There's been some discussion on this site lately, regarding reviewers not being in a blog's demographic. This is not the case today.
I am the same age, gender, race, and sexual orientation as Laurenne. Neither of us are married, nor have babies. We are both from small towns and are college educated. It seems Laurenne's hit the jackpot on the "Ol' Blog Reviewers Roulette Wheel of Death". (of Doom? "The List of Doom" seems to be jinxed. Is it the reference to doom?)
To be honest, I have waited until the last minute to write this review, simply because I know I will be biased. It's easy for me to put myself in her shoes and to be excited there are other women out there who are self-deprecating and neurotic, have a twisted sense of humor, and unashamedly make bad decisions. It's nice to find a blog that's not about husbands/babies, nor about going shopping and drunkenly hooking up with douchebag frat boys. It's nice to find someone who's the shit, but has bad luck with men as well.
She even writes about the death of her father in a candid, poignant, and hilarious way. Some people might think she's being insensitive, but I GET IT. I still tell the story about how I showed up to see my grandmother before she died and witnessed my grandfather and uncle playing poker, taking shots of Black Velvet, and watching "Big Trouble in Little China" on TV. Right fucking next to the bed my grandmother was dying in, completely ignoring her. Sometimes you have to see the humor in things to keep from going crazy.
Oh, and I'm insanely jealous that Laurenne quit her (obviously) high paying advertising job and backpacked (alone) to 12 different countries over the course of 9 months. And her posts while on the road are entertaining and educational, and filled with hilarious and breathtaking images. They may be a bit journally and longwinded, but I can partially forgive that since she's trying to commemorate her journey and I'm sure internet access was hard to come by.
Now, I genuinely like Laurenne and I like her blog. I identify with her. However, I have a few issues . . .
1) I really hate the "You might also like" LinkWithin crap (links to other posts at the end of each post). I understand you're trying to make it easier for people to find similar posts, but it was distracting for me. And I think it's gaudy.
2) The ginormous label cloud on the sidebar HAS GOT TO GO. If someone wants to see other posts with that label, they'll just click the label at the end of your post. And again, gaudy.
3) I know it sucks not having many people read your blog. Believe me, I do. But don't resort to participating in the fake award-giving and being on Twitter only to get readers. I think you're above that. Really.
4) Try to flesh out thoughts like this into more substantial posts. I'm sure you have more to say about your opinions.
5) I want to hear some crazy stories from your life. I know you're trying to live in the moment and not focus on the past or the future, but your past is what's made you who you are today. Let's have it, lady.
My major complaint: This post. You are bitching about not having money, after spending $20,000 on a trip all over the world. This offended me in particular because I happened to be unemployed (not by choice) during the same time period you were traveling. While you were snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef, I was eating ramen noodles while watching whatever TV stations I could get over the antenna. You chose to leave your job and spend that money. I'm jealous that you had the means to do it. But bitching about not having money afterward is offensive. It made me knock a star off.
But I almost added it back on, just because you uploaded this home video of yourself as a kid. And it's on your professional site. Fucking hysterical.