A Round-the-World Trip With a Mission

Kim Dinan’s memoir The Yellow Envelope chronicles her trip and how a generous gift made it even more meaningful.
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Courtesy of Sourcebooks

Ever wonder what it would be like to sell your stuff, quit your job, and travel the world? Outdoors blogger Kim Dinan, who hails from Fairfield, wrote The Yellow Envelope (Sourcebooks) after she and her husband Brian did just that. The memoir chronicles a years-long journey the couple took in 2012 across Ecuador, India, Vietnam, and Mexico. Before they left, friends surprised the couple with a yellow envelope containing $1,000 to give away as Kim and Brian saw fit.

The Yellow Envelope merges three storylines: the travels, exotic but simple and barebones; the Dinans’ efforts to dispense the money, which proves difficult; and Kim’s doubts about the health of her marriage. “I left one person and came home a different person,” she says. “I was trying to tell that story of transformation.”

The marriage plotline feels forced at times, but the adventures—especially Kim’s weeks-long rickshaw trek across India with two strangers—shock and amaze at once. Her descriptions are breathtaking, and the ways in which the couple give away their money deliver emotional moments. Kim, back in Cincinnati, hopes readers take two things from the book: “I hope it will inspire random acts of kindness, [and] if there’s something you’re really desperately longing to do—even if you can’t quite explain it, even if it’s terrifying—you should do it.”

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