When it came down to making the first selections for the new book club, I wanted to find books that would support the mission of Her Bags Were Packed — releasing emotional baggage through solo travel. This is why the books I have chosen fall into one of two categories: personal development or solo travel.
I am really excited to introduce No Hurry To Get Home by Emily Hahn as the March/April book club selection. People often think of solo travel for women as a new, modern idea; but No Hurry To Get Home proves this idea false.
Emily was a trailblazer. Born in 1905, she studied mining engineering at the University of Wisconsin and was the first female graduate of the program despite being told by a professor, “The female mind is incapable of grasping mechanics or higher mathematics or any of the fundamentals of mining taught.” She spent the early 1930s traveling around the Belgian Congo, working with the red cross, and living with a pygmy tribe for two years before hiking across Central Africa alone.
She spent the later 1930s living in China and Hong Kong, where she became romantically involved with a Chinese poet and publisher, Shao Xunmei, before falling in love with the the local head of British army intelligence. In her lifetime, she wrote and published 54 books and more than 200 articles and short stories. Emily’s memoir, No Hurry To Get Home, is a collection of essays originally published in The New Yorker that tell of these wildly amusing adventures and much more.