My Big Announcement: I Have a Book Deal!


Contract signed and ready to be posted!

Finally. 

Finally I can share why I’ve been sucking at this whole travel blogging thing for the last six months.

I kicked off 2014 with a bang, full of ambition and plans for killing it with Never Ending Footsteps. I was posting multiple times a week, traffic was higher than ever and I was starting to hit my financial goals for the first time. I was determined that 2014 was going to be the year where I attained the levels of success I’d been working towards. 

It lasted until March, when I received an email that changed my life. It was an email that required me to immediately drop everything and focus my efforts into one project. I couldn’t spend time searching for additional freelance work because I didn’t have any time. I couldn’t justify writing on Never Ending Footsteps and dropped back to posting one travel summary each month. Worst of all, I couldn’t tell you what was happening. After starting the year on such a high, I had to disappear without giving any explanation. 

Now, with contracts signed, I can finally share the biggest news of my life. I hope it will more than make up for my unexplained absence.

Contract signed and ready to be posted!
Contract signed and ready for posting!

Is This Really Happening to Me? 

I was looking at a dead body when I received the email. In the back of a Belizean bus, I stared through the dusty window in horror. A mess of limbs and a scooter mangled by the side of the road. Dark blood and organs smeared across the centre line. A dirty-looking towel tossed over the victim’s face. It was horrifying to witness, especially as someone who rides scooters all over the world.

I ignored the buzz of my phone in my pocket — there were more important things than staying connected. Whoever it was would have to wait. I had just seen a dead body.

Later that day, I sat on the bed in my guesthouse, dehydrated and dizzy. I opened my laptop and scanned through the notifications, hovering my mouse over an email with the subject line “Your Book”.

“Go away,” I mumbled.

I’d announced I was writing a book six months ago and was receiving several emails a week asking when I was going to release it. Despite convincing myself that it would be finished within a couple of months, I had yet to start. To tell the truth, I was frightened — convinced that it wouldn’t sell, that I was a terrible writer, that my story wasn’t interesting. I didn’t know how to respond to these emails and they always left me wrought with guilt over my failings.

I opened the email and read the first line. I screamed. I blinked and I gasped and I put my fingers over my eyes. Peeking through them, I read the words again.

“Dave,” I squeaked. “Dave, you need to come here right now.” He sat beside me on our bed as I jabbed my finger at the screen.

It was from an editor at A Big Publishing Company. She’d been reading my blog for a while and had seen I was writing a book. She loved my story and my writing style and wanted to know if I had any interest in working together.

She wanted to work with me?

It was too much to take in. Without saying a word, I handed my laptop to Dave, slithered off the bed and crawled to the bathroom. Locking myself inside, I stared at my reflection in the mirror. Looking back at me wasn’t the face of an author. It was the face of a walking disaster — one who tripped and stumbled her way through life. One who had no idea what she was doing. The editor must have made a mistake. 

She wanted to work with me on my book?

The Hardest Few Months of my Life

Of course, I didn’t have a book to work on with her.

At the time, I was travelling through Central America in a fast-paced adventure that had me changing location every two or three days. And, unknown to me at the time, I had just contracted mono.

Worst. Timing. Ever. But the timing is never right. If it was, I would have finished the book.

I shelved my plans to travel across Latin America and flew to Portland, OR because I needed to stop travelling. For the next month, I only left the house to eat and I worked for 16 hours a day. I had to come up with a plan for my book and I had to write it fast. I had to write it while suffering from the chronic fatigue that mono brings. I dismissed my exhaustion as a symptom of hard work and persevered. I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I take pride in the fact that Dave and I rarely argue (amazing, considering we’re together 24/7!), but the month in Portland left us close to walking away. We were fighting every day. Fighting over Dave typing too loudly when I needed silence, over me not being able to talk about anything but my book, over being in one of our favourite cities and me spending every second glued to my laptop. I was frustrated that my brain didn’t seem to be functioning and I didn’t understand why all I could achieve was sleep. On the verge of breaking up, I didn’t know whether to focus my energy on my book or my failing relationship. Was it worth losing Dave over a minuscule chance of career success?

