You Had Me at Hola

You Had Me at Hola : In search of love & truth in South America

4.62 (78 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In February 1995, a young woman leaves home for the first time to travel through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru for three months. A lost soul with a deep-seated desire for love and adventure, Leigh is willing to embrace everything this fascinating continent has to offer. On her third day in Buenos Aires, she meets Gabriel, a beautiful Peruvian artisan, at a market in San Telmo. They feel an instant connection; a love born of some other lifetime. After leaving to embark on an extraordinary backpacking adventure that takes her to Iguazu Falls, Carnival in Brazil, the Amazon and Machu Picchu, Leigh returns to Buenos Aires to find Gabriel waiting for her. So begins her new life as a travelling artisan. Three months becomes three years, as they roam the continent, selling jewellery in the streets and squares of Latin America spanning Peru to Mexico. They find their way to Playa del Carmen, an idyllic Caribbean village in the Yucatán Peninsula that is beginning to rival Cancun and Acapulco as Mexico's most popular tourist destination. Dreaming of marriage, children and a happy future in this tropical paradise, they live a lifestyle neither thought possible. Until everything changes. Desperate to stay with Gabriel no matter what, Leigh finds herself venturing into increasingly dark places that put her safety at risk and test her sense of morality. Finally, after a shocking betrayal, she must face the truth about the man she has devoted her life to - and about herself. You Had Me at Hola is a fast-paced, passionate and daringly honest memoir about finding yourself, partly through the many challenges posed by travel, but also in terms of increasingly defining yourself against your lover. It's a heartfelt tale about finding your life's purpose, facing your shadow and the universal quest for belonging. And ultimately, it's a story about saving yourself, because you finally realise you are worth saving.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 254 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15mm | 376g
  • English
  • 0648562603
  • 9780648562603
  • 519,549

Review quote

' This book is fucking fantastic. It made me feel young again. These are the adventures that we only ever dream of, that are reserved for the truly free. Leigh, you love hard and let your soul take the wheel. The minute I closed it, I wanted to buy a one- way ticket to anywhere. Thank you for sharing and for waking me up. I couldn't put this book down. My husband stole it off me, he is a book snob, has read everything and absolutely fell in love with you and your story. Someone has to make it into a movie! Love love love and gratitude and fire, Con.'

- Constance Hall, author of Like a Queen and Still a Queen

'OMG, what an amazing story. This book really takes you into the heart of South America, but what makes it such a great read is not just the gripping travel story, it's the love story between a young woman on her first trip abroad and a Peruvian artisan. And beneath that is the compelling tale of a woman searching for and ultimately finding, self-love and self-acceptance.'

- Lisa Messenger, CEO of Collective Hub, author of Work from Wherever and Daring & Disruptive
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Rating details

78 ratings
4.62 out of 5 stars
5 72% (56)
4 18% (14)
3 10% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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