Had I stayed home, I might well have learned some of that stuff. I might have picked up a guitar or a cookbook. Or marched against apartheid. But nothing catalyzes change like travel. There’s something about being outside of your comfort zone that encourages you to plunge yourself into new experiences. It’s like, you’re already in a place where they call sandwiches butties and drive on the wrong side of the road and share bathtub water, so, why not try the guitar?
Had I stayed home, I probably would’ve finished up high school and gone straight to college. Instead, I came back from that year thirsting for something different. During my senior year of high school, I got a job, saved money, and while the rest of my friends were applying to college, I made my plans to head back to Europe. “I’m attending The University of Life,” I told my very understanding parents. A week after graduation, I took off with a one-way ticket, an overstuffed backpack, and a vague determination to find that something different.
I never really stopped traveling, never really stopped looking. I’m pretty sure this is why I became a journalist and writer, because initially it allowed to keep traveling, and then when I had kids and no longer wanted to gallivant, it allowed me to take journeys in my imagination.
The latest journey is Just One Day, which draws very much on my early experiences traveling. Allyson, the heroine of Just One Day, and I are fairly different people—with very different parents—but we have one thing in common: Travel changes us from the people we were on our way to becoming to the people we became.
Start reading JUST ONE DAY right now!
LIKE the JUST ONE DAY/JUST ONE YEAR Facebook page for all the latest news!
Want to see more of Gayle Forman’s amazing traveling? Penguin Teen is posting one picture a day on tumblr for a whole YEAR!
Visit Gayle on her website and follow her on Twitter.
Travel with Gayle along the JUST ONE DAY tour!
Mon, 1/14 Dear Author
Tues, 1/15 Good Books and Good Wine
Wed, 1/16 Night Owl Reviews
Thurs, 1/17 Presenting Lenore
Fri, 1/18 Ticket to Anywhere
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!