Relief came when I found a literary agent who loved the sound of my book. Without any sample chapters to show, I told her and the publishing company that I needed a few weeks to write and edit the first couple of chapters.

Writing a book was harder than expected and I struggled to transition from blog-style writing. I sent the interested agent my sample chapters but she thought they were too blog-like. I sent a second draft and she felt the same way. I knew she was right but was still devastated when she passed on representing me.

My dream was slipping through my fingers, and I didn’t have the energy to fight for it. 

From Portland, I flew home to the UK, where I planned to spend a month living with my parents and editing my chapters. I had a blood test while I was back because I had swollen glands all over my body and was convinced I had lymphoma. When I discovered I had mono, it was almost a relief. I had a reason for why I’d been struggling to write and why I couldn’t seem to stop sleeping.

What was I supposed to do now?

I’d been rejected by an agent, I was suffering from exhaustion and I knew my book wasn’t in any state to show an editor. 

Pulling Myself Together

From the UK, I flew to Vietnam with the aim of basing myself somewhere affordable. I hadn’t written for Never Ending Footsteps in three months and my income was rapidly declining.

I emailed the editor to explain the delay, convinced she would rescind her offer after I’d proved myself to be unreliable. Instead, she encouraged me to put together a book proposal. I had to Google what a book proposal was. By this point, I had accepted I was probably going to fail. I was clueless.

An agent would have been able to help with this process but I was on my own and guessing all the way. I began to contact agents but couldn’t seem to get anyone to even read my emails. I sent out 100 and heard nothing back. No rejections, no interest, nothing.

In June, a few days before my birthday, I received another email with the subject line “Your Book”. It was from an editor at another publishing company. She’d discovered my blog and loved my story and thought it would make a great book. I was astounded. 

I had two publishing houses interested in my book, I couldn’t find an agent and I had no idea if my book proposal looked like a book proposal should. But I finally started to believe this could happen.

With my optimism soaring and my mono subsiding, I disconnected from the Internet and wrote my proposal in a week. It was 60 pages and 20,000 words. Was it too long? Too short? Did I include all the sections I should have? Was it formatted correctly? I didn’t know.

I emailed it to the publishers, closed my laptop and flew to Nepal.

It was over.

I’d done all that I could.

The Final Push

I cried when I received positive responses from both editors. They loved my proposal, they loved the sound of my book and they both wanted to share it at future acquisition meetings. I was excited and terrified and relieved. But I still couldn’t relax.

I needed to find an agent. Both publishers were going to be making me an offer within the next two weeks and I really needed an agent. I couldn’t haggle with a bracelet seller in the streets of Kathmandu — how could I negotiate the terms of a contract?

It was with great delight that I found an agent who was passionate about my book and my story — within minutes of speaking to her I was certain she was the one. I signed with the agency that week.

I’m sure you’ve figured out the ending by now, given that being rejected wouldn’t be much of an announcement. Yes, I found the perfect publisher, too.

I’m absolutely delighted (and scared and anxious and nauseated) to be able to tell you that I have a book deal.

I have a book deal?

I have a book deal!

I have a book deal.

Can you hold my hair back while I vomit?

Introducing How Not to Travel the World

It was hitting rock bottom that convinced me to quit my job, sell everything I own and travel the world alone. After a devastating breakup led to me losing my home, my friends, my degree and my sanity, I packed my life into a 40 litre backpack and left for an enriching journey of self-discovery. After years spent battling with debilitating anxiety, an eating disorder and a lack of common sense, I was determined to find and heal myself. 

Instead, my travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. I was scammed, assaulted and robbed, lost teeth and swallowed a cockroach. Instead of finding myself, I lost a laptop, a camera, $1000 and a backpack. I fell into leech-infested rice paddies, had the brakes of my motorbike fail while riding down a mountain and a boat started to sink with me on board. I was caught up in a tsunami, sat beside a corpse and experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand.

Though I didn’t realise it at the time, I was experiencing a transformation despite the terrible things that were happening to me. My frequent panic attacks faded away as I repeatedly forced myself to leave my narrow comfort zone. I overcame my eating issues, evolving from a person who had never eaten Asian food to one who wouldn’t think twice about trying fried crickets. I even found love along the way, meeting Dave, a handsome New Zealander who taught me not to be afraid of living. 

