Standalone. Harper Wave (Jan. 24, 2017) TLC Book Tours
A young woman follows winter across five continents on a physical and spiritual journey that tests her body and soul, in this transformative memoir, full of heart and courage, that speaks to the adventurousness in all of us.
Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. Dissatisfied with the passive, limited roles she saw for women growing up, she emulated the men in her life—chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, ticking the boxes, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal. She was accomplished. She was living "The Dream." But it wasn't her dream.
Then the universe caught her attention with a sign: Raise Restraining Device. Steph had seen this ski lift sign on countless occasions in the past, but the familiar words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built in a search for something different, something more.
Steph soon decided to walk away from the success and security she had worked long and hard to obtain. She quit her job, took a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand—and up and down the mountains of nine countries—on a mission to ski four million vertical feet in a year.
I've been looking for a book like Unbound for a long time. There was something that Born to Run and Wild did for me that I couldn't find again until I read Unbound.
Life always seems like there is an order to things. Graduate, get a job, get married, and have babies. And although all of those are adventures, life is more than that. It's about discovering who you are, becoming who you were always meant to be, and living life freely. Mainly, it's about achieving the ultimate goal - being happy.
Steph's passion for skiing is not something I would want to go for as far as a year long goal but it is inspiring. I kind of understood how Steph had so many naysayers before she actually went on her trip around the world but I mainly thought, "Why not?" Leaving everything behind to do something you love? That's something everyone wants to get a chance at doing. And maybe that's why people decide not to take the risks Steph made. It just seems impossible. There is too much to worry about. But Steph's personality pushes against the norm and she takes the leap. In Unbound, Steph's story challenges those who read it to push against the order that life mapped out for you.
"... the message of my generation was to dream big. We were the little girls who were told we could go on to do anything and become anyone we wanted. I found this to be confusing when I looked at the women around me, when I looked at my mother. Were they dreaming big? Were they doing anything and becoming anyone they wanted?"
If you compared me to Steph you would see complete opposites. When I was reading about how her mother used to be more wild but she changed after she discovered rules and consequences, I thought that was me. I have had this restraining device over me of what I can't and can't do. That's what really made Unbound so relatable for me and I'm sure it will feel the same way for others.
Steph's adventure into skiing around the world is filled with excitement, tears, stubbornness, and unexpectedly - love. The people she met, the places she skied, and the memories she made left me leaving satisfied and expecting more out of myself. The love part felt totally out of left field but I was dying to know what became of it. Steph's personality could feel very like that one person who's always trying to win everything. She could be competitive, strong, and honest but could also be vulnerable as she tries to discover where she fits into the world. Although Steph is completely different from me, I enjoyed her perspective and how she took on the world.
Unbound is a story for those readers that want to go on a journey after finishing the last page. For those who want to be inspired to take the leap they've been waiting years to do or the one they just thought of yesterday.
Steph Jagger splits her time between Southern California and British Columbia where she dreams big dreams, writes her heart out, and runs an executive & life coaching practice. She holds a CEC (certified Executive Coach) degree from Royal Roads University and she believes courageous living doesn’t happen with one toe dangling in, but that we jump in, fully submerge, and sit in the juice. Think pickle, not cucumber.