For the travel blog obsessed like myself, Brooke Saward and World of Wanderlust will require no introduction. At some point mid-last year while looking for fresh travel porn on Bloglovin’ I realised how many of the ‘recommended posts’ were from World of Wanderlust and had to take a closer look. The girl pumps out travel posts like no one else on the internet and quickly rose to being the number one travel blogger on Bloglovin’.
I applaud her for her marketing genius – read any post on her site and see the (sadly rarely responded to) comments from young women who, while likely unable to afford a single night in the hotels Brooke stays at, absolutely love and adore her (whilst using her site to promote and link back to their own blogs).
Basically on the day of her graduation, Brooke booked a one way ticket to London, choosing to travel for a year rather than get a job and wrote ‘A Year to Myself’ while doing so.
I had not read any of Brooke’s previous e-books. With titles such as ‘The World of Wanderlust Story’ and ‘How to create a successful travel blog overnight’, they’re all around the $20AU mark but are short in page numbers and the reviews I read were pretty clear on the fact they lack any magic formulas or insider secrets which her fans are no doubt desperate for.
After seeing Brooke tease this book on Twitter for close to 12 months, seeing the blurb just prior to it’s release somewhat disappointed me: “There were no relationships. There were no one night stands, no dating, no kissing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Just me, myself, and my online blog.”
Sounded kind of boring. (Note if you are looking for the above in a travel memoir I recommend ‘What I was doing while you were breeding’ by Kristin Newman).
A Year to Myself is basically a 148 page, city by city run down of Brooke’s thoughts, experiences and life lessons. The ‘ebook’ is really a PDF download, published by Gumroad which doesn’t seem to be named properly, the downloaded file being called ‘AYTM final manuscript’.
You won’t learn much about any city, but may nod in agreement when she describes one you’ve been to. Given the book was written by a 22 year old the ‘learnings’ aren’t exactly mind-blowing and the ‘worst thing’ which happened to Brooke during the year seemed minor and could have been given more impact had the contents of a text message been published.
It’s interesting to look at her correlating blog posts as you read through. They improve markedly over time, and I noted that while she talks as if she is alone in her blog posts, she was in fact accompanied by friends and companions in several stretches.
One of the problems with online influencers is that we become so wrapped up in their lives through their daily presence in our blog and social media feeds that we think we know them and because of this factor, I wanted more. Brooke does not even begin to touch on how she approached, worked with or got paid by hotels/tourism boards etc. and I really wanted to hear about her weekend trip from Berlin to Hawaii with GoPro but that did not rate a mention.
Brooke’s done and achieved something I would love to do, so it’s hard to not sound like a hater who’s gonna hate. I definitely read the book with a critical eye, picking up spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but Brooke – if you happen to read this, hell yes I am jealous. You can write, you’ve done some cool things and will no doubt go on to do more.
Does reading Brooke’s book interest you? Have you read any blogger memoirs?
Update November 2016 – Brooke’s latest book How to Live an Adventurous Life is now available.