Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: The Mystical Backpacker by Hannah Papp

Title:  The Mystical Backpacker: How to Discover Your Destiny in the Modern World
Author: Hannah Papp
Publisher: 5th May 2015 by Atria Books/Beyond Words Publishing
Pages: 272 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: self help, memoir, guide book, European adventure
My Rating:  three cups


Part memoir, part guidebook, The Mystical Backpacker invites you to explore your inner terrain and learn how to create your own unique version of a modern day vision quest or walk-about.

Tired of living a life based on other’s expectations, Hannah Papp quit her job, bought a EuroRail ticket and a map, notified her landlady, and left town. Embarking on a journey across Europe with no plan and no direction, Hannah stumbled into becoming a modern-day Mystical Backpacker. Along the way her discoveries and the teachers she encountered allowed her to go on a deeper journey into the self and the spirit—revealing the real self she had long been missing.

The Mystical Backpacker shows you how to identify the signs along the road that will lead to teachers and experiences that will reorient your own life map. Ultimately, The Mystical Backpacker offers a solution, a way to break free and find your inner self’s rhythms and needs, fulfilling your true destiny. It’s time you hit the road and become a mystical backpacker.

My thoughts

Definitely more of a guidebook than travel memoir, Papp sets out to share not only her travelling adventure, but in sharing, help you to ‘chart your own course’ for your life journey. This book is full of advice and recommendations about how best to develop your true self, your inner soul. It’s about listening to that inner voice and becoming the best you can be. Although her realisations evolve through travel, Papp would like it to be applied to wherever you might find yourself to be:

“Sometimes it’s the less dramatic experiences that can have the deepest impact”.

So it is acknowledged that it’s not just about those fabulous vacation experiences. The essence is to bring those experiences/connections/realisations into your day-to-day living. I applaud her for that.

“The answers don’t exist in Greece, Italy or wherever….. the answers are within you”.

At times, it does indeed get rather ‘mystical’, so be prepared to do the ground work – emotionally and spiritually – in an attempt to discover your true self. At times the writing is pure poetry:

“ We will excavate layers of experience like spiritual archaeologists, seeing the knowledge buried over time …. We aren’t defined by our life experiences – we are defined by our responses to them”.

For Papp is was all about ‘affirmations’ and ‘visualisations’ as you discover your destined path.  Therefore, you must definitely be open to becoming active as you are set tasks and ‘mystical exercises’ to complete throughout the book. These tasks are a step-by-step ‘how to’ with tips and advice that seek to assist you in your own ‘mystical backpacking’ – kind of the:

 “Outward journey’s manifesting into inward journeys”.

However, it is not just all mysticism – as Papp provides a veritable guide on ‘how to’ organise your trip; covering everything from bags and boots to purchase, right down to suggested playlists. I did find it contradictory from the point of view that she lays claim to ‘no rules or regulations’, as she does provide a LOT of guidelines and recommendations. Still, if you are chartering in unfamiliar waters, there are many practical and useful ideas - charts to be drawn, thoughts to be recorded. At times the message does get a bit repetitive – same thing said in various different ways –stated and restated too many times for my liking.

Yet I have no doubt that it is always a good thing to stop and reflect for as Papp states:

“We are living rapidly, continuously defined by our latest post, our latest text”.

So this is a complete, holistic guide from what to pack, to learning to read the ‘signs’ along the way, to what to do when finally faced with home. Papp provides realistic timelines and achievements:

“Discovering your destiny is far quicker than manifesting your destiny – that can be a lengthy process.”

I would probably recommend this to people who are planning to travel and have taken steps in the organisation of that big ‘overseas’ trip. Alternatively, if your future lacks focus and you are seeking direction, then this indeed is the book for you. However, if you are a seasoned traveller you may find this book contains nothing new. Bon voyage to those who may just be embarking.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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