|Image from here|
I also find it interesting that Elizabeth Gilbert's book has received all of this attention when there are other books that are extremely similar to hers that have been completely ignored. The main one I'm thinking of is Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. I read her book before reading Eat, Pray, Love and thought it was amazing that she was able to truly live with and learn from the people and places she was visiting. The experiences of these women are so different and, in a way, I think that Elizabeth Gilbert's book has received more attention simply because it is easier for people to picture themselves traveling to different countries, living there, learning what they want to, and then leaving. That seems much more accessible to most people than the way that Rita Golden Gelman truly embraces the culture she is living in, which is an extremely scary thing to think about.
Honestly, I find the experiences of both women intimidating because I am not someone who is good at being away from my family and friends. The month I spent in India was the most time I've spent away from anyone I've known and, even then, I was going with a group of students led by a professor from Hope. I am in awe of their ability to step (or more accurately leap) out of the comfortable lives they had created for themselves and embrace what the world had to offer.
As it turns out, I really wanted to get my thoughts about the books out instead of writing a review of the movie because I don't really know what to think of the movie. Were parts of it good? Yes. Could parts of it have been done better? Yes. Did it show India the way that India is? Yes and no. Yes in the scene where she's in the taxi in India traveling from the airport to the ashram because they made a point of showing the chaos that overwhelms you and the children that are constantly begging you for money/attention/love. No because she spent much of her time in India in the ashram.
I think the main reason I had such strong feelings about the movie is because my experiences in India have had such a deep emotional impact on me that the thought of other people experiencing India in a different way is difficult for me to grasp. I know it happens, but I'm not always ready to acknowledge that it happens.
Sorry if these thoughts don't make sense. They don't really make all that much sense to me. But I thought I needed to try to get some of these thoughts out of my head before I spent too much time there thinking about India and traveling and all of the other things that these books and the movie bring up for me.