Before leaving, the couple is given a yellow envelope filled with $1000 cash by a couple that they were friends with. They are given the opportunity to give the money away to people in any way that it made them happy. There were 3 rules- don't overthink it, share your experiences if you'd like and don't feel pressured to give it all away.
The book followed their travels through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, India, Germany, Vietnam, etc. Along the way, you encounter their interactions with other travelers as well as "natives." You read challenges and success stories about their relationships and their travels.
There were quite a few things I really liked about this book:
1) Kim seems like a person I'd like to sit and have coffee with- or exchange letters with. I liked her sense of humor and I could relate to her a lot (except for the running... I hate running.) There were a couple of times I was slightly annoyed that she didn't seem happy with her life, even though nothing was wrong, but I think we've all been there at times, haven't we? I think it's healthy to examine this at times. I also want to acknowledge her vulnerability at times. Sometimes it's hard to admit that our problems might be caused more by us than they are by other people. I think it's brave to take ownership for things that you feel are within your realm of fixing. I also think it's brave to use what you can to make the world better- whether it's making somebody happy, giving them money or serving them with your time or gifts. I like people that I feel like I can learn things from while sharing my own life. Kim also has a blog, www.so-many-places.com
2) I love traveling vicariously through the stories of others. I have never really desired to visit some of the places that she visited, but I am more curious about those places now. I enjoyed learning about places I had never heard about and learning cultural tidbits about daily life. The book kind of reminded me of how I felt while I was reading Eat, Pray, Love... but not at the same time.
3) The opportunity to make a difference and have an extra $1000 that you can just give away. What a gift!