid-century writers. I’m often looking for travelogues by people who I feel I can totally relate to both in their style of travelling and in their mindset. I’ve found some over the years, but there are few that I could relate to as much as Miss-Adventures. And remember what I said about Amy’s sense of humour? Yeah. Miss-Adventures is ridiculously funny to boot.

The premise of the book is this: Amy sets out to travel through Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia armed with loads of advice. Here’s the catch – some of the advice is from people she knows (friends, colleagues, family members) and some is from “experts” (experts include Salvador Dalí, Lionel Messi, and Tina Fey). By the end of the chapter, she susses out who was right. It’s a brilliant premise for a book, and Amy manages to showcase the lessons she’s learned travelling on her own through South America with both a heavy dose of humour and a fantastic eye for detail.

As the book blurb reads:

Having announced her plans to quit her job and backpack around South America, humourist and gonzo journalist Amy Baker found herself on the receiving end of a whole bunch of over-the-top and seemingly unnecessary advice. Amy shrugged it all off of course… that is, until she ran into trouble.

After falling into a crevasse, swimming in crocodile-infested waters, dodging cocaine con artists and encountering handsome soothsayers, Amy soon starts to wonder if her Mum, boss and Carol from reception really were onto something. Weighing up their advice against that of known ‘Clever People’ like Tina Fey, Salvador Dalí and Mother Teresa, Amy finally establishes once and for all who it might actually pay to listen to.

And haven’t we all heard the advice, each of us women who travels on her own? Amy shares all of the advice she was given before she travelled, advice like this, from Martin in the IT department: “Over here you know who looks dangerous. Over there, you’re going to have relearn who’s safe and who might slit your throat.” Or the overly familiar barista who told her, “You mustn’t let your guard down for even a moment. I’ve heard that the most dangerous people target women’s toilets over there,” (which reminds me of the overly familiar barista who told me, just before I went to Central America, that I was 100% going to get mugged in Guatemala. Spolier: I didn’t). Or, my personal favourite, from Carol the receptionist, “Watch out for men with too much wooden jewellery, Amy. I know what you’re like… you’ll let them sucker you in with their yoga chat but essentially, they’re unwashed… and you don’t want to put your face anywhere near an unwashed penis, let me tell you.”

And therein lies the beauty of Amy’s book. It’s extremely funny, yes, but it’s also laden with anecdotes and encounters that really sum up how it feels to travel on your own as a woman… and why so much of that “friendly” advice – well, with the exception of Carol’s advice, which really is spot on – is easily debunked. Sometimes you feel great, and on top of the world; other times you just want to go home. In between climbing mountains (her and I have the exact same opinion on climbing mountains, by the way), meeting men, trying new food, exploring cities, and learning about different cultures, Miss-Adventures takes us on a ride not just through South America, but through Amy’s wonderful perceptions of life, love, and everything in between. I related so much to this book that I had to pace myself when reading it, because I didn’t want to read it all in one go. Hilarious, honest, and incredibly well-written, it’s one of those books that I felt sad to finish.

Amy and I in London, where I tried my hardest not to fangirl all over her after finishing her book

While Miss-Adventures is currently available via Amazon in the UK (affiliate link) and available on Summersdale’s site, Amy is graciously giving away two copies of her book to readers from anywhere in the world! In order to enter the giveaway, please comment on this post with the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received before travelling. The two winners will be contacted by August 10th, 2017. 

Also make sure to check out Amy’s podcast, The Riff Raff, and if you’re in London, you simply must attend one of the Riff Raff events, a great place for writers of all levels of experience!


, , ,

91 Responses to Book Review: Miss-Adventures by Amy Baker (plus GIVEAWAY)

  1. Kiara Gallop July 30, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    I think the worst piece of advice I received was “don’t go anywhere with anyone you don’t know” 😀

    • Caitlin August 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      Before I moved to Israel an elderly English student of mine told me to open my eyes in the Dead Sea because he swore his vision improved afterwards. Stupid me did so and I came out of the water screaming in excruciating stinging pain and needed help from tourists to rinse my eyes out!!! Never again.

