• Nowhere for Very Long

  • The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life
  • By: Brianna Madia
  • Narrated by: Brianna Madia
  • Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,053 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this beautifully written, vividly detailed memoir, a young woman chronicles her adventures traveling across the deserts of the American West in an orange van named Bertha and reflects on an unconventional approach to life

A woman defined by motion, Brianna Madia bought a beat-up bright orange van, filled it with her two dogs Bucket and Dagwood, and headed into the canyons of Utah with her husband. Nowhere for Very Long is her deeply felt, immaculately told story of exploration—of the world outside and the spirit within.

However, pursuing a life of intention isn’t always what it seems. In fact, at times it was downright boring, exhausting, and even desperate—when Bertha overheated and she was forced to pull over on a lonely stretch of South Dakota highway; when the weather was bitterly cold and her water jugs froze beneath her as she slept in the parking lot of her office; when she worried about money, her marriage, and the looming question mark of her future. But Brianna was committed to living a life true to herself, come what may, and that made all the difference.

Nowhere for Very Long is the true story of a woman learning and unlearning, from backroads to breakdowns, from married to solo, and finally, from lost to found to lost again...this time, on purpose.

©2022 Brianna Madia (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Nowhere for Very Long

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No real story other than ‘I’m Instagram famous'

The biggest issue I have with this book is that nowhere in the description does it mention that the author is an Instagram creator. Knowing that, you can pretty much guess what level of shallow self-indulgence you are in for.

Second, this is not an adventure or a travel memoir. Those things are cursory at best, lacking any depth to be interesting. Instead it is 6+hrs of meandering relationship drama, coupled with a sad story about a dog - which itself comes off like some dog version of munchausen syndrome by proxy.

If you are going to write a memoir, you have to have something to add. “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” is a good comparison. It’s a similar style, but adds a level of detail that makes it at least interesting . There is nothing interesting about this. There's no real personal growth. There is little to nothing unique about what she has been through. It seems quickly written by someone with no real story to tell other than ‘I’m Instagram famous.”

Edit: I wish you could separate reviews based on Instagram followers and Non-Instagram followers. It would be telling.

5 people found this helpful

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Self-indulgent and clichéd

I decided to listen to this book for a variety of reasons, none of which did I find to come to fruition in the actual book. I was interested in learning about van life, Utah adventures, and doing activities with dogs, but none of those topics really had much substance other than the author patting herself on the back. It just felt very self indulgent.
Story lines are disjointed and muddled, which I guess could have been easier to follow in written form, but on the audiobook the random long pauses were confusing and I couldn’t keep timelines straight.
The narrator did an okay job for the majority of the book, but at random times the narrator would sound like they were trying to make crying voices and it just was cheesy and weird.

5 people found this helpful

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beautifully written and beautifully read

as someone who has made my own trek from the east coast to Utah and experienced many of these wild places, worked in wilderness therapy, and adopted a desert mutt of my own -- this book put the most beautiful and perfect words to the authors experience that feels like my own. I will undoubtedly come back to the parts of this book that describe desert landscapes and solo adventures. They made me feel like I was in those places with the desert sand between my toes and sun on my skin.

she reads her story so beautifully and with true vulnerability. it's impossible to stop listening. thank you for writing this book. it was one I needed to read ❤️

4 people found this helpful

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nowhere

More like the story of a flower child discovering the desert and where she should belong not a travelogue

2 people found this helpful

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not what I thought

I thought is was going to be more of the van life, it's about her running her dog over with the van.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KM
  • 04-07-22

A symphony of beauty and pain

Listening to this trailblazing woman tell her story with all of the real and raw emotions is unlike anything you’ll experience. She tells her stories that many may relate to, but with a depth of understanding that most of us never reach on our own. A visual telling of all the things we’d long to see ourselves, and those we’d never wish anyone to see at all. I cannot possibly say enough about her wit, wisdom, strength, courage, and ability to let us all into her one of a kind life.

2 people found this helpful

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Needs some fact checking and culling

It's a good listen and a reasonable length which I appreciate. Too many non-fiction books overstay their welcome. It took me awhile to warm up to it because out of the the gate there were some fact errors...the University of Montana is not in Bozeman, it's in Missoula. The most interesting part is "how does one support the adventure life" and "does living off of social media change how she does things" ... she does address this towards the end after the dog near-death incident but that could use some more fleshing out. As a dog lover that part both made me cry and consider "is it worth it?" Every "free spirit" needs a team of boring people with insurance and a spare couch to survive. In the end it seems like she bought an expensive piece of land and built a house on it by writing about being non conforming. She also seems to be doing a lot of globetrotting. Maybe I'm just jealous. There isn't much you can add to father/abandonment issues that hasn't been written about already. She could have left that out in favor or more current decisions.

1 person found this helpful

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Very irritating story

I got this book because I love adventure books, and story book, but o found myself very irritated several times during the book at the main character, she need to get help, and stop pulling people and animals into her broken mess, it was hard listening to how the choices she made all lead to hurting.

