Steph Jagger was at the top of her game. She was a successful executive at a boutique public relations firm in Vancouver, working with top fashion and lifestyle brands. She owned a home and spent her weekend’s skiing in Whistler. She was living the dream.
She was hard working and ambitious and had achieved every goal she’d set for herself. But in 2009, she found herself without that next challenge. For the first time in her life, she didn’t know what was next.
Then, one fateful day while out skiing, she saw a sign – literally – to raise the restraining bar. While this is usually just a reminder for skiers to not get stuck on the chairlift, Jagger was inspired and decided it was the mantra she needed to guide her next great adventure.
Jagger needed to raise the restraining bar.
Unbound: A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery follows Steph Jagger as she skis her way through nine countries across five continents, falls in love and changes her life in more ways than one.
Over the course of a year, Jagger chases winter through Chile, Argentina, Japan, New Zealand, the Alps and the US before finally coming home to close the season at her hometown mountain of Whistler/Blackcomb.
She spends a year meeting amazing people, seeing exotic sights and making a lifetime of memories.
But it wasn’t all sunshine, blue skies and powder. Throughout her journey, she encounters more than a few problems, from bad weather and closed mountains to broken equipment to physical and mental exhaustion.
At times, Jagger spends more time reading the weather reports than she does on the mountain. But, she doesn’t give up. Not even when she finds herself just one month away from the end of the season with more than 700,000 feet to hit her goal (which, if you’re anything like me and aren’t familiar with skiing, is A LOT).
It’s in the moments where it seems like everything is going wrong that Jagger learns the most about herself and the journey that she’s really on (as with most of these books, it’s about so much more than hitting that milestone). It’s there, alone in hotel rooms, hostels and rented apartments, that she realises the path she was carving herself might not have been the right one.
Unbound is the story of Steph Jagger learning to raise the restraining bar, learning to jump in with both feet and learning to move in the direction of the life she’s meant to lead.
I liked Jagger’s book for many reasons:
I’m nosy and like to read about other people’s lives and adventures. I loved reading about the far off lands that Jagger visited, the unexpected sights she encountered and the people she met along the way. This book peaked my wanderlust curiosities for places like Chile and New Zealand, and only further cemented the fact that I *need* to visit Japan ASAP.
I was inspired. I won’t be setting out to ski 4 million vertical feet (let’s be honest, it’s been so long since I last skied that I’d be lucky to survive a bunny hill or two), but as I turned each page, I felt so inspired to start planning and plotting out my next great adventure. I completely realise that I’m kind of only at the beginning of my current adventure, but I figure it’s never too early to start dreaming of, planning and saving for the next one. Oh, the places I will go!
I could relate. Mid-way through her adventure, Jagger realises that she’s done with that last chapter of her life and career; she wants a change but doesn’t know what or where to go next. I’m around the same age that Jagger was when she set out, and have recently found myself pondering similar questions about my career and what I’d like the next chapter to look like.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and being a fly on the wall on Steph Jagger’s epic, life changing adventure. If you’re looking for a book to inspire you to travel, to chase a certain goal, or to change your life, then this book is for you!
Disclosures: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of this book to review. In a funny coincidence, the author actually hired me in my first internship role many moons ago, but neither of these facts has swayed my option of this book. All thoughts, opinions, feelings, and reactions are my own.
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