  2. Rosie Dunningham July 30, 2017 at 11:52 am #

    The worst piece of advice I’ve received before travelling was to fake tan before a trip in the sun. Who wants to be day-glo orange in the first few days of their holiday?! Never again! Rosie x

  3. Cate July 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    This book looks so good! For sure picking it up! The worst travel advice I’ve ever received was “Taking a gap year will do nothing for you, and traveling alone will get you killed!” I don’t think I’ll heed that advice anytime soon 😉

  4. annie July 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    i got advices from EVERYONE to be careful when i went to south america. people kept going on and on about robbery, scams, pick pocketing, drugs, kidnapping and even death. when i first landed in santa cruz bolivia i almost didn’t dare to get into a taxi from the airport due to all these horror stories. thinking the taxi driver would kidnapp me and kill me or at least steal all my money. but you know what – i travelled through south america for three months and NOTHING happened. not a thing. and i feel so stupid now for being scared! will never tell anyone that it is dangerous going there – it is magical. would love to read amy’s book! greetings from a swede in norway

    • Kate C July 30, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

      Just after returning from a trip to Costa Rica, many years ago, I received a message from a girl via the Lonely Planet website. She was planning a trip and wanted to know if Costa Rica was safe for a solo female traveler, because her friends and family had terrified her by claiming she would be set upon by bandits and guerillas as soon as she arrived in country. I gave her my assurances on how absurd that was. I hope she went!

  5. Jub July 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    This sounds hilarious. Totally agree with you on reading more ‘modern’ memoirs too, so much more relatable.

    My worst piece of advice given: Shave your beard before going to France, they hate people with beards.

  6. Allison Kowalkowski July 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    “Don’t go.”

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:04 am #

      Terrible advice 😉

  7. Jennifer H July 30, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    My dad has often told me that if I was to “get into trouble” he doesn’t have the money to be able to save me. He seems to forget that in 34 years, I’ve never once needed saving.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:05 am #


  8. Kate C July 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    Not advice, per se, but a well meaning, overly cautious woman (ahem, my mother) once gave me a huge (think thermostat sized) personal alarm that shrieked an ear piercing sound when the cable was disconnected and begged me to always wear it, because I was headed to Cambodia. I, we, left it behind. Sorry mom.

    In preparation for that same trip (3 months in SE Asia), I became engaged. She then gently suggested that my fiance must want me to stay home and plan my wedding, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to cancel the trip? Thankfully, my husband supports all my wild adventures and just laughed when I relayed the message. Then I went on a great trip 😊

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:05 am #

      Oh god… I’m glad you had a great trip!! 😀

  9. Natasha Ready July 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    The worst travel advice I ever got was from a family member who emailed me two days before I was flying to India for yoga teacher training. She said I should shouldn’t be practicing/ teaching yoga as it was a sin and opened my soul to the devil. Other people told me I shouldn’t travel alone to a country I didn’t know anything about. I didn’t listen, loved my time in India and continue to happily teach yoga! 🙂

  10. Emily July 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    It would probably be to bring my own food when I moved to the Middle East… as if they don’t eat there and I was going to starve and have to live off sand 😄🤦🏼‍♀️ #bestfoodeveractually

    • Kate C July 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

      Bwahaha! That’s precious. Import all your meals, don’t drink the water!

    • Monica August 14, 2017 at 5:11 am #

      Okay this is hilarious, reminds me of a girl I met in Guatemala who brought her own dishes to any restaurant she ate at because “you never know what they wash theirs in”. So offensive to the poor restaurant owners.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:06 am #

      Oh dear… that is some bad advice!

  11. Jane Haslam July 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    The worst travel advice was to only visit the main tourist spots and to stay in decent hotels – how do you get to see the real people and experience their way of living by doing this? You just don’t ! That’s why we self travel and home share as much as we can 😊

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:06 am #

      I agree!! It’s good to get off the beaten path once in a while…

  12. Karen July 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

    My worst advice, have a few

    1) “Don’t go there, it’s not safe”

    It usually is perfectly safe. I heard it about all African countries I have been to, all “non EU” European countries and all Central American. If I took this advice I would have missed out on so many amazing memories.

