Book Review: Packing Light

Recently I wrote about how I love reading stories about people who take risks and do really neat things with their lives. Friends, let me introduce you to Ally Vesterfelt.

As a twenty-something with a master’s degree living in Portland, Ally enjoyed her routine, but still felt restless.  When she hesitantly decided to take a 50-state road trip with a friend, she realized just how much baggage she carried in life – everything from materialism to expectations of herself and her relationships.

She blogged about the trip, and the blog turned into a book. That book is Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage.


I also mentioned in that post a few weeks ago that I sometimes get stuck reading stories like this one. How I devour the book, admire the author and go back to the life I live now – the one of school, work and responsibility. But something is different about this one.

First off, Ally is an incredibly honest writer. She details all her emotions on the trip – resentment towards God and jealously towards her closest friends – and admits some big relationship mistakes, which makes it feel like you’re talking with a friend, not some distant author.

Her thoughts are beautifully paired with anecdotes from South Dakota, Georgia, Arizona and beyond. She has great insight, but it’s actually applicable to life because she experienced a new adventure firsthand.

Ultimately, Ally encourages readers to let go of some things – those bad expectations and hurts and shoes you never wear. But she also urges you to hold on to what does matter and the reality that wherever you go, you’re never alone. God knows your needs and has you covered. And because of this,  life is better when you’re in the mess of it. Not on the perimeter. And that’s a cause I can get behind.

I’m helping Ally promote her book this month. This is her first published book, and I am happily spreading the word. To support Ally and purchase a wonderful read for you or a friend, click here

What are you reading lately?

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