How Not to Travel The World is about following your dreams, no matter how many curveballs life throws at you. It’s about learning to get out of your comfort zone, finding the humour in messed up situations and falling in love with life on the road.  

What Happens Now?

At 80,000 words, writing and editing the book is going to be my main focus for the rest of the year. 

I’ll still be doing the digital nomad thing, and I’ll still be travelling — Burma, Taiwan and the Philippines are on the agenda for the next two months. Posting on Never Ending Footsteps is likely to remain infrequent until the end of the year but I’ll be writing whenever I have a spare moment. I’m aiming for one post a week. 

Oh, and as for when it’ll be released? We’re aiming for summer 2015. 

 

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171 Comments

  1. Chris
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Yeeewwwww….super stoked for your Lauren!
    Can’t wait to re about all your mis-adventures – let me know where the launch party is!hahaha!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      There’ll be lots of new misadventures I’ve never written about, too! :-) Thanks so much, Chris!

  2. Diana Edelman
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Lauren, you know how good of a writer you are? I read that entire post with bated breath … even though I knew the outcome. I don’t know a more deserving talent than you and I am so, so proud.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, this is the loveliest comment ever! Thank you so much — you’re the best! :-)

  3. Sheryll
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    I am so unbelievably happy and proud and excited and OMG. I can’t wait to get my copy! Congratulations love!!!!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Eeeeep! Thanks, Sheryll! I still can’t believe it’s actually happening.

  4. Joel
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    So amazing. Congratulations on such fantastic news! I can’t wait to read the end result. I particularly look forward to the chapter on “Diet Tips in Thailand.”

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Ha! I’ll be writing about when Dave forced me to eat eggs for the first time in Chiang Mai after seeing me eat cheese sandwiches for every meal.

  5. Steve
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations Lauren on your good news. I too cannot wait to order your book. I raise a glass to you.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Steve! :-D

  6. Beverley | Pack Your Passport
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    so so so SO happy for you, Lauren! This is something you truly deserve and I can’t wait to read the finished book! :D

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Beverley! That’s so lovely of you to say :-)

  7. Caz Makepeace
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Well that’s awesome! Congratulations and I’m so glad you stuck it out. Can’t wait to read it!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Caz! I really appreciate it :-)

  8. amy
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    congratulations lauren!!! that is amazing!! sooo happy for you – you deserve it!!!! x amy

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      That’s so lovely of you to say, Amy! Thank you! :-)

  9. Andrea Anastasiou
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    I was so excited for you when I read the newsletter! What amazing news. I love your writing and cannot wait for the book.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Ahhh, thank you so much, Andrea! I’m so excited to share all the details of my travels that didn’t make it to the blog :-)

  10. Jayme
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Very exciting news! Congratulations! :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Jayme! :-)

  11. Clare
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Wow – congratulations Lauren! You must be so amazingly excited! I love your travel fail stories, can’t wait to read them all in one place :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you, Clare! Half of the book includes incidents I’ve never written about on Never Ending Footsteps, too ;-)

  12. Faye
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to get a copy :-)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you, Faye! :-)

  13. Jodi
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Yay! A big congrats and looking forward to reading your book. Wishing you best of luck as you continue with the book, and looking forward to helping celebrate in a few days time.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much! Can’t wait to celebrate with you! :-)

  14. Kirsten (Kirst Over the World)
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Yay! Congratulations, this is exciting!

    Really happy for you – good luck writing the book! :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Kirsten! It’s going surprisingly well at the moment :-)

  15. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    What awesome news Lauren! I’ve been reading NEF since the beginning of your journey and can’t wait for the book. Congratulations!!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thank you, Cat! It means a lot that you’ve stuck with me for almost four years! :-D

  16. Cecilia
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    This is amazing!! I’m so happy for you and can’t wait for the book to be published :) we’ll be here waiting, so don’t worry about us. Enjoy the process!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      That’s so sweet of you to say, Cecilia! :-)

  17. Wana
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    OMFG this is such a bombastic news!! I’m one of your loyal reader and this is so amazing! Very friggin excited to be one of the first readers of your book! Can’t wait! :D

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Yay! Thanks so much, Wana! :-)

  18. Jessica C.
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    This is so exciting! I am looking forward to your book. Your blog has been an inspiration and I’m sure your book will be as well! Congratulations!!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thanks so much for your kind words, Jessica! :-)

  19. Naomi
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Oh wow, fantastic news! Massive congratulations and can’t wait to read the finished product!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Naomi! :-D

  20. Jonathan
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations Lauren.
    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now and look forward to the book being released.

