Stephanie Spitler
June 25, 2013 7:00 am

“You’re here for a good time, not for a long time.” This was the quote that convinced me I needed to read Torre DeRoche’s memoir about following love, conquering fear and embracing adventure on the high seas.

I love Torre’s blog, The Fearful Adventurer (seriously, with a name like that, how could you not love it?!). So when I saw that she’d written a book, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Love with a Chance of Drowning introduces us to Torre, an Australian graphic designer who has just embarked on her own adventure and realized a life-long dream: coming to the US. The plan is to stay a year and then return home to her family Down Under. But, like with all the best journeys, there are some detours and surprises up ahead.

First surprise: a chance meeting at a bar turns into love. Enter Ivan, an Argentinean with a secret.

Second surprise: that secret is his plan to sail the Pacific. Solo. Until he asks Torre to come with him.

Third surprise: Torre, after much worrying and analyzing and in spite of her fear of deep ocean water, surprises herself and agrees to accompany him on the voyage.

That’s when the real adventure begins. The reader becomes the third crewmember on the Amazing Grace (Ivan and Torre’s boat and home on the water).  We’re witness to all of the setbacks and problems that they encounter (the dinghy came loose! The boat is taking on water! Torre is seasick!). Torre’s detailed descriptions made me feel like I could actually see the storm clouds approaching and the turquoise waters lapping at the white sand beaches.

We’re with them on every tropical island and in each port, and through the ups and downs of an ocean crossing, Torre embodies the traveling spirit I try to have: to make the best of everything, and to not let your anxiety (whether justified or not) dictate your experiences.

We’re right there as they meet and befriend fellow sailors and inhabitants on remote islands. But as we come to love these quirky characters, we’re forced to confront the hard fact that faces every traveler: accepting when it’s time to say good-bye and move on.

One of my favorite things about Love with a Chance of Drowning is Torre’s writing style. It’s breezy and easy-to-read, and the pages flew by. It’s the perfect book to take to the beach and lose yourself in, with your toes buried in the sand and the sound of the waves as background music. But every once in awhile, stop and look up from the pages. Gaze out at the water and imagine the sailors that are beyond the horizon, following in Torre and Ivan’s footsteps and creating their own adventures.

And whether you’re sailing around the world, exploring a new city or leaving home to start college, Torre’s advice is comforting (and so true): “Experienced adventurers aren’t always fearless. They just don’t run from the fear.”

Have you ever dreamed of sailing around the world? What would be your ultimate fearful adventure?

For more book recommendations and to talk about all things travel, follow me on Twitter @StephSpitler

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