Where in the world is Cat Marnell?! For the past two years, dedicated fans of the rebellious beauty editor and self-acknowledged Adderall addict couldn't stop asking. Her Instagram and Twitter accounts were full of dispatches from cities across the globe - snaps of graffiti walls, neon lights, and wizard wands. What was she getting up to?
After a few years off the writing grid (she quit her job at xoJane, she stopped writing Amphetamine Logic for Vice), Marnell successfully satiated readers with the highly anticipated release of her memoir, How To Murder Your Life. It was an instant bestseller and she was swept up in a whirlwind of interviews and praise. What should have followed was an endless celebration as the toast of New York. But Marnell was suffering, and experiencing one of the worst comedowns (literally and figuratively) of her life. So, she did what any writer getting some major pay-out from a hit book would do - she packed up her life into a single suitcase, bought an unlimited Eurail pass, and went to Europe.
That was back in 2017. Now, she's finally dishing on all her adventures in her new Audible Original, Self-Tanner for the Soul: How I Ran Away to Europe to Find My Inner Glow (When Life Got Dark). Taking on a diary format (each day begins in a new city, miraculously), Marnell brings her signature writing to life, recalling late-night strolls through Amsterdam, wild dance parties in Portugal, skate parks in France, beaches in Spain, new friends and handsome men, and, of course, plenty of Pete Doherty concerts and quite a few missed flights.
Listening to the six-hour audiobook feels like being on the phone with your coolest friend as she catches you up on her months-long vacation, giggling, spilling intimate stories and personal gossip, and complaining about asshole hotel-owners and the time she almost drowned.
It's a fun ride, and one without the typical romanticism of most "I ran away to Europe" tales. As always, Cat is honest and self-aware ("I'm exhausted," she sighs not a few times throughout. "I'm alone."), and anyone who has been missing her witty words and sharp observations and reflections on life will instantly be, for lack of a more apt word, addicted.