    Good luck with the writing, don’t forget to take time to enjoy the process too :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Jonathan! I really appreciate it :-). Trying to enjoy as much as I possibly can!

  21. Amanda @ Farsickness
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations Lauren! You’re one of my favorite bloggers out there and I’m excited to read what I know will be a well-written, interesting, and inspiring book. Good luck with the rest of the process!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Amanda! You made my day :-)

  22. Christie
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Wow that is such exciting news, congratulations! I love your description of what its all about, and I can’t wait to read it as soon as its out!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Ah, thanks so much, Christie! I’m so excited you loved the summary :-)

  23. Jenn
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    WOW! Amazing news!! congrats!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Jenn! :-)

  24. Alyssa
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations, Lauren! It’s very inspiring to hear about bloggers making it to hard cover. I look forward to your book!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Alyssa! I agree — it is inspiring. I just never expected I’d be one of them! :-)

  25. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats Lauren, this is huge! I don’t think anyone will fault you for your sporadic blogging in the past few months given the massive project you’ve been undertaking. I know most bloggers who have been traveling for as long as you have generally see their blogging take a back seat (if they even continue it at all) as they channel their energies into other projects that actually pay the bills. Getting a book deal out of a passion project such as this is really a dream come true for most of us, so congrats once again on this achievement and it just goes to show that your adventures are far from over!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Steph! I agree with you — running Never Ending Footsteps contributes so little to my income directly, but it’s hard to not feel guilty about not posting as much.

  26. DebbZie Leksono
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    YAY! Super proud of you, Lauren.
    Now I really regret it that I didn’t take a pic with you when we met in Bali.
    Next time I’ll ask your signature on your book.
    Can’t waittttt to read it :’)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      It’s okay — I’m sure I’ll return to Bali soon! :-) Thanks for your kind words!

  27. Christine
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS! Holy moly so exciting!!!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Christine!! So exciting and so terrifying :-)

  28. grasya
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    guess there’s a few of us “making lemon pies out of our life’s lemons” ^_^…. congratulations on the book!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you! I’m astonished I managed to turn all my bad luck into something so positive :-)

  29. Hidayah
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Bravo! Bravo! Congrats.

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much!

  30. Bethaney
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Wow! That is sooooo exciting!!! Congratulations!!!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Bethaney! :-D

  31. Annie
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats! I can’t wait to read your book. So exciting!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Annie! I really appreciate it :-)

  32. Michelle
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats! This is amazing news. Writing a book is something I would like to accomplish one day. It just seems like a TON of work. Good job!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      So much work! I’m currently trying to write 5000 words a day and it’s exhausting. It’ll all be worth it in the end, though :-)

  33. Davide
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations! It sounds like a very interesting book, I’ll definitely buy a copy when it’s published!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Davide! I really appreciate it :-)

  34. Hayley Swinson
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Wow, that is so exciting! Congratulations. I’ve just handed in my 30k word fiction dissertation for my masters degree, so I totally understand how much fretting writing a book causes. The hardest part is convincing yourself that it doesn’t suck! Best of luck. Looking forward to the release!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Congratulations on finishing your dissertation! And I agree, I’ve never been filled with so much doubt before!

