Looking for the perfect book to give the thrill-seeking traveler in your life? Look no further than To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins.
Like most millennials making connections in 2018, I found Jedidiah Jenkins through social media. As the editor of Wildernessmagazine, Jedidiah filled his Instagram with lots of traveling and goofing around with his lovable squad. In fact, it was this account through which he first shared one of the biggest adventures of his life, gaining him coverage by National Geographic and eventually a book deal.
After a series of successful jobs but feeling like his life was heading in an unwanted direction, Jedidiah decided to change course and do something radical for his thirtieth birthday. In the 1970s, his parents spent five years walking across America. Jedidiah, feeling called to his own expedition, settled on biking from Oregon to Patagonia–an epic 14,000-mile journey that would take him around a year and a half to complete.
Divided into the geographical sections of his trip, To Shake the Sleeping Selffollows Jedidiah and his friend Weston as they ride right out of their comfort zones and into the unknown.
From tasting exotic cuisine and bathing in waterfalls, to the spiritual experience of wild mushrooms and hiking Machu Picchu, Jedidiah learns more about himself and the world around him. However, life on the road is anything but easy.
Besides the physical trials of biking across two continents (the exhaustion, the uncertainty of where to sleep each night, the dangerous highways), Jedidiah also faces a decent amount of inner conflict on his journey. The pages are filled with thoughts about his faith, his sexuality, and what it means to really embrace life.
The story of the trip itself was fascinating and made me want to go on my own adventure, but I also appreciated Jedidiah’s honesty and his ability to effectively communicate his struggles. The raw conversations he has with Weston, the strangers he meets on his trip, and himself open up bigger conversations about stereotypes, friendship, and what connects humans all over the world.
To Shake the Sleeping Self is a great read for anyone who enjoys a good adventure memoir. Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild will appreciate Jedidiah’s journey and the heart behind his writing.