Edith Zimmerman thinks everyone should travel, even if it's not to a "big romantic place," as she tells The Atlantic Wire. "I think everyone discovers parts of themselves through travel. Even if it's like, 'I hate this part of myself; may it never surface again.'" The Zimmerman-edited essay series An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having, released Tuesday, doesn't shy away from the ugly, funny parts of getting away for a while. The essays read like a bunch of letters from your good friends in distant places.
Zimmerman recruited six women and one man (all of whom have contributed to The Hairpin, which Zimmerman used to edit), to share personal travel stories for the series. The result? It's all the messy, good parts of Eat, Pray, Love without any mawkish philosophizing. Zimmerman told The Wire, "I guess I didn't think about the driving idea for this series very much beyond 'what could be the funnest thing I could try to make.'" She also set up a companion Tumblr for the series, which features writers' personal photos to go along with the essays.
Kindle will release the essays one at a time, week by week — Carrie Frye's "Let Us Go Then" is up first. She details her travels around South America, including one romantic encounter that starts with the phrase, "I heard you had diarrhea and bed bugs." In her forward to the collection, Zimmerman calls the opener "one of the tenderest things" she's ever heard.