  35. AM Miranda
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    congratulations, Lauren! :) i love your blog and i should say, you are really a talented writer! i am a filipina but currently staying in taiwan. it’s great to hear that you are going to visit the phlippines and taiwan again. i hope i could meet you in person when you come to taiwan! :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Wow, thank you, Miranda! I was having one of those days where it feels like everything I write is terrible, so your words really mean a lot to me! Feel free to drop me an email through my contact form when I get to Taiwan (12th December) and I’ll see if we can arrange something :-)

  36. Suneé
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Fantastic news! I’m so excited for you (and jealous, of course)! I think your story will make an incredibly interesting book. Good luck with the next few months’ editing. Hard work, but it will all be worthwhile in the end!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Sunee! I’m glad you think so :-)

  37. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Wow – so exciting! Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it :)

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Rika!

  38. Steph
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    I am so excited for you (and maybe just a tad jealous, but mostly excited)! It must feel great to see all that hard work and struggle pay off. Can’t wait to read the book.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Aww, thanks, Steph! And you guys were there when I first started writing my book (and stopped the next day)!

  39. Micamyx|Senyorita
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    That’s a great news! Congratulations in advance, Lauren! Will buy a copy once its out :D

    Btw, hope to meet you when you visit the Philippines :D

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, you’re so kind. Thank you so much! Hope to *finally* meet you, too :-)

  40. Dane Homenick
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    This is amazing and you deserve it!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, that’s so sweet of you to say, Dane. Thank you!

  41. Sarah
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    I loved reading this, and I love how open you are. My story is quite similar to yours (a breakup, losing my home, degree, sanity, anxiety issues etc) but I’m only at the start. I’ve been living and working abroad since I was 19 and I’m just 21 now.

    You’ve inspired me so much because I know this is the lifestyle I want, and who knows what could happen in say… 5 years from now. Maybe I’ll get better at writing and could even write a book. Who knows?!

    Happy travels and good luck!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Sarah! I’ve really enjoyed opening up to my readers a lot more than I used to over the past year. I used to pretend I was anxiety-free, and I that knew exactly what I was doing when the opposite was true. I hope I’ve become more relatable now that I’m brave enough to share who I really am as a person! And, of course, if I hadn’t been honest about all of my screw ups, I wouldn’t have this publishing deal!

      Good luck to you too! :-)

  42. Gayla
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations, Lauren. Fabulous news!! Looking forward to reading your book :-)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Gayla! :-)

  43. Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    SO excited for you and even more excited to get my hands on this book!! Congratulations :)

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Yay! Thanks so much, Lauren :-)

  44. Hannah Wasielewski
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations!! can’t wait for it to come out!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you, Hannah!

  45. Anna
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations! Great & inspiring! Well done!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Anna! :-)

  46. Deepti @ Endless Postcards
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    This is so exciting!! I love your style of writing and your blog is the first travel blog I ever found – it’s actually what inspired me to start blogging myself (I just started a couple weeks ago!) Looking forward to reading your book. :)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thanks so much, Deepti! I’m so happy to hear that I inspired you to start blogging — let me know if I can help out with anything :-)

  47. Jessica of Curiosity Travels
    October 15, 2014
    Reply

    Amazing…congrats! Absolutely loved reading about the summary of the book. Can’t wait to read it!!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Jessica! I think it took me about a week just to write that summary! :-)

  48. Amélie @ mostlyamelie.com
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Wow, congrats Lauren, that’s amazing! And well deserved!
    I can’t wait!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks Amelie — that’s so lovely of you to say! :-)

  49. Henry | @fotoeins
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    When a physicist does good, they do really good … er … well. :-) Congratulations, Lauren! Now, let’s see the book into a blockbuster movie, shall we? Who would you like to play Lauren? ;-)

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Hahaha, thanks, Henry! I can’t think about a movie without wanting to vomit even harder ;-)

  50. Steve Baile
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Great news Lauren – well done. Can’t wait to read it :-)

    • Lauren
      October 16, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Steve! :-)

  51. Liz
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    This is going to be wicked and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, I am so happy your hard work paid off! I have been trying to start a book for a year, and this was very inspiring to read :) good luck my dear! xx

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Liz! It took me about a year to get around to writing it — and even then I don’t know if I actually would have done if all this hadn’t kicked off. Good luck with yours!

  52. Nicholas
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    This is going to be a good read when it’s released next year. All the best!

