My Book

47 comments

This is the story of a journalist who backpacks solo through Africa. Yes, it’s my take on exploring a continent that’s so different from my home. But it’s also about what it’s like to travel alone as a woman, why it’s worth dropping everything to follow a dream and how I grew along the way.

 

Madagascar

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Tentative title: Please Send Pants

When Lexi Grant quits her job to travel in Africa, she doesn’t think twice about going solo. At twenty-seven, she craves the freedom and the challenge – and she knows it’s unlikely that her career-minded or family-focused friends would want to gallivant around a continent full of squat toilets and bush taxis, anyhow.

But she quickly realizes that traveling alone isn’t as easy as she expected. Independent to a fault, she ventures to a deserted zoo in Burkina Faso, to the sandstorm-plagued desert of the infamous Timbuktu, and to the mountains of Cameroon, where she grieves with a polygamous family, all the while trying to avoid eating their phallic cassava sticks. But when Lexi finds herself alone in a dangerous Malagasy bus station after midnight, she’s finally forced to admit she’s vulnerable. Can she really complete this trip on her own? And how might learning to lean on others change her life back home?

Full of both adventure and introspection, this story is satisfyingly real, freeing readers from the fairy-tale love that drives most modern-day travel memoirs; one popular blogger called it the anti-Eat, Pray, Love. If you’ve ever dreamed about taking a leap in life, Please Send Pants will inspire you to make it happen.

Bush taxi friend in Madagascar

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

dave October 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I want you to know how much I love what you are doing with your life. Stay inspired, it is people like you that keep me seeking my next adventure. Better happy than rich.

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zoezolbrod January 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Your memoir sounds fascinating, and your blog is great. I traveled solo many years ago, now, the novel I wrote that was inspired by my trip, CURRENCY, is finally coming out this spring after multitudes of revisions and dozens of rejections. I have a feeling you won’t need to wait that long, but stick to it!

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Jen - Devourer of Books May 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

I definitely want to read your book when it comes out, Alexis!

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erin November 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Sounds amazing… can’t wait to read it!

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Donna Talarico January 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Can’t wait to read it! Congrats on the representation. You are so close!

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Grant Lingel February 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I can’t wait to read your book! I spent 7 months in Africa in 2010 and it was a truly remarkable experience.

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Katherine Jenkins February 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Cool…great to find you! Check out my blog if you have time…I also have a book coming out called Lessons from the Monk I Married spring 2012 by Seal Press/Perseus Books…yes, and I don’t watch TV either!!!!! ^_^!

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Maria P March 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I am turning 27 this spring and I am finding myself having the same urges of leaving my corporate job and traveling and getting to know myself better. I can’t wait to read your book

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Alexis Grant March 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks, Maria! These types of comments always make my day, especially from folks who are new to the blog.

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kasey March 22, 2011 at 6:22 am

I can’t wait to read your book! I’m a mother of two and a fellow writer. I often wonder if my traveling days are behind me now, but feel inspired by brave adventure seekers like you!

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Dan April 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

Why not self-publish? If your book is eventually accepted by a publisher, do you really want to wait another18-24 months to see it reach your readers? Check out Joe Konrath’s blog on self-publishing.

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Alexis Grant April 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

Don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed my mind, Dan! Mostly because I love entrepreneurial ventures. But I think traditional publishing offers more credibility, so I’m aiming for that, first.

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Nicole Basaraba June 11, 2011 at 3:11 am

Hi Alexis,

I’m looking forward to reading your book by a fellow traveller. I’m Canadian and I moved to Europe to try new things. It really does teach you a lot being in a different place. I’m sure Africa is an even more enlightening destination.
Congratulations!

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Heather Sunseri July 19, 2011 at 7:21 am

Alexis, I can’t wait to read your memoir. You are such an inspiration. I believe this is something I would have done had I thought of it when I was younger – pre-husband, pre-children. Instead, I’ll SOON get to read how you did it. Hope the wait isn’t too long for you!!! :) I’m pulling for you.

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Genie @ Healthy Living Now October 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Hi Alexis, your memoir sounds like a good read I would like to get my hands on. Please let me know when it is out and where I can access it.

Travelling solo to far destinations such as Africa takes a lot of heart and courage. I think I would be more comfortable doing this as a group. However, one on one experiences are great. All the best with your memoir. Look forward to a good read :)

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Hanna Bratton October 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm

You’re awesome! Good luck with your book and thank you for not letting the fear of others’ perceptions about the world stop you!

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Andrew X. Pham November 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Excellent posts and a very promising book! Best wishes with the publication! Keep us updated. Looking forward to reading the book!

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Robin Wylie January 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Looking forward to reading your book, Alexis! I spent some time in Ethiopia, such a magnificent country and such beautiful people. I’d love to explore the rest of the continent. Perhaps I’ll be using your memoir as a guidebook! :-)

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Alexis Grant January 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thanks, Robin! I’d love to get to Ethiopia at some point.

