A coming-of-age travel memoir that probes thorny spiritual questions while taking the reader on a wild ride from the deep American South to the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East.
Once the golden girl of her Arkansas town, Natalie finds herself squeezed under small town shame and rejection after being kicked out of church for getting a divorce. It’s a hard fall off of a sanctimonious high horse, and religious fundamentalism has left her feeling broken and stuck. But she can’t shake the ‘wanderlust woes’ that have plagued her since childhood, so she runs away to the Middle East. As a mostly-sheltered Southerner, she struggles to adapt but is determined to be ‘at home’ in the world.
Her journey is more than a pilgrimage, it’s a peregrination: a one-way ticket to elsewhere in search of the place of her own resurrection. Within these pages is a suspenseful adventure filled with love, loss, laughter, tears, and a little bit of scandalous behavior, but at the heart of it, Natalie walks squarely into the unknown to confront the secret matters of the soul that we wrestle with at night.
Natalie Toon Patton was born and raised in Arkansas, where she learned all the correct answers until she lived abroad for ten years and became very confused. She writes on the intersection of travel and spirituality, as well as refugee causes. She currently lives in rural Virginia with her husband, three children, and Burmese cat named Genghis Khan, but she’ll soon be moving to Botswana.