    • Lauren
      October 16, 2014
      Reply

      Oh, thank you so much, Nicholas! I’m happy you think so :-)

  53. Kirstie of Venga, Vale, Vamos
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Wow, major congratulations! Sounds like the months of hardships are paying off, and I’m sure many of us are looking forward to its release!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Kirstie! I’m definitely relieved all my hard work paid off in the end. Would have been devastated if I’d put months of work into it and been rejected!

  54. Stephen
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    So happy for you! Congrats Lauren!! yeeeewwwwww

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Stephen! :-)

  55. Gerard ~ GQ trippin
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Holy cow… Unbelievable! Really glad all that hard work paid off!
    Super cowabunga congratulations! Really well deserved. Hope you don’t forget to celebrate!

    • Lauren
      October 16, 2014
      Reply

      Cowabunga! Not too many celebrations yet — waiting until I’ve actually finished writing it!

  56. Linda
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Many congratulations and lots of luck! Loved reading this. Only discovered your blog recently clearly I have a lot of catching up to do! I was trying to cut down on my online reading, but definitely need to make an exception for yours!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Linda! It means a lot :-)

  57. Angela Alcorn
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Brilliant news. Looking forward to reading it!

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Angela! :-)

  58. Caitlin
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations Lauren on your great news! I love reading your blog and can’t wait to read your book.

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thank you so much, Caitlin! I really appreciate your support :-)

  59. Rich - RichyFeet
    October 16, 2014
    Reply

    Amazing news! Congratulations!! Just reading the post got me excited for the book :)

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that, Richard. Thanks for your congratulations! :-)

  60. Amanda
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Ahhhhh SO EXCITED for you! (And I will totally be buying your book when it comes out.)

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Awwww, thanks so much, Amanda! :-)

  61. David
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations! I’m definitely looking into writing a book sometime over the next 5 years, and have had some of the same doubts. But It’s always great to hear people who have done it successfully. I’ll be buying it when it’s released : )

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, David! The hardest part of writing a book is definitely starting :-)

  62. Katie @ The World on my Necklace
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Very excited for you! It must be a dream come true. I love your writing style and reading about your travel mishaps (I feel really bad for you when i read them but they are riveting). Looking forward to reading the book :)

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      It really is! Something I believed to be a very unrealistic dream :-). Thank you so much for all the support, Katie! :-)

  63. Becks :-)
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations, that is fantastic news. Your story is an amazing one

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Becks! It means a lot that you think I have an amazing story :-)

  64. Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    amazing news! can’t wait to read it.

    • Lauren
      October 17, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Rachel! :-)

  65. Casey
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    This is so exciting! Congratulations! I can’t wait to read your book! Try not to stress out too much while you write it though :)

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Casey! Trying to remain as stress-free as possible and doing well! We’ll see how I feel nearer the time :-)

  66. Shirley Hollick
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    WOW! That’s incredible Lauren. You deserve this. This gives me motivation to keep on working on my site. Way to go!

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear that, Shirley! Let me know if I can help with anything :-)

  67. Davy
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Lauren – can’t wait for the book – based on your blog it should be brilliant. The hardest bit will be when it becomes a bestseller and you have to go travelling for another few years to get enough material for a follow-up, what a hardship ;-)

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Ha, thanks so much, Davy! I already have plans for the sequel ;-)

  68. Sarah
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    Simply INCREDIBLE !!! I so knew this was gonna happen :):)

    You are amazing !

    Much love and respect to you Lauren

    Love Sarah xoxox

    • Lauren
      October 19, 2014
      Reply

      Hahaha, thank you so much, Sarah! :-)

  69. Andrew Darwitan
    October 20, 2014
    Reply

    I’ve been wondering what’s going on with the 1 post per month thing – but this great news is well worth it. Congrats! Really looking forward to more exciting stuff coming from your camp, it sounds really promising. =)

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Phew! Pleased my news could make up for it — I’ve felt so guilty about my lack of new posts. Thanks so much for the support, Andrew :-)

  70. Angie
    October 20, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats! Glad all of your hard work is paying off!

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Angie! :-)

  71. Carmen
    October 20, 2014
    Reply

    What brilliant news – congratulations! How exciting for you. It just goes to show that with hard work you can achieve anything. Looking forward to reading the book.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Carmen!

