A few months ago I received an e-mail from a friend in Nashville that mentioned the book Unwritten Travels by Jenny Black and Jenny Watson.
Do you need help navigating your way
through your own story?
Are you in an unwritten season?
Did you expect to be HERE at this time in your life?
Are you second guessing yourself?
I read those words written by the authors and I said, "Yes, yes, yes and YES!" In a very uncharacteristic move for me, I contacted the authors and asked them if they would be willing to provide me with a copy of the book to review here. I fully expected them to say thanks, but no thanks. I was happy to learn that they felt the same way I did – that this book had the potential to resonate with my very own readers.
The authors are close friends who spent 3 years working together on this book in hopes that they could create an interactive journal that would "remind women why they need to take care of
themselves, what they are created for, and how they can become bold
life learners in the midst of transition."
There are lots of books out there to help nudge you along toward finding your true purpose or passions. I've never seen one like this, though. It's more like a whimsically illustrated journal. And while there are definitely passages for you to read and reflect upon, the bulk of the book is recording your thoughts and reflections. It's a guide, for sure, but you are in charge every step of the way.
It's one of the reasons it took me so long to review the book. Some of the pages were easy to fill out, such as listing some of your favorite things or putting to paper what you would do with a day to yourself. Others, though, required a lot of introspection. I'd find that I would have to put the journal down and really turn the thoughts over in my head for a few days before coming back and putting my feelings on paper.
The book is divided into six chapters that are designed to guide you through your journey: The Honeymoon, Sightseeing, Soul-Searching, Your Travel Guide, A Walk Down Memory Lane, and Coming Home. Each chapter has a series of questions and exercises to lead you toward learning and discovering different aspects of yourself.
There were many sections in the book where I felt as if the authors were speaking directly to me, as if they knew what I was struggling with in this season of my life. For example, in the first chapter, as they encouraged you to think of your heart's desires, I read these words:
We move through our days aware of ourselves only in relation to others. We can lose an appreciation for our uniqueness, and we may even be ashamed of our needs and desires.
At times I feel pulled in so many directions. Pulled to be a good wife, a good mother, to look good, to have a home that is organized and beautiful. Working through this book helped me to take a good look at where I fit in that puzzle. I became more aware of what's important in my life and what isn't, more accepting of what is realistic during this season of motherhood and what isn't. In short, it changed my perspective of the good mother and good wife putting herself after everyone else. I love how it encouraged me to let go of that notion, not by blaming everyone and everything around me, but by taking full responsibility to discover who I am and what I need to feel fulfilled.
I truly enjoyed reading and working through this book. It felt good to either cart the book to my favorite coffee shop or curl up in my reading chair at home and allow myself to sit and reflect on me. If you're interested in taking a little journey yourself, check out Un.writ.ten Tra.vel(s). You can learn more about the book and the authors, as well as purchase the book online. Happy travels!
The authors of the book have graciously offered to give away a copy of the book to one of my readers! To be entered in the giveaway simply comment on this post by answering the following question: If you had a whole day to yourself, what is one thing you would do?
To earn a second entry, subscribe to Just Like The Number and leave an additional comment telling me that you are a new subscriber.
Lastly, to earn a third entry, Twitter about this giveaway and let me know about it!
This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 4 at midnight EST. Good luck and I hope you win!