To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret

New York Times bestseller - "Thrilling, tender, utterly absorbing . . . Every chapter shimmered with truth." --Cheryl Strayed From travel writer Jedidiah Jenkins comes a long-awaited memoir of adventure, struggle, and lessons learned while bicycling the 14,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia.On the eve of turning thirty, terrified of being funneled into a life he didn't cho...

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Title:To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret
Author:Jedidiah Jenkins
Rating:

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret Reviews

  • Jenwhitson

    I devoured this book. It has left me with a lot of feelings. I first found Jed on Instagram a year or so ago and quickly became obsessed with his adventure pics and the thoughtful, vulnerable vignettes he posted with them. I wanted to read this book bc I love him and trusted that his writing would teach me something. Was then lucky enough to receive an advance copy from Crown Publishing and be selected to be a PRH partner. I am generally not a fan of travelogues and barely knew that South Americ

    I devoured this book. It has left me with a lot of feelings. I first found Jed on Instagram a year or so ago and quickly became obsessed with his adventure pics and the thoughtful, vulnerable vignettes he posted with them. I wanted to read this book bc I love him and trusted that his writing would teach me something. Was then lucky enough to receive an advance copy from Crown Publishing and be selected to be a PRH partner. I am generally not a fan of travelogues and barely knew that South America had mountains, but that ended up being part of why reading this was so fun - I had absolutely no idea what was coming next.

    ANYWAY. This book was some journey and a whole lot more than a travelogue. For anyone who’s at all interested in adventure or travel or impossible enormous quests, anyone who gets squirmy in a 9 to 5 existence and daydreams about breaking out of it, this book is a friendly guide through wild terrain of all kinds.

  • Nikki

    Disclosure - I received this book as a promotion, through Crown Publishing and PRH, and Jed's social media promotion team. THANK YOU!

    Now to the important part.

    You NEED to read this book.

    To begin, I followed Jed on Instagram during his bike ride from Oregon to Patagonia, so I've been waiting for this book since 2014. It did not disappoint. It's a story of a man that is concerned that his job and daily routine has made his brain 'fall asleep' - as opposed to children, who are awake, and asking qu

    Disclosure - I received this book as a promotion, through Crown Publishing and PRH, and Jed's social media promotion team. THANK YOU!

    Now to the important part.

    You NEED to read this book.

    To begin, I followed Jed on Instagram during his bike ride from Oregon to Patagonia, so I've been waiting for this book since 2014. It did not disappoint. It's a story of a man that is concerned that his job and daily routine has made his brain 'fall asleep' - as opposed to children, who are awake, and asking questions, and living summers that last forever (remember that summer?!). There is a quote from Jed from a short movie his friend Kenny made on the trip -

    "The routine is the enemy of time. It makes it fly...by."

    To see the video look here -

    This book was meant to shake up Jed's life at the age of 30, when he would live on a bicycle for 16 months and cycle down to Patagonia. Spoiler alert (but not really, because it's in the first 30 pages) - he falls off his bike one of the first times he gets on it in clip less pedals, THE DAY HE LEAVES. Also, he does not know any Spanish the day he leaves for South America. At least he was prepared in other ways.

    Once he left the USA, I enjoyed the book even more. As someone that's traveled a bit, I love that he demonstrates that people, at their heart, really want to help other people. Even if it's a dirty smelly cycling gringo with minimal Spanish skills. His struggles throughout his time on the bike are well thought out, including struggles with religion, sexuality, friendships, and family.

    Overall, I loved the book - and the ending too. Some people may not like the ending. But the whole book is about the journey, the kindness of strangers, and pushing yourself into something that you may be uncomfortable with - and coming out the other side.

  • Fiona Bledsoe

    First of all, a huge and gracious thanks to Jed and the team at Crown Publishing, PRH, and so on — to every finger and every inspiration responsible for the publishing of this book.

