This summer is not about taking grand adventures for me and so to satisfy the intense wanderlust in my heart I often look for books about travelers that have lived a life that I imagine for myself. To fuel my deep love of travel I picked up Kristin Newman‘s memoir: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding. The title says it all for me because like Kristin, I am beginning to observe friends and family taking the next step in their life by finding guys to settle down with. It won’t be long before the bridesmaids dresses are followed by baby showers *cringe.* The memoir is an account of the dozens of trips she has taken throughout her life thus far and how she found deep meaning in traveling alone. Before you mistake the book for being exclusively filled with deep reflection it is also comes loaded with hilarious stories about vacation romances and an alter ego that she describes as being “Kristin-Adjacent.”
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The stories that Kristin tells come from the various adventures that she embarked on during her twenties and thirties as a release from the stressful, fast-paced lifestyle of a sitcom writer in Los Angeles. She has worked on popular television shows such as That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, and The Neighbors. As a TV writer she often had free time that would span over the course of a few months, depending on the success of a show, and used that opportunity to explore the world. The stories made me laugh out loud and also had me fight back tears often in the course of a single chapter. (If you were sitting beside me on the train I apologize for the disturbance). Without giving too much away about the memoir one of my favorite stories involved paragliding in Queenstown with a man referred to as “Swiss Dave.” As she was flying over the mountains she found herself vomiting all over herself and Swiss Dave only moments before she landed in a pile of sheep poop.
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The tales included in her memoir will surely have you eyeing your passport and planning your next solo adventure. Kristin inspires the traveler in all of us to be brave and set out in the world to find, “the thing you’re supposed to do in the place that you’re supposed to do it in.”
In case you will not take my word for it here is some praise from other people regarding What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding:
“Kristin Newman reminds me of David Sedaris, but with more joy.” —Diablo Cody
“If Mark Twain was a woman and he had actually done things in the countries he traveled to, he would have been a lot more pleasant. He also would have written this book instead of The Innocents Abroad. This book is so good that, of the many I have blurbed, this is the only one I read.” – Joel Stein, columnist forTime, author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity
“What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is kind of like if Eat, Pray, Love were written by your funniest friend—a laugh-out-loud life guide for anyone who needs some help enjoying being single. Or for anyone who already loves being single. Or for anyone who is married. Basically, whoever you are, Newman will make you want to chuck it all and book a trip to Argentina.” –Rachel Dratch
Just do yourself a favor and go out and buy the book.
Will you read Kristin Newman’s new memoir?