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An ambitious, sometimes inquisitive, sometimes hilarious journey into the mind and world of the male Millennial on his Peter Pan Syndrome-curing Eat, Pray, Love experience.
What the critics are saying:
"I love it, but did you have to swear so much?" - Mom
"Really cool. Also you got a notice in the mail today, did you pay your loan bill this month?" - Dad
"Please stop emailing us. We don't know who you are." - NYTimes Book Review, probably
Feeling frustrated with his place in the modern adult world, the author, Restivo, sets off on a global travel adventure without much intention or direction. On its face, the premise behind the trip is a unique opportunity to work and travel anywhere, and that is the story he tells others and himself as the journey gets underway. But really, it becomes clear that the true motivation is more sinister, an effort in avoidance and escape from a lost, scattered, impatient, anxious Millennial unsure how to handle the simple act of adulting.
He sees himself losing social circles and facing an uncharacteristically uncertain future, and decides to run and maybe let fate intervene to resolve the frustration. Through early challenges not uncommon from those faced by this generation in any location, the filtered fa ade that Restivo constructed for himself is exposed and he decides to open up and write about his travel experience. The act of writing, and the resultant need to pay attention to the world and question himself and the Millennial condition, sets the course for an internal journey that parallels the external travel.
Through an episodic and creative structure and writing style, Restivo uses his unique opportunity and story setting to tell a tale that is at the same time incredibly personal and wholly relatable to a broader generational audience. As he travels from Maui and New York to the Caribbean, Europe, and southeast Asia, Restivo also journeys inward to confront modern day dilemmas like the contemporary dating world, a generation faced with innumerable possibilities and a paradoxical inability to choose anything, loneliness, happiness, professional happiness, aging, social media and technological dependence, and mental health.
By the end, Restivo has delivered uplifting and important messages through his own development, and has done so with humor, deprecation, and vulnerability, but the story is not over. Restivo is forced to apply the critical lessons learned over the past year during and in the aftermath of the Vegas concert massacre when he escaped the scene but has to deal with a friend and so many others who were shot. Again using his unique circumstances to make a larger point, Restivo reinforces the importance of honest and open vulnerability and learned emotional intelligence in dealing with everything life throws our way, and the preciousness of it all.