Book Review: The Yellow Envelope

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

Kim Dinan always wanted to travel the world. Tired of how little is happening in her life, she decided to quit her job and pursue this dream. She persuaded her husband to do likewise and they sold all their possessions. Before they left, their close friends gave them a yellow envelope containing $1000 to be spent or given away as they saw fit during their travels.

The Yellow Envelope was in fact a project she started in November 2016. She asks blog readers if she could mail them a yellow envelope. All they had to do was to use their yellow envelope to commit a random act of kindness.

Back to her travels, the couple had some great adventures together, but their relationship was frequently challenged. At one point, Kim even considered leaving her husband despite he being supportive of her.

Indeed, travelling the world is rarely romantic and idyllic It takes a lot of courage to give up stability for adventures, the unknown and unpredictable, and to cope with the societal pressures. Those who have contemplated doing the same may find this memoir a wake-up call, or be even more inspired to venture out of their comfort zone.

This book focuses on Kim’s emotional struggles and epiphanies, which would be disappointing for those who are expecting a travelogue or adventure book. Certainly, there are some content about what the couple saw and did, and the people they encountered in Ecuador, India, and Nepal, among others. There is a section for each country visited but the description is superficial. Some of the travel stories are rather interesting. Kim didn’t forget the yellow envelope. The $1000 was put to good use, feeding dogs and helping needy children. It reminds readers that travel is not just about enjoying and experiencing the sights, but it is also about reaching out to those in need.

Kim has a beautiful descriptive writing style. She uses simple words but weaves them together with interesting metaphors, making it easy to relate to her thoughts.

– This book review first appeared in a lifestyle magazine.

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