Jalan-Jalan: A Memoir of Wanderlust and Motherhood
In Bali, jalan-jalan means to go forward, a route used for traveling, and the path chosen in life or career. Jalan-Jalan: A Memoir of Wanderlust and Motherhood is the story of my path to Bali. As a Chicago-based class-action lawyer, intrepid travel provided an escape from the demands of my career. I summited mountains, kayaked tropical fjords, almost drowned in icy Class V rapids, and battled baboons in my Zimbabwe hotel room. I took risks that led my son Jake to exclaim, “Mom! How was I ever even born?”
But he was born, and my risk calculus changed as I adjusted to the joys, demands, and qualms of motherhood. Instead of camping on deserted beaches in Papua New Guinea and Palau, we stayed at all-inclusive beach resorts in Jamaica and the Riviera Maya. I left the river rafts and kayaks behind for Disney Cruises with Jake. Searching for a better way to combine my wanderlust with motherhood, I gripped Jake’s hand and leaped. We landed first in Shanghai and then in Bali, living as expats and learning about new countries, cultures, and ourselves.
Regardless of where you are on your path, if you share my wanderlust, maybe this book will inspire you to travel, too. Or, after reading about my near-death experiences traveling in Pakistan and Burma and how I dragged my young son to live on the other side of the world (twice), you may be glad you stayed home with this book.