    2) “Don’t go by yourself”

    I am not going to sit around on my tushie to wait for someone to come with me. Some of the best things about travelling is all the amazing people you’ll meet!

    3) “What are you going to do for food?” (not really advice, but more a warning)

    Eat it? Duh….

  13. Dawn M. July 30, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

    The worst ‘advice’ I was given was to never travel alone in a foreign country. I’ve been doing that now for 17 years and have friends around the globe.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      Exactly! 😀

  14. Tabitha L July 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    The worst travel advice I’ve received? “Don’t get lost.” Ummmm getting lost in a new place is my favorite pastime – that’s how you find all the good stuff.

  15. Katie B July 30, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    Oh my goodness I’ve got so much questionable advice over the years. A few highlights, prior to heading to Vietnam “don’t eat the meat because they only eat dogs there” and on my way to Uganda I was warned to “be careful, there are lions everywhere” by a co-worker who had never left North America.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      It’s always those who haven’t travelled much who have the scariest advice…

  16. Rebecca July 30, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    I’ve heard of this book! I’m pretty sure I’ll end up getting it anyway if I’m not lucky enough to win one! 😀 The worst bit of advice I have ever received was from a well-meaning auntie and uncle that I shouldn’t waste my money on city breaks and should try an all inclusive resort for two weeks where I could properly relax, eat all the same food I have at home and make friends with other Brits.

    No judgement to anyone who likes all inclusive resorts, AT ALL, I’m sure they are actually very relaxing, but I could not just lay on a sun lounger for two weeks (I’m ginger and so pale, I’d be cooked after one day) and I could never try to convert someone to my way of thinking if they clearly like what they’re doing! 🙂

  17. Kaeleen Foote July 30, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    I don’t know if this qualifies as “worst advice” but two days before I was due to leave for Italy, my boss rescinded her approval for my vacation. Much to her surprise, I tendered my resignation and went. Had a glorious time, didn’t worry for a moment about finding a new job until I got home. #noregrets

    • Laryssa July 31, 2017 at 7:37 am #

      Wow, that is beyond crappy! Good for you!!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:32 am #

      Oh wow, that is a horrible thing for a boss to do… but I’m glad that it all worked out in the end and that you had an incredible time!

  18. Sara July 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    “Don’t bring so many books.” No matter how many I stuff into my luggage, I end up needing more! (I bought a Kindle a couple weeks ago so maybe this won’t matter anymore soon?)

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      I know – sometimes I read so quickly while travelling and then always regret not bringing more!

  19. Paige July 30, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    Not advice technically, but a commentary/judgment I did not ask for when I called my bank to tell them I was going to Europe last summer…
    “Oh yeah? I was going to go to France this year, but I cancelled that trip for OBVIOUS reasons.”
    Why, thank you, bank guy, for sharing your pessimistic world views and…trying to make me nervous? Mansplaining perceived threats of violence? Being really awkward?
    Needless to say, I’ve done two European trips since I received this “advice,” and am going to Paris this fall.
    This book sounds wonderful! Looking forward to checking it out.

  20. Misty July 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm #

    The worst travel advice I ever got was when I went to Turkey just about everyone I know told me not to tell them I was from America because they all hate Americans. So I would tell them I’m from Tennessee and they would get all excited because they knew about Tennessee thanks to Jack Daniels! The people I met in Turkey were some of the nicest people I’ve met!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      Ha ha – I don’t know what it is about that advice!

  21. Lucy July 30, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

    The worst advice I’ve ever been given was ‘Don’t give up your life in London to move to Australia for a boy you’ve known for 8 days.’ It didn’t work out with the guy but it was the best mistake I ever made!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      Trust me… I’ve been there! 😉

  22. Jo Jaeger July 31, 2017 at 1:12 am #

    Hi, many times I’ve been told “don’t go” especially for India. And “don’t go alone!” Worst advice ever!!!

