I came up with the idea for this book while hiking the mountain in my backyard. I wanted to share the truth about what it really takes to opt out of expectations, change paths, and live a more intentional life. Here’s the synopsis:
We all follow our own path in life. At least, that’s what we’re told. The reality is that many of us either do what is expected of us, or follow the invisible but well-worn paths that lead to what is culturally acceptable. For some, those paths are fine—even great. But they leave some of us feeling disconnected from ourselves and what we really want. When that discomfort finally outweighs the fear of trying something new, we’re ready to opt out.
After going through this process many times, I have found there is an incredible parallel between taking a different path in life and the psychological work it takes to summit a mountain—especially when you decide to go solo. In Adventures in Opting Out, I’m offering a trail map to help you with both. As you’ll see, reaching the first viewpoint can be easy — and it offers a glimpse of what you’re walking toward. Climbing to the summit for the full view is worth it. But in the space between those two peaks you will enter a world completely unknown to you, and that is the most difficult part of the path to navigate.
With guidance and advice, drawn from my own journey and stories of others, you’ll have all the encouragement and insight you’ll need to take the path less traveled and create the life you want. Just step up to the trailhead and expect it to be an adventure.
“Cait Flanders takes inspiration from the mountains of her native British Columbia along the path to personal growth. [She] uses the metaphor of preparing for a long hike to show how people assemble the mental tools needed to embark on a life-altering journey.”
“2020 has been filled with all sorts of intentional and unintentional adventures in opting out, and Flanders offers a sturdy and flexible framework to navigate whatever path you are currently on.”
—Mary Jo, Buyer for Powell’s Books (40 New Books for Fall 2020)
“Cait Flanders’ newest book is a wise and inspiring read on navigating new life paths. Whether you’re in need of a life change these days or not, it’s helpful to read words of guidance from someone who works so hard to practice what she preaches about simple, frugal, and intentional living.”
—Katherine Martinko, Treehugger
“Adventures in Opting Out isn’t a simple how-to full of hacks and tips, it’s more like having a helpful fellow traveler on your journey, one who gently shows you how to critically examine which new paths may be worth exploring. Do yourself a favor and don’t opt out of reading this book.”
—Paul Jarvis, author of Company of One
“I emerged from Adventures in Opting Out feeling courageous. In these pages, Cait Flanders does more than simply inspire us to live with more depth and authenticity. She gives us rare, practical guidance on reaching beyond outworn cultural norms to discover—and to follow—the adventure that is ours alone to create.”
—Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Mozart’s Starling
“Through stories and metaphors, Cait will show you how to opt into an intentional life.
The prose reads like a long letter from a good friend. The book is unique and full of wisdom.
I highly recommend Adventures in Opting Out!“
—Tammy Strobel, author of You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)