Welcome back to my Adventurous Women book review series. It seems that there are more and more memoirs populating the shelves of women who are embarking on amazing trips or experiences. Reading about the goals and accomplishments of women just like me is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. These stories tell me that it’s possible to do big things, inspire me to take action and move my own life forward. Interested in other Adventurous Women reviews? Follow along or suggest a book you’d like to see me review!

“I think I’m addicted to the internet. I’ve noticed a pattern in my life – I get up, look at the internet, make breakfast, look at the internet, work, eat, look at the internet, maybe hang out with friends (maybe), look at the internet, go to sleep. I’m only really doing one or two non-internet things a day, working and eating, and the rest of my time, my finite time here on this great green earth, is spent looking at the internet…..there’s a static in my brain.”

Where haven’t I heard about Carrot Quinn lately? She was interviewed on two podcasts I enjoy – Real Talk Radio, and She Explores — and I finally got around to reading her memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

She pulled me in right from the start with this story of personal growth and discovery on the PCT. I found her story immensely relate-able — which of us can’t recognize themselves in Carrot’s dreaded acknowledgement of her addiction to the internet?

“I don’t like to feel weak. I like to be the strong one, the one with the good attitude in the face of difficulty, the one who never gives up.”

While I can’t connect with all of Carrot’s experiences in life, and certainly have no thru-hiking story to tell (yet? maybe some day…), so much of what Carrot wrote about her identity resonated. I was particularly struck by her admission of her need to present a brave face. I think we, as a society, don’t like the feel weak. It’s a major message you see in all walks of life. And yet, Carrot revealed her vulnerability and weakness on the trail, time and time again, sharing her lessons with us through the page.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back, into safety. -Abraham Maslow” 

This quote from Abraham Maslow, which Carrot shared in her book, also struck me. Whether you’re stepping physically, one foot in front of another on a trail, or mentally, or emotionally, choosing to move forward and not back is perhaps one of the ultimate goals of our time spent on this earth.

Side note: Like everyone else on the planet, I read and enjoyed Cheryl Strayd’s Wild. And it’s, of course, nearly impossible to compare the experiences of these two women as they walked across some beautiful parts of our country. But even if you’ve already read a PCT memoir, I’d suggest picking up Carrot’s book. It’s a great story, full of inspiration, and well told.

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