Travelers, like writers, believe in the power of setting. Jen thinks of traveling Europe with fellow Mormon, Jeanne, and an Alaska Native named Bert, as an escape from her conservative upbringing and the pressures of conforming to a religion she does not believe in. The change of setting and culture allows Jen to have a raucous, guilt-free experience with her boisterous, silly, and hilarious friends.
The journey also propels the twenty-two-year-old women into confronting the baggage they carried including grief, sexuality, and for Jen, the abuses of an uncle and a powerful, patriarchal religion. A Backpack, a Eurorail Pass, and Some Serious Baggage is an honest, sometimes humorous, account of a young woman’s struggle to get to a place where she can run unabashedly through the pages of her story.