Only Pack What You Can Carry: My Path to Inner Strength, Confidence, and True Self-Knowledge

$18.05 price
(Save 24%)$24.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $2.00   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Only Pack What You Can Carry: My Path to Inner Strength, Confidence, and True Self-Knowledge

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.49 price
(Save 43%)$24.00 List Price

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“One of the most fascinating and exciting travel books of recent months…For anyone who has dreamed of hitting the road alone, this book could be the ultimate inspiration. As Ms. Booth proves, anything is possible if we dare to take chances.” –Florida Weekly
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426207334
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 813,133
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I started to speak out in class. It suddenly seemed completely ridiculous that girls were not allowed to wear pants to school—even in winter, when we had to navigate snowdrifts in dresses and rubber boots. We weren’t allowed to wear panty hose either. What was this nonsense? I asked the principal, Mr. Toole.

Mr. Toole, with his big, square, black-rimmed glasses that looked like twin TV sets, said, “Janice, if you can get the majority of the girls in your class to sign a petition, I will allow you and them to wear pants.” He said this to me then smiled. I thought, This is too easy. You are a fool, Mr. Toole! This thing will be knocked out by the end of week. I was in fifth grade.

That night, with the help of my dad, I created a petition. It simply said, “We, the undersigned, wish to be granted the right to wear pants to school.” I thought there couldn’t be a simpler thing. All the girls wanted to wear pants. All the girls complained about having to wear dresses. All I had to do to change that was round up a posse and have them sign their names.
I was about to get my first lesson in reality. 

Mr. Toole had the benefit of wisdom and cynicism on his side. He watched with a bemused grin as I was rejected, one after another, by every girl in my class. I was at once outraged, perplexed, and crushed that no one would support what I thought was a group cause.

“But don’t you want to wear pants to school?” I pleaded with Joan White.

“Of course I do,” she answered, “but I’ll get in trouble if I sign that thing.” Girls weren’t supposed to assert themselves back then or get involved in any sort of “controversy,” which apparently my pants petition was. Some girls wouldn’t speak to me at all that day. I went home defeated.
“Don’t give up,” Dad told me. “Go back and try a different approach.” I thought about what had worked with Rocky. The next day I approached the girls in my class.

“Sign this,” I told them, brandishing the pen like a whip, “or you don’t want to even think about what will happen.” The whip proved once again victorious, and with the majority of the girls’ names on my petition, I knocked on Mr. Toole’s door.

“Here it is,” I told him when he ushered me inside. “We will start wearing pants tomorrow.”
“Janice,” he said, tossing the petition into the garbage without giving it a glance, “you can come to school in a bathing suit, you can come to school naked, but you will never, ever come to school in pants.”

“But what about . . . ?” I pleaded, pointing at the wastebasket.

“I repeat,” he said, bringing his big, fat face close to mine. He paused for effect and I watched my reflection in his glasses, my face turning a furious red. “You will never come to school in pants.”

I staggered out of his office and stood in the hallway. What just happened? I’d followed the rules, but it was all a trick. The injustice! There was no going back to class now, only to admit to failure. Were adults really so treacherous and full of deceit? Was I completely naive? I’d done everything I was supposed to do, and therefore, the fair thing was that I should have won this round.

It was only because I was a child and powerless that I was about to be humiliated and shamed into submission. The next day, careful not to reveal my plan to my mother, I wore a bathing suit under my dress, and when I arrived at school I disrobed. The principal was summoned to our class and, gasping, ordered me to “put some clothes on, for God’s sake!” My mother was called to Mr. Toole’s office on “an emergency basis,” and after he related my “insubordination,” I was placed on suspension. In his office, in front of my mother, I confronted him.

“But you told me I could come to school in a bathing suit or naked.”

“I said no such thing,” he bellowed.

“Mr. Toole,” I said, “you’re lying.”

It was a while before I saw the inside of my classroom again. Two years later Mr. Toole was transferred, and girls were finally allowed to wear pants.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2011

    Inspiring and beautifully written

    If you love traveling and need a kick in the pants to get going and start living your life to the fullest, you should read this book. I wasn't sure if I was up for another self-help book, but it really is much more than that and stood out because it approaches some of those old issues in a new light. What made this really enjoyable and inspiring was getting to know the writer through reading the stories about all the challenging circumstances she's encountered, from divorce, to job loss, to serious health problems, that lead her to acquire and live the wisdom she shares in her book. It's funny, engaging, and beautifully written through the voice and experiences of an author who's lived life near the edge, sometimes by fate and other times by choice. She does things I could never see myself doing but inspires me to do my own version of living and pursuing my dreams. I would recommend this book to anybody who knows how important time is in the big scheme of things and is ready to stop letting fear get in the way of pursuing your goals.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)