  72. GL
    October 21, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats!! You did it!
    Did you know now that when you google images for “Bikini Beach Maafushi Maldives” two of the first 10 photos are yours?

    • Lauren
      October 21, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you! And no, I wasn’t aware of that :-)

  73. Sophia
    October 28, 2014
    Reply

    I’m screaming!!!!! So happy for you!!

    • Lauren
      October 28, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Sophia! :-D

  74. Lori
    October 30, 2014
    Reply

    I just discovered your blog for the first time today. My favorite new read! Congrats on the book deal, sounds like its well deserved. Our lives are so similar and I’ve been thinking off blogging myself. I looked forward to future posts! You’ve truly inspired me. Thank you:)

    • Lauren
      October 31, 2014
      Reply

      Ahhh, thank you so much, Lori! :-)

  75. Shaun
    October 31, 2014
    Reply

    Awesome Lauren and congrats! All the best with finishing up!

    • Lauren
      November 1, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Shaun!

  76. Superjab
    November 2, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations Lauren, this looks like a Hollywood movie! :) Can’t wait to read your book. All the best

    • Lauren
      November 2, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much! :-)

  77. Rana Singh
    November 5, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulation!!! Sounds good.

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Rana!

  78. Olga L.
    November 6, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations!!! You deserve it!!! The story is amazing – you’re so strong to overcome everything and get what you wanted!!!
    I have no other words!!! You’re brilliant!!!!!!!

    http://feelthetraveling.blogspot.com

    • Lauren
      November 10, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Olga! You’re so kind :-)

  79. Maaaz khan
    November 15, 2014
    Reply

    I’m so happy for you lauren, all the best :)

    • Lauren
      November 18, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you, Maaaz! :-)

  80. Ep 49 – Dave and Lauren, Digital Nomad Couple | Walking the Earth Podcast
    December 2, 2014
    Reply

    […] How Not to Travel the World […]

  81. Sarah
    January 4, 2015
    Reply

    Congratulations! Your book will be great! It’s so nerve racking when you are starting out with travel and all you read about is hunky dory travel guides, picturesque destinations and glorious outcomes. Sometimes you just want to read about times when things didn’t go to plan but know that yep, it’s still ok!

    All the best

    Sarah

    • Lauren
      January 6, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah! I know that I was very intimidated by all the positive stories about wonderful travel experiences when I first left. When all these terrible things started happening to me, I spent so much time worrying about what I was doing wrong. Instead I should have been telling myself that it makes for a great story! :-)

  82. Anna
    January 6, 2015
    Reply

    I am so much looking forward to your book Lauren and I just wanted to send you a little motivation boost to keep on going. It has been a pleasure to be kept updated on your writing, travelling and honest struggles! You go girl!

    • Lauren
      January 10, 2015
      Reply

      Awww, thank you so much, Anna! I’m about a third of the way through my final draft right now and needed that motivation boost today! :-)

  83. TeachingTravel
    January 6, 2015
    Reply

    Just stumbled across your blog for the first time. It is insane that you got a book deal from a travel blog! Serious, congratulations!

    Good luck on the book and I’ll be checking out the rest of your site :)

    • Lauren
      January 7, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you! I still can’t believe it :-)

  84. Mike
    February 3, 2015
    Reply

    80,000 words…my head is spinning already!
    Good things come to those who never give up!

    • Lauren
      March 21, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks for the support, Mike! I still can’t believe I managed to write 80,000 words in a few months. Never again :-)

  85. Charlotte @ Educating Elsa
    April 15, 2015
    Reply

    I’ve never read your blog before but I saw a link to this post on another blog and have just sat and read the whole thing. I’m so happy that your book deal all worked out! :)

    • Lauren
      April 15, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Charlotte! :-)

  86. Syazwani Baumgartner
    July 5, 2017
    Reply

    I had goosebumps when reading the bit that said:
    I have a book deal!

    SO happy for you! Can’t wait to buy and read it!!!

    I hope to follow your tracks but first with a proper blog to blog about the 103 countries I’ve been to!

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you so much! Hope you enjoy the read if you do decide to purchase it :-)

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