I’m starting a little mini series to last 2 weeks are so inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love in anticipate for the movie that’s coming out August 13th.

I read this book when I was 19, a time when I was half way through college, comfortable in a 3 year relationship, and had had only a brief glance of the world outside of my Connecticut home.

Reading that book changed my life–forcing me to look outside my comfort zone and seek life: wanting to be challenged.

As a kid, I had always had intense separation anxiety where sleep-away camp turned traumatizing. After that, I stayed put and comfortable at home. I found myself a really loving, comfortable relationship and got cozy.

Eat, Pray, Love came around and showed me that staying comfortably put without broadening your horizons can leave you in a dangerous spot. Not allowing time to be single, travel the world, develop a skill, and challenge your beliefs could leave you waking up at 34 not knowing how to live alone and be happy. 

I knew after reading this book that I didn’t want to end up scared at 34. I wanted to be independent, confident, strong, and respectable. I wanted to challenge myself and become someone.

Over the next 3 years I ended my comfortable relationship, left home to live abroad for 5 months, and changed my belief in food, spirituality, and love. 

So in the next two weeks I’m going to take a post to explain my thoughts on each one of these areas and share recipes coordinating with the countries Elizabeth Gilbert visits during her travels: Italy, India, and Indonesia where she found food, religion, and love, respectively.

I’m sure we’ve all had experiences that have changed our lives–and I’m interested in hearing in your experiences too!

Have you read the book? Did you like it? I have friends that have read it AFTER traveling, being single, etc and didn’t like the book because they found the character wining, annoying, and too dependent on love. But because I read it BEFORE going out and “becoming a woman” I found it really inspiring. I do think 34 is too late to branch out and realize you haven’t challenged yourself, but as a teen, it really forced me to take a different path. 

ALSO! Check out my guest post on Samantha’s blog: Bikini Birthday! We’re chatting about being confident regardless of your bikini bod.