The Lost Girl Phenomenon: Finding a Cure for the Quarter-Life Crisis
In the summer of 2006 three best friends, Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner, decided to leave their ordinary life for a year of extraordinary experiences. They dropped their jobs, homes, boyfriends, families and friends and set off on a year-long trek around the world.
"Despite having creative gigs that fueled our passions, we were frustrated that we’d let our careers become our identities. We were starving for real connections with family, friends and significant others-who wants to date a woman already married to her job?"
They feel that the existential struggle they personally felt is something most young adults in this generation go through. "Though intense workdays left us little time for contemplation," they explain, "we often found ourselves asking: 'What exactly we're we doing with our lives?' Could we ultimately commit to one career, city and lifestyle (and man), when so many opportunities lie before us?"
"Back when we set up to take this trip," Lost Girl Amanda Pressner told GoNOMAD, "we expected to have these earth-shattering epiphanies that would somehow help us discover exactly what we wanted out of life and who we wanted to be as women."
"Thanks to our trip, all three of us have grown a lot more comfortable with not knowing exactly what lies ahead of us in life — we can accept those the curveballs that inevitably get thrown our way."
Just like the Lost Girls, young women all around the world are dropping everything, getting out and seeing the world. They call this phenomena "getting lost" and they encourage all women to get lost at some point in their lives.
Not sparing any of the details, the Lost Girl website now gives guides, tips and tricks for every type of travel. Everything is included, from financial planning and career management to lodging and sightseeing.
Going on a trip, no matter the length or location, can take a lot of valuable time, money and sacrifice for young women.
Amanda explains that if you are not sure whether you have the means to get lost, pick one or a few places, and really get to know the culture, language, and ins and outs of that city.
"We tried to pack a lot of destinations into a single year — twelve countries and countless cities — and we eventually learned that the more frequently you move locations, the more expensive and complicated your trip will be!"
"It’s just a matter of figuring out how important ‘getting lost’ really is to you and which reasons are keeping you from that goal," Ashley explains.
"It’s a dramatic life change that requires a lot of sacrifice and may not be for everyone. However, in our busy lives, we box ourselves into careers and rigid self-imposed timelines, and it’s always good to think outside of the box! Or in this case perhaps the cubicle."
"I think the desire to do a quarter life re-invention via travel is sheer genius because it offers a young woman a sort of psychological ‘re-boot’ where she can get away from tired old assumptions and push her limits –- this kind of decision can open her up to unimagined opportunities, unrealized hopes and an opportunity to re-write her self schema."
Amanda added that by its nature, travel gives you the perspective to know that things will eventually get better, most people are inherently good, and you will always find your way back to a safer and happier place.
Where are the Lost Girls going next? While they still vow to travel together at least once every year, the Lost Girls say that they are hoping to work together for years to come.
"The most rewarding process of writing the book and creating our own women’s travel blog is that we get to meet other travelers, share what we learned on the road and help people turn their dreams of seeing the world into a reality. It’s almost always happy and empowered time in people’s lives — and we get to be a part of it!"
The Lost Girls are hoping to inspire women everywhere to get out and travel, to not be afraid of what this world has to offer and most importantly, to never lose sight of their dreams, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.
Visit the Lost Girls' website
Read an excerpt from The Lost Girls and the Wander Year
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