  23. Linda July 31, 2017 at 1:14 am #

    The worst advice I had before travelling was that I could always use English because everyone everywhere knows some.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:42 am #

      Yeah… that’s not the best advice!

  24. Jade July 31, 2017 at 3:37 am #

    Thanks for another book recommendation!

    Before going on an 8 month backpacking trip across 4 continents, I went shopping to buy the most essential part: a backpack. And you know what I cam away with after 1 hour in the store with a 5ft sales woman? A 90L backpack. 100% the worst advice I’ve ever received!

    • Kate C July 31, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      90L. Ouch!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:42 am #

      Oh god… yes, that’s pretty bad advice!!

  25. Denise July 31, 2017 at 4:11 am #

    Years ago before leaving on our first cross – country flight with our two young sons we stopped at my in-laws to say goodbye. My mother-in-law told me she had a “bad feeling” about us getting on the plane , thanks a lot grandma…..

  26. Lindsay July 31, 2017 at 5:08 am #

    To not travel to countries that aren’t developed! *eye roll* (in their defence they were just really worried about me, I have Crohn’s disease so a tiny cut can be a huge deal) but we still went to Cambodia and Thailand twice recently and survived!!!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      I’m glad that you had such a great time!!

  27. Tara July 31, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    After going to the bank and informing the teller to put an alert on my account since I would be traveling to Italy next week, he advised that I should “be careful going alone. If possible, I would wait until you have a boyfriend to go with.” WHAT? This was 2013!!

    • Sarah July 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

      I’ve had that same comment a couple of times over the last few months! I mean seriously: ‘why dont you wait til you have a boyfriend and then you wont have to go alone?’. I have a boyfriend actually and am choosing to go by myself but it’s crazy that people still think like this. The crazy feminist in me really threatens to come out at that point 😛

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      WHAT indeed!!

  28. Laryssa July 31, 2017 at 7:36 am #

    It was before my first solo trip ever — seven years ago — and I was about to head out to Australia and New Zealand for six weeks. An older, strong-willed, successful woman told me, dead seriously, “YOU ARE GOING TO GET KIDNAPPED.”

    I was shocked, especially since she’d always struck me as the women’s-lib type — pave-your-own-way, hear-me-roar, etc. But, nope, she genuinely thought I was going to get kidnapped.

    (Ironically, like five years later, she took her own solo trip to Italy and Ireland. I wanted to comment on her photos, “Didn’t get kidnapped?”)

  29. Emma July 31, 2017 at 8:16 am #

    Don’tk talk to anyone you don’t know!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      Yeah… that’s pretty bad advice, ha ha.

  30. Lizzie dixon July 31, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    My mum was desperate for me to “not speak to strangers, especially strange men!”… but how else was I going to make new friends to share my experiences with?! …needless to say, that advice was completely ignored!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      I would ignore that advice, too!

  31. Janelle July 31, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to win this book, it sounds like a must read for me, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been given any really bad travel advice. The closest would be ‘watch out for Montezuma’s revenge’.

  32. Sam | Alternative Travelers July 31, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    “You don’t need a travel credit card, they’re overrated”

    Finally got one last year and it literally saves me so much money! Already got some round trip flights with the points I earned =D

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:20 am #

      I really need to get on that! I’m so bad with collecting points…

  33. Katrina July 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    Worst advice = don’t talk to strangers! One of the best parts about travel!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:20 am #

      Ha ha, agreed!

  34. Suzanne McNeill July 31, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Hi’ “I’m excited to be going to Guatemala”.
    Advice: “Where is it?”
    “Why would you go there?”
    “What will you do?”
    Follow-up: My visits to Guatemala have always been wonderful. I have been there at least 8 times (and counting)… and it is still on my list to visit again. I love the colorful indigenous textiles (worn by real people every day), friendly people, beautiful mountains, Lake Attilan (one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the world), Chichicastenango (the largest handmade textiles market in the world), and there is lots more to do and see.
    Just thinking about it… I’m getting “Itchy Feet” for a return journey.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:21 am #

      I can concur that Guatemala is incredible! I’d love to go back…

  35. Hilary July 31, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    Before I traveled for the first time, I got a lot of the usual “you shouldn’t travel alone, it isn’t safe” advice which I obviously ignored. So what I consider the worst advice I got is the advice that actually seemed worth following at the time and turned into a major disappointment. It was my first international trip and my first stop was two days in Iceland. I was lured in by the big tour companies that advertised their golden circle trips as the #1 thing to do in Iceland if you have limited time. So that’s what I naively decided to do, and hopped on that tour bus with instagram pictures of desolate, peaceful landscapes in my head.

