Packing Light

Posted on September 1st, by npernia in Available Now, Books, Words. Comments Off on Packing Light

Packing Light coverRead an excerptFor fans of: Donald Miller, Shauna Niequist, Jeff Goins, Bob Goff

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How do you pack for all fifty states?

When I was in college, I figured my life would come together around graduation. I’d meet a guy; we’d plan a beautiful wedding and buy a nice house-not necessarily with a picket fence, but with whatever kind of fence we wanted. I might work, or I might not, but whatever we decided, I would be happy.

When I got out of college and my life didn’t look like that, I floundered around, trying to figure out how to get the life I had always dreamed of. I went down so many different paths for it. Career. Travel. Friends. Relationships. But none of them were as satisfying as I hoped they would be.

Like many twenty-somethings, I tried desperately to discover the life of my dreams after college, but instead of finding it, I just kept accumulating baggage. I had school loans, car payments, electronics I couldn’t afford, a house full of mismatched furniture I didn’t love but that had become my own, hurt from broken relationships, and unmet expectations for what life was “supposed to be” like.

Just when I had given up all hope of finding the “life I’d always dreamed about,” I decided to take a trip to all fifty states…because when you go on a trip, you can’t take your baggage. What I found was that “packing light” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was. This is the story of that trip and learning to live life with less baggage.

Praise for Packing Light

Ally Vesterfelt is a gifted writer with a pleasant voice that is a joy to spend time with. Joining her on a cross-country journey makes for a delightful and thought-provoking respite. With refreshing honesty, Ally teaches us how to better navigate life and relationships as she navigates the roads of all fifty states.
Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and The Sacred Search

Packing Light is the latest in a long line of rich and lovely travel memoirs that make the world bigger, that make us long for the open road, and that ask us to consider the important and universal themes of faith, fear, comfort, friendship, love, and what to pack. For any young traveler, literal and otherwise, Ally has given us a gem.
Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine

Hear More Packing Light Stories

About the Author

Allison Vesterfelt is a writer, thinker, dreamer and the managing editor of Prodigal Magazine, an online platform for storytellers. She is passionate about helping people live and tell good stories. She is from Portland, Oregon but lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband Darrell. Find Ally on Twitter @AllyVest.

Learn more about Ally at and find out more about her book at

More praise for Packing Light
This is a good one, an important book for those who are restless. We all have questions, and some brave souls turn to the call of the open road for answers. Thanks, Ally, for sharing your journey with us. I couldn’t stop reading.
Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life

Allison Vesterfelt has written a wonderfully provocative book about changing your life. For a long time she was plagued by a thought, “could I live life where nothing held me back?” It would mean leaving a lot behind. But the dream grew inside her until one day she sold everything and, packing lightly, took off for the open road and a life full of possibilities.

If, like her, you’re tired of the complicated life you’re living, you’ll want to read Packing Light and consider following her example. In simplicity and abandon, Vesterfelt found the purpose she longed for. It’s a great story and a lesson I found invigorating to my spirit.
Seth Barnes, CEO Adventures in Missions

I’ve known Ally since we were kids. She’s everything you want in a writer: smart, funny, honest, flawed, strong, passionate, and after Jesus’ kingdom vision. To a generation that’s dying for adventure, but scared to death of failure, Packing Light comes as a much needed kick out the front door. You might read this book on your couch, but you won’t stay there.
John Mark Comer, pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgeport: a Jesus church in Portland, Oregon

Allison Vesterfelt is one of the best emerging writers to come along in years. Her words slip into the next ones in a way that makes reading a delight. And then there’s the story she tells. From page one, you feel drawn-in, as if you were having coffee together, sharing personal confessions with a friend. This book will occupy a permanent space in your library.
Ben Arment, creator of STORY and Dream Year

Ally did what so many of us have dreamed of doing at some point. Her journey was adventurous and life changing. I vicariously joined in the journey as read along. Packing Light is heartfelt, insightful and you should read it now!
Alli Worthington, entrepreneur, business coach and consultant, speaker and fan of all things digital

Ally tells her story with such grace, honesty, and humor that we can’t help but get caught up in her journey with her. Her trip may be unique to her, but the lessons she learned are universal. Packing Light is a book for anyone longing to go after that “something missing” in their own lives.
Justin Lathrop, blogger and co-founder of Some Company

Packing Light makes you want to get out large scissors and cut the strings holding you back. Packing your bags with boldness, wisdom and fresh perspectives, this book bravely takes you on a journey of themes so relevant to women of this day and age; at times you feel like you are truly in her shoes—with her lessons you learn your own, with her broken expectations you break yours, with her found freedom you yourself feel refreshed.
Sarah Dubbeldam, editor-in-chief of Darling Magazine

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