“The air filled with whispers while I could think of only one thing: I was sat inches away from a corpse.”


When I made the decision to travel the world, I was a sheltered, naive girl who had no idea how to function in the world. A multi-year battle with anxiety and an eating disorder had left me broken, naive, and without life experience. I’d never eaten rice or noodles before. I’d never been on a bus. I’d never travelled alone or for more than two weeks at a time. I didn’t even know how airports worked.

The one thing I did have, though, was a dream of seeing the world.

So I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and bought a one-way ticket out of London.

What could possibly go wrong?

The answer, I was soon to discover, was plenty.

How Not to Travel the World is about how travel can transform your life, even if you leave home to discover you’re the unluckiest traveller in the world. It covers my never-ending stream of disasters, from the time an evil Thai dentist destroyed four of my teeth to the moment I accidentally swallowed a cockroach; from the time I sat next to a corpse on the Mekong Delta to being caught up in a tsunami in Thailand; from being scammed in China to falling into rice paddies in Bali to having an allergic reaction to sandfly bites in Cambodia.

Lauren with How Not to Travel the World book

I stood frozen to the spot, a hundred metres from the glistening turquoise ocean, and waited to die.

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How Not to Travel the World Contains My Biggest Misadventures

There’s the time I punched a scammer in the face in China;
The moment a fish swam into my vagina in Cambodia;
What happened when the brakes of my motorbike failed as I was riding down a steep mountain in Thailand;
The full lowdown on the unluckiest 48 hours of my life: how I accidentally ate a cockroach, sat beside a corpse, slept in a bed full of cockroaches, and was assaulted by a backpacker;
And the terrifying moment I discovered out a tsunami was heading my way.

The last thing I wanted How Not to Travel the World to be was a blog-to-book conversion, full of repackaged content. That’s why my short blog posts have been expanded into 5,000 word chapters, revealing new details, funny side stories, and personal insights. I share my every thought, my frequent missteps, and explain why, exactly, I kept travelling when everything was leading me straight into disaster.

It’s Packed Full of Travel Disasters I’ve Never Shared Anywhere Else

For the first time, I share how I almost missed the very first flight of my trip;
Find out just how terribly my first month on the road went, from discovering I had no idea what I was doing to the many times I almost flew home
Discover what it’s like to fly to Asia having never eaten rice or noodles before, and just how traumatising my first meal ended up being.
Learn about the time a dodgy dentist in Thailand destroyed four of my teeth, then how I then I accidentally treated myself with an opiate that had me hallucinating for days.
Wince as I describe the horrifying moment I discovered a ferry was starting to sink with me on board

How Not to Travel the World is full of brand new content you’ll never read anywhere else. Every chapter contains new content, whether it’s an enlightening conversation with a traveller I met along the way or a traumatising incident I was never brave enough to share on Never Ending Footsteps.

It’s About the Transformative Power of Travel

How Not to Travel the World is an inspirational read on how travel can change your life. It was forcing myself out of my comfort zone that gave me my much-needed life experience and helped my panic attacks fade away. It was following my dreams that led to my transformation into a brave and confident traveller.

It’s a love story

It was just as I decided to give up on travel and fly home when I met Dave. I was four months into my trip and had spent the vast majority of that time stumbling from one mishap to the next. Meeting Dave did nothing to improve my propensity for disaster, but it kickstarted my determination to overcome my fear of living.

I never write about my relationship in detail on Never Ending Footsteps, but I put it in the spotlight in my book. You’ll find out how a drunken tweet led to a first date that almost left me blind, our arguments and the times we almost ended it all, and what it’s like to move in with a guy thirty minutes after meeting him. This trip wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t met Dave.

It’s my story

Five years ago, I was suffering from debilitating anxiety so severe I had barely left my house for six months straight. I had an eating disorder so extreme that I was living on a single apple a day. I suffered from dozens of panic attacks a day and couldn’t even cross the street without having a near-death experience.

Thanks to travel, and the stories featured in How Not to Travel the World, I’m a different person today. I can’t remember the last time I had a panic attack, trying new foods is my favourite aspect of travel, I seek out new experiences because I know that leaving my comfort zone is the key to transformation, and every time something terrible happens, I react with giggles rather than tears.

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.

And it’s out now!

How Not to Travel the World is now available! You can buy a copy from bookstores across most of the world, as well as through Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and more! Book Depository is a good place to check if you can’t use any of the above — they offer free shipping worldwide!