    Yeah, turns out that being billed as the best thing to do in Iceland draws a lot of people to those three attractions. A lot, a lot of people. It’s a little hard to enjoy earth’s natural beauty when you’re being elbowed by families trying to squeeze into photos and dodging snowballs pelted by groups of high schoolers. It was a major hindsight is 20/20, “I don’t know what I expected” moment, that I had plenty of time to reflect on during the long bus ride back to Reykjavik with a tour guide giving out “fun facts” with all the enthusiasm of an apathetic student doing a class presentation. It was a quick lesson learned that it’s better to get activity advice from people who aren’t trying to sell their own activity packages.

  36. Kelli July 31, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    Worst advice I’ve heard is to stay put and save my money or spend it on other things (material stuff) instead of traveling!

  37. Rachel July 31, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

    This book sounds interesting and more importantly funny! The worst bit of travel / holiday advice I’ve been given is “you’re going camping, don’t worry about taking anything to sleep on..” Cue the worst run of nights sleep and a very aching body! Put me off camping for a long time. Thank goodness for air beds!

  38. Michelle July 31, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

    “Don’t eat the street food” – somebody who clearly doesn’t know me very well!!!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:21 am #

      I love the street food, too!

  39. Caty August 1, 2017 at 2:58 am #

    My mom told me not to go on my weekend solo holiday in Cornwall when I studied abroad in London. Because we all know what a hotbed for criminal activity and danger Cornwall is…

  40. Rosanna August 1, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    Worst advice I have received – why don’t you just go and travel when you are older?! Along the lines of stay put, work hard, do well at work, buy a house, meet a guy, have a baby, then maybe think about seeing the world when I’ve ticked life’s other boxes. I like to think we don’t need to follow the same path. I would be a totally different person had I never planned a long trip, started conversations with strangers, travelled alone, booked accommodation, ferries, fun times as I went. 🙂

  41. Amanda F August 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Worst advice I’ve ever gotten is “don’t go.” For whatever reason! I’m such a self-doubty sort of person who has too many people pleasing tendencies…and let me tell you, that advice is the WORST to get ingrained in your head. “Maybe they’re right! Maybe I shouldn’t go!” Ugh.

    Regardless, this book (and Amy!) sounds INCREDIBLE and if I don’t win I’ll be snagging a copy!

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

      I hate that self-doubt! But I will give you the opposite advice… you SHOULD go. 😉

  42. Bella August 3, 2017 at 2:36 am #

    The worst price of travel advice I’ve ever received, was from a college admissions counselor, who after learning that I was planning on backpacking around Guatemala during the summer between high school and college, told me “Oh, I wouldn’t go there, that’s the murder Capitol of the world!”. I’m not sure what I find funnier; that it was my college admissions counselor telling me this, or that his fact was completely wrong.

  43. Gemma August 3, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    “Stop wasting money on travel, you should be saving it for your pension fund”

    – Literally how my parents respond EVERY time I tell them I’ve booked another trip.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:22 am #

      Ha ha!

  44. Sarah August 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    Being advised to store money in my bra so it wouldn’t get stolen. Bit awkward when you’re in a busy shop and need to pay for something!

    Also the – seemingly very common – “you can do all that when you’re older”. You mean when I’m less healthy and less mobile?

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:22 am #


  45. Beth Cooke August 4, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Two pieces:

    1.) “Don’t take denim shorts, they will be too uncomfortable in hot countries”. I ignored this and I literally lived in them! That’s rubbish.

