"Brave-ish" by Lisa Niver book cover

Travel Tuesday: “Brave-ish” by Lisa Niver Book Review

Last year, seasoned traveler turned travel writer and expert Lisa Niver released her new book Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty. As a follower of Niver on Twitter, I’d seen mention of her book several times in recent months, with the orange/red hues and pink heart airplane artwork often popping up on my timeline. So at long last, I figured I’d purchase a Kindle copy and read it for myself.

First off, Brave-ish isn’t a travel book in the traditional sense. There aren’t sample itineraries, tips, or even much background on various destinations. Instead, the book serves as Niver’s memoir and follows her through key transitions in her life and the travels that surrounded them.

Having said that, there’s still plenty of travel adventure to be found in Brave-ish as Niver details some incredible experiences — as well as some that, to put it lightly, didn’t sound as though they were quite up my alley. Additionally, with Niver having visited more than 100 countries, you’re sure to learn about places you didn’t actually know existed. It was also interesting to read accounts of different types of travel, ranging from the most luxurious to the absolutely cheapest possible.

For as many parts of Brave-ish that are sure to raise envy among readers, it can be truly heartbreaking at times as well. Some of the stories and quotes that Niver recalls in the book stung me in a way that I can only imagine how they felt to her. Of course, reading about these troubles also primed me to celebrate and delight in Niver’s successes later on. As they say, living well is the best revenge.

To set the stage, Brave-ish begins by addressing that “one breakup” as featured in its subtitle. However, shortly after that, we rewind as Niver takes us through her early travels, including stints working at resorts, on cruise lines, and beyond. Eventually, we make our way back to where we started and (like Niver herself) are ready to move forward. This is also where the book’s framing pivots a bit, with each chapter covering new entries into Niver’s “50 New Things Before 50” challenge. All in all, I thought this structure worked well — although, admittedly, I did have hope for her “new” relationship midbook before I remembered why the guy’s name sounded so familiar. Sigh.

Seeing as I don’t usually read digital books and, for whatever reason, I was consuming Brave-ish on my laptop, I started off pretty slowly. But, once I got going, I absolutely devoured the book. This was partially fueled by my desire to see Niver complete her challenge and discover how she’d cap it all off. Plus, the relatively short chapters make it easy to breeze through.

Although Brave-ish may not be a true travel book, I walked away from it feeling inspired in a few ways. For one, it made me want to explore parts of the world that I hadn’t really considered before. More broadly, I appreciated the book’s theme of stepping out of your comfort zone. I will also add that it made me more thankful than ever to have a supportive partner (who happens to put up with all of my travel neurosis). For those reasons, whether you’re looking to gather destination inspiration, get some quick tips on becoming a travel blogger, or just want to find escapism in someone else’s life, I think you’ll enjoy Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

Brave-ish Book Review
Brave-ish is a Travel Adventure Through Real Life
4.5
Formats available
Paperback, Kindle, audiobook, audio CD
Page count
272 (paperback)
In Brave-ish, author Lisa Niver delivers an open and honest look at her life — including major highs and lows — as told through travel. From exotic locations and heart-pumping adventures to more tender reflections and trials, readers will follow Niver through it all. That said, those looking for a traditional travel book with destination-specific tips and itineraries will want to look elsewhere.
Pros
  • Features first-hand stories from the author’s extensive travels
  • Chronicles Niver’s “50 New Things Before 50” Challenge
Cons
  • Not a traditional travel book

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

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