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Lana Phillips March 9, 2012 at 12:25 am

So how is the book coming? I want to read it!!

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Alexis Grant March 9, 2012 at 10:09 am

It’s coming along… In my agent’s hands now! Will certainly let you know when it’s available. Thanks for asking!

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Sandra Harriette April 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Have you made this available yet?
Sandra Harriette recently posted…Why You Were BornMy Profile

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DD Myles April 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I applaud you, Alexis
As a former jazz musician from New Orleans, who traveled the Mae klong up to the remote villages of Northern Thailand, the backstreet markets of Beijing, Shanghai and Pudong, China, seeing the sunrise ontop the Great Wall, exploring the Forbidden city, in awe of the small historical city of Manilla, the solemness of viewing the ravaged, dilapidated country side of Guam, to partying with the sudden influx of 5,000 naval officers on furlough on the Island of Singapore…I applaud you! :) (definitely will order your memoirs)

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Emily A. Cox June 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I am a life coach, and I am inspired! Thank you for sharing!

-Emily A. Cox

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Clare June 9, 2012 at 5:14 am

Excited to read it, and even more excited to follow the process as you write it. C

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chant July 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm

cant wait to read your book .

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Stacey August 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Shmae! (Hello in Welsh). I totally agree with what Dave commented. By the way Alexis – I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOUR WEBSITE LITERALLY THE SECOND MY PAGE UPLOADED! I am totally on the same page as you, about traveling, work, living, etc etc. I would love to get the chance to speak with you. I am at the stage where I want to get my journal from my world tour turned into a book, and on my path of researching how to do so and trying to find where to start, your website appeared – it must be fate.

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Maitreya September 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

Christopher Hitchens once remarked that everybody has a book in them, but in most cases that is where it should stay. From what I’ve heard about your experiences and seen of your writing style, I think you’re a notable exception to that rule!

Most people (ahem, women and men) would balk at the prospect of leaving a job that many would donate a kidney for and then go solo through an unknown continent. I takes a lot of courage to do what you did, and if it is indeed the anti-Eat, Pray, Love, I would really love to get my hands on it!

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Jaclyn Kader October 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

Alexis, you are the person who (many years ago), I didn’t know I wanted to be. Now, you are the person I know I want to be. It’s not easy to give it all up and go to the place where you hope to find yourself….but I live in hope that I will one day have the chance and the courage. Waiting in anticipation for your book!

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Alexis Grant October 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Awww, thanks!

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melanie lynn griffin November 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Greetings – how wonderful to find your website! After many months of “pre-writing,” I started my book today! It’s still taking shape in my mind, but is part memoir. The world of marketing and self-promotion is a whole new world for me. So blessed to have stumbled upon you. I’ll enjoy perusing your website and look forward to reading your book.
Melanie

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Elizabeth Becker December 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

A story all too familiar. I moved to Jerusalem by myself to work as a journalist in the West Bank when I was 24. I had never been so vulnerable in my life, particularly when some of the most notable figures in Palestine decided I was definitely a Jewish spy. Not to mention, cave-surfing in Jordan, finding myself miles away from another human being as my Bedouin host decided to make a move on me. I wound up getting a buddy pass from a pilot that allows me to travel all over the world for free, and now freelance as a social media consultant and writer on oDesk.com. Now 27, I’m heading to a Kenyan orphanage in two weeks, and wish I could bring your book along ;)

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Alexis Grant December 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Whoa! Do you have a blog?

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Mark Wilson February 14, 2013 at 9:43 am

Hey, Gotta say, your book sounds awesome. Can’t wait for it to be released. Just the kind of inspiration I need.

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Eric March 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Do you have a sample chapter?

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Alexis Grant March 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hey Erik — I will once I’m ready to publish! Haven’t made it public yet. Thanks for asking though.

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Perunika Kabaivanova April 11, 2013 at 12:52 am

Great story Alexis! I can not wait to read your book! A book is a door to the soul that is inspired by belief in the world’s beauty. And with your book you will open one more door to the world! My brother plans to travel in Africa. He travels a lot and always is saying that the best guide in a foreign place are the memories of other people traveled there.

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Savannah Grace July 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I am so intrigued by your story. You make really great points about what makes your story unique. I just stumbled upon your site and still need to look a bit more but I’m so curious to know which route you took through Africa. Places like Burkina Faso and Mali are not easy. Or Cameroon. My goodness, the roads there are awful!!! When I was 16-18 my family backpacked around Africa, starting in the West and going south. We ended up hitching a ride with overland trucks from Ghana further south. It’s an amazing and difficult continent to travel. I published my first book “Sihpromatum” last year about Asia. What rewarding work, I love being an author. Am definitely going to check out your book. Kudos to you! When do you expect it to be published?! Congrats on all your accomplishments and success.

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James L. Costantino February 20, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I’ll appreciate scrutinizing your site, your book sounds wonderful. A book is a route to the soul that is enlivened by confidence on the planet’s magnificence. Also with your book you will open one more route to the world.

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