“Reading Katie’s book feels like traveling beside her to places both familiar and harder to reach. With candor and insight, she captures the joys and challenges of heading out alone into unfamiliar places and the unique experiences she had along the way. A fun read and inspiration for your next adventure!”
— AUDREY MURRAY, author of Open Mic Night in Moscow
“Katie is a trailblazing solo female traveler who made the former Soviet republics a priority long before they were on anyone’s radar. I admire her courage and resourcefulness.”
— LEE ABBAMONTE, TV travel commentator who’s been to every country in the world
“Katie’s raw and honest voice puts you front and center into her travel adventures (and misadventures!), making you feel like you are riding them right along with her. Her story is a testament that travel isn’t always perfect, but that the lessons we take away from it change us completely.”
— BETH SANTOS, founder, Wanderful
On her 35th birthday, Katie Aune was at a crossroads. Still reeling from a difficult breakup and longing to find more meaning in her life, she hopped on a one-way flight to start a year-long journey of discovery. Once a Russian and East European Studies major in college, Aune plotted a course that would take her through all 15 states of the former Soviet Union. In a book that is part memoir, part travelogue, Aune takes readers along as she discovers places that are far off the typical tourist track, from riding the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia and taking a cargo ferry from Ukraine to Georgia, to volunteering in Tajikistan and camping in the desert of Turkmenistan. Faced with the vulnerability of traveling solo through unfamiliar lands, she shakes off her insecurities, embraces the unknown and realizes that each journey is worthwhile, even if it doesn’t go as planned.