“Pretty early on in my career I discovered two vital things. First, that I’m someone a little different on the road, and that vacation from being my home self feels like a great sleep after a long day. Second, that you can have both love and freedom when you fall in love with an exotic local in an exotic locale, since there is a return ticket next to the bed that you by law will eventually have to use.”
Kristin is a sitcom writer in Los Angeles who catches the travel bug when going on a trip to get over an ended relationship. From that moment on her travels become a way to escape from her stressful job, but also from the typical life with a husband and kids that everyone around her seems to lead.
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is the story of those travels and the events that lead up to them.
When abroad, Kristin always searches for “the thing to do in the place to do it”, which basically comes down to hooking up with a local. What would be considered slutty and not-done at home is no real issue abroad and the extra advantage is that when a “vacationship” ends, it ends. There’s no more awkward running into each other at the party of a mutual friend or things like that.
This book is about so much more than one-night stands and vacation love though. It’s about a woman who feels like she needs to prove herself as a writer and as someone who can travel the world on her own. It’s about someone who can’t stand being still, but who creates her first own pilot when she’s out of a job and forced to stay home due to a leg fracture. Finally, and we learn this only slowly, it’s about a woman who still has to deal with the bad break-up her parents went through when she was a kid.
It’s about all this in an often moving, thought-provoking but also funny-as-hell way.
Did I like it?
I have devoured this book.
First I loved it simply because of the witty way Kristin tells her story. Then I loved it because of how honestly she shares her thoughts on work and relationships with us. Finally, I loved it because of small pieces of Kristin I could recognize in myself. As her friend Hope put it:
“You set your expectations too high for a particular version of perfect and then you get so crazily sad when it isn’t.”
Now, who else knows this feeling?
I could tell you more about the things Kristin realizes through her travels, the insights she gets into her own emotions and relationships with people, but I rather not. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is written in such a way that everything is so well-connected and events seamlessly flow over into deep thoughts. You just have to read it for yourself.
By the way, aren’t you also wondering whether she’ll find the right guy in the end?