I’ve been thinking for some time of starting a book review series called Adventurous Women. It seems that there are more and more memoirs populating the shelves of women who are embarking on amazing trips or experiences, and I think it would be great fun to read some of these memoirs and share them with my little community here. 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. So without further ado, here I bring you my first entry in the Adventurous Women series! I hope you enjoy these vicarious experiences as much as I do.

My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild
Claire Dunn
Powells | Amazon

(Deal Alert: Right now, this eBook is only $2.00 on Amazon!)

“Hardest is the belief that it’s possible, that you can do the thing you’ve always wanted to do, the one thing that calls to you more than anything. The thing you’ll only regret in its absence.”  – Claire Dunn

I first heard of Claire and her experience via the Live Immediately podcast, one of my frequent listens for inspiration. During the interview, Claire shares a bit of what led her to embark on a year living in the wild, fully dependent on the land for her shelter and survival.  This led me to her memoir, which I savored over the past few weeks, reading in bits and pieces. The resonance of Claire’s journey to my own struck me over and over, from her growing dissatisfaction with urban life to her struggle to reconnect with the wild woman within, and her attempt to find a way to meld the lessons she learned in the wild with the return to “normal” life that she knew awaited her.

I highlighted so many passages in this book. A few that I’ll single out here:

“I am being seduced again by the false promise that there is a magic point in the future when enough will be enough, when I will tick the right number of boxes to give me permission to slow down.”

“This rage is more than just mine. It is rage for all the ways our wings have been clipped, our wild places burnt, tamed and cut down. It is a grief for all the ways we have been led in the opposite direction of our real selves, lost in the thickets of others’ expectations. It is the culmination of years of simmering resentment at being kept running on the treadmill of ambition and striving. It is a rebellion against the abuse of the collective soul.”

Claire’s memoir is introspective. It is a story of adventure, and a story of growth, but in a much quieter way than others. Claire doesn’t scale mountains or cross oceans. She struggles as much, if not more, with the emotional consequences of her decision to immerse herself in nature as with the physical challenges. Claire is honest and open about her struggles to connect with the others taking part in the year-long experiment, her tendency to judge and to compare her own experience against theirs.

If you have any interest in a life of greater connection with nature and with the rhythms of humanity that we have pushed beneath the surface in our modern, urban lifestyle, Claire’s book is a fantastic point of departure.

Please note, any links to books are Affiliate Links that will point you to either Powells, one of my favorite Indies selling both used and new books, or Amazon. Should you wish to make a purchase, clicking these links helps to support my writing.