“The Yellow Envelope” by Kim Dinan
It became clear in the first chapter of “The Yellow Envelope” that this was going to be a book I could easily devour in a few hours – the story drew me in. But I didn’t want to finish so quickly – I made it last. Kim’s personal reflections on traveling, learning to navigate a marriage she was becoming unsure of and finding ways to stay grounded while away from home spoke straight to the heart.
Kim Dinan had a good life in Portland, OR with her husband in a house they owned and jobs they didn’t hate. One day while running through Forest Park, Kim finally acknowledge the little nudging that had persisted for months – she needed adventure. Kim spent months gathering courage to tell her husband Brian about this desire to leave it all behind. After a lot of serious thought, hesitation and planning, they sold their home and gave away or sold most of their belongings. Many months later, before their departure on an open-ended adventure, a friend gifted the couple a special request that soon became a major factor in their life altering travels. Read about their journey in Kim’s book “The Yellow Envelope.”
On May 21, 20012 the duo packed what little they had left and drove to visit their families in Ohio. There they left their few boxes, spent time with loved ones and soon boarded a plane for Quito, Ecuador. They had two nights booked at a guest house and would head wherever they wanted from there. They brought the necessities and a yellow envelope filled with money, the thoughtful gift from a longtime friend who wanted to spread the good and have a tiny part in their exciting journey.
Going from the rigid daily structure of the typical work week to completely clear schedules was no easy task. It’s not like a vacation where you know what to expect when you get back. Without the repetition, Kim and Brian found themselves getting into interesting situations left and right as they learned to say yes to invitations from strangers who would quickly become friends.
The couple sometimes visited major cities but soon realized they preferred more intimate and genuine locales like tiny cities hours away from typical tourist destinations. They volunteered at a children’s art organization, helped a farmer catch his runaway cow and Kim even participated in what is arguably the world’s most dangerous rickshaw race through India.
For over a year, Kim and Brian adventured through Peru, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and many other places along the way. But don’t expect “The Yellow Envelope” to be a travel guide full of tips and locations to visit. Instead, you’ll read about Kim’s journey to finding herself while navigating staying in her marriage and learning to evolve as a couple. The author wrote about the kindness of strangers and amazing stories of giving out yellow envelope money along the way. The truly unique situations that touched Kim and Brian in the moment bring together the two Americans with people everywhere they go, and might bring a few happy tears to your eyes.
“The Yellow Envelope” came out April 4th. You can buy a copy at major retailers and bookstores everywhere. Reach out to Kim to tell her what you thought! Check out Kim’s blog So Many Places for more stories and to see if her book tour is headed near you.