I just finished this insightful, inspiring novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. It chronicles her personal pilgrimage to find happiness by eating in Italy for 4 months, praying and meditating in India for 4 months and combining the two—discipline and pleasure—in Indonesia for 4 months.
This book was like crack to me. I was instantly addicted to Gilbert's story and writing style, and did not want to put the book down.
First off, the travel aspect of the story is so alluring. The thought of meandering the streets of Italy—batting eyelashes at lovely Italian men, pampering the palate with gelato and pizza and wine, continuously hearing the sound of fountains splashing—had my mouth watering. She says that if Rome had to have a single word associated with it, the word would be: sex. Awesome.
The ashram in India sounded amazing too. I always think of India as being chaotic, crowded, hot and dirty. But she paints a beautiful picture of tranquility, where it's not only easy to reconnect with oneself, but also with God.
Bali, where her expedition ends, is not just an excellent tropical vacation spot, but an island teeming with jovial locals and interesting expatriates.
And that's just the physical journey. The emotional and spiritual trek she goes on is even more fascinating and enviable.
We all go through periods of inner unrest, where we disconnect from ourselves, our communities, our core happiness. We become lost and the only ones who can find us are us. I admire Elizabeth Gilbert so much for taking the time—making the commitment—to rediscover her joy and serenity. We may not all be able to travel the world for a year to find our lost selves, but we should continually work to stay in touch with what makes us content—or even better, blissful.
Read Eat, Pray, Love. You'll savor every page.