    2.) “Don’t go out in Mexico in the evenings, be sure to eat and be back into your room before it gets dark.”
    Although there is common sense to be had here, Mexico comes alive in the evening! The streets are filled with children playing, and elderly people dance in the streets to live music – everyone is out having fun. The atmosphere is fantastic (as is the street food) and being cooler it is much more pleasant. Very glad I ventured out and realised it is not only as safe as any other place at night, in fact it has a wonderful social vibe and should not be missed.

    Clearly you’re own judgement should always be considered.

    • Brenna Holeman August 28, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

      Yeah… those are some bad pieces of advice right there!!

  46. Kim August 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    From a male travel agent at the student budget agency in Buenos Aires during my year studying abroad in Argentina: You can’t go to Peru. They’ll eat you alive. The only women who can travel alone are those girls who shave their heads and backpack through Colombia. You wouldn’t survive.

    Five years later, I traveled to Peru for the first time (I couldn’t help but follow my heart) and spent about six weeks there. 10 years after that bad advice, I moved to a shantytown to volunteer in the community for a year. Over the years I’ve traveled extensively throughout Peru, a country and a culture very dear to my heart, and my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

    I’m so glad I didn’t let one person’s opinion keep me from experiencing Peru and the joys of solo travel (even with long hair)!

    • Brenna Holeman August 28, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Kim… and congratulations on winning one of the books! 😀

  47. Laura August 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    The latest and newest one I got was “Watch out for forest fires”. Thanks Dad

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:23 am #


  48. Liz Savvas August 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    “Only stay at all inclusive resorts in Mexico, everywhere ese is too dangerous.”

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:24 am #


  49. Elisa August 6, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    Only travel in first or second class when travelling on trains in Sri Lanka.
    Well tickets for first and second class were sold out on the day of travel, so no choice, third class travel was the only option. And you know what…we had a great time. We sat on our rucksacks and made ourselves comfortable. The view from the window is the same whichever carriage you’re in and you will get to your destination. I have very fond memories of the school kids that we chatted to who wanted to practice their English and the kindness of the family who shared their tea with us.

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:25 am #

      Aw, that’s a lovely story!

  50. Vicki August 7, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    When I went to Malawi for the first time, I was warned not to eat any food from the villages as it will all make you sick. It was my first trip abroad and lots of well meanin people had lots to say. But I learned to take their advice in stride and enjoy whatever experience came 🙂

    Well some of the villages I stayed in definitely did not have clean water, but the food was amazing. And the friendships made over those random meals definitely outweighed any stomach aches or small cases of diarrhea that may have resulted.

    • Brenna Holeman August 28, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

      Your last paragraph… absolutely! 😀

  51. Ange August 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    I think the biggest, “wrongest” advice anyone told me is “don’t go there/don’t travel the world: it’s dangerous”. We’ve all met those obnoxious/condescending/scared to death people. They all give the same, wrong advice. It always thrilled me to listen to them, and then let them know that I’ve already been there, to this very “dangerous” place they were talking about, and that it all went well, the people were amazing and nope, never got harassed more than in my country of origin. They usually follow this by “well you were lucky, because I know someone (who knows someone, who read about it somewhere…) and THEY were harassed, it went badly for THEM!
    What can you say to that. Usually nothing excepted let them know that the world is not that dangerous place they think it is. YES, you need to be vigilant to your stuff and yourself, and listen to your gut feeling. BUT fear ain’t no good driving force. Travelling is loving. Travelling is discovering. Travelling is getting out of your normal self.
    I loved it, I still do, and I probably still will love it later in life!

    • Brenna Holeman August 28, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

      That is a great comment, Ange 🙂 Agreed that fear isn’t a good driving force!!

  52. Katie August 14, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

    Just catching up on your blog and too late for the contest, but I’ve added this to my wish list for when it’s available in the U.S.! And I have to say — I think Carol’s advice might be spot-on. 😉

    • Brenna Holeman August 22, 2017 at 9:22 am #

      You’d love it!!

Leave a Reply