1 person found this helpful

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Honest and entertaining

I listened to the whole book in one sitting. The writing is excellent and the story is interesting. Highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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A memoir worth tucking away to revisit again.

I've followed Brianna and her family on Instagram for years. I often hoped she'd write something that filled pages and pages and not just the constricted limits of an IG caption. I knew this memoir was meant to be heard in her own voice, as well as held in my hands, slowly filling with dog-eared pages and underlines.

I wasn't disappointed. These pages were filled with laughter, love, reckless passion, heartbreak, and redemption. To hear Brianna speak her story, in words I've come to love reading and oftentimes, feel so deeply, brought tears to my eyes.

Brianna is a gifted teller of stories; with poetic prose that makes one pause and think of the life they're living, to possibly see their tiny little spot on this Earth more clearly, and to fall more deeply in love with the life (and dogs) they've been given.

Her words can pierce ones heart and make you feel so entirely naked and and very much human.

Enjoy this wonder from what I hope, will be an author we see more from.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AJCW
  • 07-23-22

Phenomenal!

Heart-rending and beautiful - more of us should be this brave and embrace the life we are given and not the one that's expected - thank you for sharing your story👌

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael mc faul
  • 05-10-22

different lifestyle adventures

helped me in my search for happiness and to break away from my life of quite desperation......

1 person found this helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 05-04-22

Highly recommend

I never usually take the time to review books but I just had to say how much I enjoyed this book.
I laughed, I cried and it left me with so much to think about.
I relate to the story in some parts and I am so grateful that the author decided to share her story with the world somewhat letting us know that we’re not alone.
Thank you Brianna. I can’t wait for the next one!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-22

What a beautiful book

Sit back and listen to somebody making there own way in life! doing things we all wish we had.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-22

Beautifully written story

Absolutely loved listening to Brianna's words. Moving and had me in tears more times than I'd like to admit!

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  • Kelly Hughes
  • 04-27-22

Beautifully written and beautifully read

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have followed Brianna on Instagram since around the time of Dagwood's accident so to hear her story through her own words was genuinely lovely

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  • Angela Seymour
  • 04-18-22

A beautifully written and performed story

This is a heartfelt and moving story. A reminder to all that we are only human

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  • M. Sepp
  • 04-10-22

Falling in love with the desert

Fell in love with the desert through Brianna's stories. She told her story so compellingly, I couldn't put it away! Fantastic book with so many valuable messages!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-09-22

A raw tale of love and hurt, dogs and the dessert dirt

A beautifully vivid, colourful, captivatingly written book. Hearing the author read her story propels you through her journey with her, it’s intimate and honest. Stunning tale of figuring life out, learning through mistakes and compromises, all while living in the desert with two, to then three, dogs.

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  • Nastassja Miklos
  • 04-08-22

Hard to pause/put down :)

I haven’t felt this many emotions while reading/listening to a book in a very long time..

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  • danielle jay
  • 08-01-22

Raw. Emotional. Sheer brilliance.

This book was a journey and every moment within it incredible. Such powerful delivery. I was transported to Brianna’s world. It was deeply personal and beautiful.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-22

You won’t be able to stop

A life story that will make you laugh, cry, question your own life choices and make you wanna be better - for your animals and for your humans.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-22

awesome 👌

Ahh I totally loved this. relating to the subject of woman loves dogs and lives in a van kind of related way. Could feel the heat and dryness of the desert 🏜 and emotionally connected to the story. really great. Thank-you 😊 💓

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-22

This book will make you want to leave your conventional life.

I listened to this book over 2 days. It was such and adventure of highs and lows. The way life is suppose to be, except the author/central character does it on a big orange bus. She is almost nomad like.
I really loved this book. She speaks a little monotone but she is real and this is her real story. I loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-30-22

Loved this story

Thank you Brianna, for writing your story .
I found it very relatable and inspiring at the same time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-22

Quite the Journey

beautify told, took the listener right there with you oh how I howled with each adventure and heartache

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  • Nikita Maddren
  • 04-13-22

Incredible.

Raw, heart achey, nostalgic incredible-ness. I wish I lasted 10 x as long, this story spoke to my heart.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-22

Incredible read

I’ve never pre ordered a book before this, and I do not regret it. Briannas story is beautiful. She’s a woman with a great soul and she leads an incredible pack. This story is sure to inspire you to ditch the mundane and live your wildest life…. Thanks for sharing your story - the good, the bad, the vulnerable and the wonderful.

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  • Jhullie
  • 04-09-22

Van life goals

Loved this book. I have followed Brianna’s journey on Instagram for years so there were no big surprises here but far more detail and insight into the complexities of van life in the desert with 4 dogs.

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  • Faith
  • 04-08-22

Wonderful

Listened to this from start to finish all in one go. Brianna is a wonderfully gifted storyteller and I love how seamlessly she recounts stories, events and moments from different points in her life, somehow blending them seamlessly together across time.