    I patiently awaited this story for five years. At the time that Jedidiah announced that he was going on this trip and planned to write a book about it, I wasn’t doing much reading, but I knew that when the time came, I wouldn’t miss this for anything.

    After years of just living my life, going through high school and

    First of all, a huge and gracious thanks to Jed and the team at Crown Publishing, PRH, and so on — to every finger and every inspiration responsible for the publishing of this book.

    I patiently awaited this story for five years. At the time that Jedidiah announced that he was going on this trip and planned to write a book about it, I wasn’t doing much reading, but I knew that when the time came, I wouldn’t miss this for anything.

    After years of just living my life, going through high school and college, I had no idea what to expect. Would it be too dream-like and only paint the image of unobtainable happiness? Would it be too honest and deter me from going on my own adventure? Was it going to be full of life and very spiritual?

    Honestly? All of it. I felt all the things while reading through this.

    I began to feel very connected to both Jed as a writer and Jed as a human. He wasn’t just this perfect, fearless Instagram-famous god. He had become an individual who, while very well-traveled, questioned all the same things you or I would on a daily basis.

    I could hear Jedidiah writing something and then asking himself for permission. “Is that too honest?” “Can I write that?” “Will someone stop liking me if I write it?”

    As the story progressed, I heard Jedidiah giving himself permission. Permission to be honest, to be brutally honest.

    This was not a fictional story aimed to please the kids in the back. This was an honest, inspiring, and raw journey of one man and his quest to live his life with no regrets. Less “Is that okay?” and more “I’m doing this because it makes me happy. I hope that’s alright.”

    He struggled with the existential questions and “burdens” of life — religion, sexuality, open-mindedness, spirituality, patience, happiness, and everything else in between.

    Jed, thank you for being so transparent and not hiding behind a faltered image. I see you in such new light and feel as if I traveled the 14,000+ miles with you.

  • Liz Schomber

    I first found Jed on Instagram and loved his travel posts. I loved the voice he gave to the people and places he was traveling to. His posts always seemed so raw and real. I expected the same from his book. In most ways I got that, it did feel lacking in some ways and dare I say seemed almost whiney at times.

    This IS a book for anyone that has questioned their 9-5 existence and wanted to do more. This IS a book for anyone that has wondered if they are capable of risking everything for a big adve

    I first found Jed on Instagram and loved his travel posts. I loved the voice he gave to the people and places he was traveling to. His posts always seemed so raw and real. I expected the same from his book. In most ways I got that, it did feel lacking in some ways and dare I say seemed almost whiney at times.

    This IS a book for anyone that has questioned their 9-5 existence and wanted to do more. This IS a book for anyone that has wondered if they are capable of risking everything for a big adventure. This IS a book for anyone that has questioned their faith and wondered what role it plays in their life now.

    This book will leave you wanting to know what your next chapter is and what you are doing with your life now. That is the sign of a great adventure biography of you ask me.

  • Annelie

    3.5*

    I was so excited to finally have this book in hand, to finally read all about this epic quest bicycle ride from Oregon to Patagonia by a writer I love from Instagram.

    And Jedidiah’s beautiful writing was there. The trip was adventurous, he describes his reflections, on both his life and his travels, with honesty.

    And I did like the book. But I’d didn’t love it.

    Parts felt shallow and oblivious to me, some parts felt very aware of a social media audience, a bit status and approval seeking, and

    3.5*

    I was so excited to finally have this book in hand, to finally read all about this epic quest bicycle ride from Oregon to Patagonia by a writer I love from Instagram.

    And Jedidiah’s beautiful writing was there. The trip was adventurous, he describes his reflections, on both his life and his travels, with honesty.

    And I did like the book. But I’d didn’t love it.

    Parts felt shallow and oblivious to me, some parts felt very aware of a social media audience, a bit status and approval seeking, and those parts annoyed me. The growth and understanding the writer gained from the journey came through in the end, and overall it was worth the annoyance.

