Carrying baggage you don't need?
When I was in college, I figured my life would come together around graduation. I'd meet a guy, have a beautiful wedding, and we'd buy a nice little house—not necessarily with a picket fence, but with whatever kind of fence we wanted. Whatever we decided, I would be happy.
When I got out of college and my life didn't look like that, I floundered, trying to get the life I had always dreamed of through career, travel, and relationships. But none of them satisfied me as I hoped. Like many twentysomethings, I tried to discover the life of my dreams, but instead I just kept accumulating baggage—school loans, electronics I couldn't afford, hurt from broken relationships, and unmet expectations for what life was "supposed to be" like.
Just when I had given up all hope of finding the "life I'd always dreamed about," I decided to take a trip to all fifty states . . . because when you go on a trip, you can't take your baggage. What I found was that "packing light" wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.
This is the story of my trip and learning to live life with less baggage.
Ally Vesterfelt is a gifted writer with a pleasant voice that is a joy to spend time with. Joining her on a cross-country journey makes for a delightful and thought-provoking respite. With refreshing honesty, Ally teaches us how to better navigate life and relationships as she navigates the roads of all fifty states.
Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and The Sacred Search
Packing Light is the latest in a long line of rich and lovely travel memoirs that make the world bigger, that make us long for the open road, and that ask us to consider the important and universal themes of faith, fear, comfort, friendship, love, and what to pack. For any young traveler, literal and otherwise, Ally has given us a gem.
Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine
This is a good one, an important book for those who are restless. We all have questions, and some brave souls turn to the call of the open road for answers. Thanks, Ally, for sharing your journey with us. I couldn't stop reading.
Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life
Allison Vesterfelt has written a wonderfully provocative book about changing your life. For a long time she was plagued by a thought, "could I live life where nothing held me back?" It would mean leaving a lot behind. But the dream grew inside her until one day she sold everything and, packing lightly, took off for the open road and a life full of possibilities.
If, like her, you're tired of the complicated life you're living, you'll want to read Packing Light and consider following her example. In simplicity and abandon, Vesterfelt found the purpose she longed for. It's a great story and a lesson I found invigorating to my spirit.
Seth Barnes, CEO Adventures in Missions
I've known Ally since we were kids. She's everything you want in a writer: smart, funny, honest, flawed, strong, passionate, and after Jesus' kingdom vision. To a generation that's dying for adventure, but scared to death of failure, Packing Light comes as a much needed kick out the front door. You might read this book on your couch, but you won't stay there.
John Mark Comer, pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgeport: a Jesus church in Portland, Oregon
Allison Vesterfelt is one of the best emerging writers to come along in years. Her words slip into the next ones in a way that makes reading a delight. And then there's the story she tells. From page one, you feel drawn-in, as if you were having coffee together, sharing personal confessions with a friend. This book will occupy a permanent space in your library.
Ben Arment, creator of STORY and Dream Year
Ally did what so many of us have dreamed of doing at some point. Her journey was adventurous and life changing. I vicariously joined in the journey as read along. Packing Light is heartfelt, insightful and you should read it now!
Alli Worthington, entrepreneur, business coach and consultant, speaker and fan of all things digital
Ally tells her story with such grace, honesty, and humor that we can't help but get caught up in her journey with her. Her trip may be unique to her, but the lessons she learned are universal. Packing Light is a book for anyone longing to go after that "something missing" in their own lives.
Justin Lathrop, blogger and co-founder of Some Company
Packing Light makes you want to get out large scissors and cut the strings holding you back. Packing your bags with boldness, wisdom and fresh perspectives, this book bravely takes you on a journey of themes so relevant to women of this day and age; at times you feel like you are truly in her shoes—with her lessons you learn your own, with her broken expectations you break yours, with her found freedom you yourself feel refreshed.
Sarah Dubbeldam, editor-in-chief of Darling Magazine