  • Roxana Barnett

    I really wanted to love this book. I followed his travels on Instagram. I enjoyed his interviews. I love a good travelogue. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but by the second half I was ready for it to be done. Good for him for taking this journey, but he’s just not that interesting. All of the religious guilt and baggage was irritating. I just wanted him to let go of it and have some wild sex, and be free. His privilege was so apparent and he didn’t seem to recognize it. I appreciated his

    I really wanted to love this book. I followed his travels on Instagram. I enjoyed his interviews. I love a good travelogue. I enjoyed the first half of the book, but by the second half I was ready for it to be done. Good for him for taking this journey, but he’s just not that interesting. All of the religious guilt and baggage was irritating. I just wanted him to let go of it and have some wild sex, and be free. His privilege was so apparent and he didn’t seem to recognize it. I appreciated his honesty, but I found myself wanting to shake him and tell him to give his money more freely, and let go of his judgement and guilt! I found his traveling companion so much more interesting than Jed, and I can’t say that I blame him for not returning. I would give it 3 stars overall, but it was a disappointment.

  • Sian Lile-Pastore

    I thought this was going to be quite different to what it was. I brought a lot of expectation to it, probably quite unfairly, and it didn't/couldn't deliver. Essentially I wanted it to be Wild by Cheryl Strayed but more Gary Snyder-esque. I wanted it to be a Buddhist , spiritual nature thing when it was actually a nerdy Christian (kinda his description) goes on a long bike ride. I enjoyed the discussions on faith, especially linked with the author being gay, but as a whole, I wasn't transformed.

    I thought this was going to be quite different to what it was. I brought a lot of expectation to it, probably quite unfairly, and it didn't/couldn't deliver. Essentially I wanted it to be Wild by Cheryl Strayed but more Gary Snyder-esque. I wanted it to be a Buddhist , spiritual nature thing when it was actually a nerdy Christian (kinda his description) goes on a long bike ride. I enjoyed the discussions on faith, especially linked with the author being gay, but as a whole, I wasn't transformed....

  • Matthew

    2.5 stars. this is a memoir about doing something worth writing a memoir about. jed's a fine writer, but his point of view is a too benign for a travelogue. good for him for taking on such an audacious adventure, for growing as a person, for working out his faith, but, if he's presenting all of that in memoir form, he should have worked on making that story more interesting for us. there were missed opportunities for humor, for rawer confession, for penetrating insights into himself and others.

    2.5 stars. this is a memoir about doing something worth writing a memoir about. jed's a fine writer, but his point of view is a too benign for a travelogue. good for him for taking on such an audacious adventure, for growing as a person, for working out his faith, but, if he's presenting all of that in memoir form, he should have worked on making that story more interesting for us. there were missed opportunities for humor, for rawer confession, for penetrating insights into himself and others. there's almost no exploration of the anxiety of influence born of having parents who did the very thing he set out to do (travelling thousands of miles under one’s own power and writing about it). bizarrely, he claims his parents' travels never entered his mind before his mother brought it up after he announced the trip to her. he dismisses the effect his instagram celebrity might have on the presentation of his travels, but neglects any further mention of celebrity (sophia bush joined him on the trip and took the cover photo). given his quest for an identity and his plan to turn this whole thing into a book, I expected him to address whether he was seeking celebrity to give him the identity he was looking for. it was also somewhat contradictory to recognize and throw off his life-long desire to be a "good boy" and then confess his American chauvinism over and over in a manner that surely would get all of the NPR hosts cooing. not to mention that his earnest 'wokeness' also seems a little compensatory given the kony 2012 controversies. Jed's change of faith or loss of it (I not quite sure which) was the least convincing part of the book for me. I don't doubt that the necessities of memoir writing required some simplification, but what he offers in the book are two conversations (one with Weston and one with his friends on the way to Machu Picchu) that don't come close to capturing the nuances and complexities of changes seen in other spiritual autobiographies.

  • Ajay

    I may return to this at some point in the future, but for the moment I won't be finishing this book. Jenkins is a good writer, but the story isn't as interesting as a it should be, it's just.... fine.

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