To Shake the Sleeping Self

A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret
Narrated by: Jedidiah Jenkins
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Sports & Outdoors, Cycling
4.6 out of 5 stars (1,357 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

“With winning candor, Jedidiah Jenkins takes us with him as he bicycles across two continents and delves deeply into his own beautiful heart." (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things)

On the eve of turning 30, terrified of being funneled into a life he didn’t choose, Jedidiah Jenkins quit his dream job and spent 16 months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia. He chronicled the trip on Instagram, where his photos and reflections drew hundreds of thousands of followers, all gathered around the question: What makes a life worth living?

In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Jed narrates his adventure - the people and places he encountered on his way to the bottom of the world - as well as the internal journey that started it all. As he traverses cities, mountains, and inner boundaries, Jenkins grapples with the question of what it means to be an adult, his struggle to reconcile his sexual identity with his conservative Christian upbringing, and his belief in travel as a way to wake us upto life back home.

A soul-stirring read for the wanderer in each of us, To Shake the Sleeping Self is an unforgettable reflection on adventure, identity, and a life lived without regret. 

Praise for To Shake the Sleeping Self

“[Jenkins is] a guy deeply connected to his personal truth and just so refreshingly present.” (Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra)

“This is much more than a book about a bike ride. This is a deep soul deepening us. Jedidiah Jenkins is a mystic disguised as a millennial.” (Tom Shadyac, author of Life’s Operating Manual)

“Thought-provoking and inspirational... This uplifting memoir and travelogue will remind readers of the power of movement for the body and the soul.” (Publishers Weekly)

©2018 Jedidiah Jenkins (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Jenkins’ words are brutally honest and leave me thinking a little deeper about my own observations when I pass a stranger on a street or see a flower blooming on a rocky trail." (Outside Magazine)

“Jedidiah Jenkins is a storyteller. He’s also an adventurer, a connoisseur of good pourovers, an avid Instagram user, a startup co-founder, and one of those humans that makes everything about them seem inviting.” (USA Today)

“This is much more than a book about a bike ride. This is a deep soul deepening us. Jedidiah Jenkins is a mystic disguised as a millennial.” (Tom Shadyac, author of Life’s Operating Manual)

More from the same

What listeners say about To Shake the Sleeping Self

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,013
  • 4 Stars
    209
  • 3 Stars
    85
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    20
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    912
  • 4 Stars
    197
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    20
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    884
  • 4 Stars
    199
  • 3 Stars
    74
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    20

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Different that I expected

I love traveling and outdoor sports so I thought this would be a fun and interesting listen. It was, to an extent, but if I’m being honest, it was way more religious than I expected. I expected a little bit from the description, but almost the entirety of his introspection is about his relationship to God. Probably half the book is about it. I thought it’d be a bit more... varied in its deep thoughts, or perhaps focus more on the travel experiences themselves, but everything had that underlying theme of Jesus. The book is refreshingly honest about the realities of long term travel and getting older and life in general, but I was expecting more of that and less Jesus. So if that’s your thing, go for it, you’ll love this book. But just be prepared for that cause I certainly didn’t expect it.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book I’ve read since Wild!

I loosely followed this journey on instagram and the book did not disappoint. An amazing story of adventure and self discovery. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening

Loved this book. I had followed Jed on IG during trip and fell in love with how he wrote and the stories he told. This is so much a about the human condition, this world we all struggle and wrestle with. This story made me want to travel and also find parts of my own self I have smooshed down for one reason or another. It also made my heart break a few times for the idea of how we treat eachother in this world. Listen to book!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Only a Travelogue, and not that extraordinary.

I found the story to be honestly quite a bore. While I admire Jedidiah for taking this adventure, his reporting is really just that, a reporting of his journey. While there is some introspection into his sexuality and Christianity, that really is it for introspection. Nothing extraordinary happens on his trip and he glosses over places and events to give you just the basics. It is ultimately a very superficial accounting of this journey and lacks much sophistication, humor or profound insight. Found it to be pretty uninteresting in the end.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

meh

Wanted to like this book. Not a very good read. Did enjoy listening to him on Rick Roll podcast.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So much for adventure

I had high hopes for this book, but I'm only six chapters in and that's enough for me. Jenkins seems like a kid who is more concerned with upping his instagram following than with any shred of self discovery. Starting off a bike journey without even the most basic essentials like extra tubes and a patch kit and staying at friends houses binge watching episodes of Breaking Bad along the way is not my idea of adventure or shaking the sleeping self. This book leaves much to be desired.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

adolescent coming of age religious book

if you are looking for a book about adventure you'll be very disappointed. a book about a spoiled kid who thinks he can find all the answers from Jesus

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

wanted more

I’m familiar with Jed’s writing from Instagram, and I always appreciate his insights and lyrical phrasing. The book, however, fell flat for me. The story didn’t feel like it was worth telling. Every incident begins as though it might almost be something of interest, but then quickly isn’t. And the lessons learned (or realized) along the way are equally lacking.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

He just can't stop whining...

Admittingly, Jenkins can write pretty good. But if you're looking for an adventure, journey, quest or whatever you might want to skip this one. Every chapter is for most part how he is both gay and Christian, he doesn't stop whining about it. Can you imagine a trip where your travel mate just asks about Jesus at every mile? Now imagine that trip being 14.000 miles long. If I had to ride with this guy from Oregon to Patagonia I probably have pushed him of a cliff after a few miles. If that doesn't work I would ride my own bike into an incoming truck. Everything to stop the whining.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Decent, but way too much religious rambling

Not a bad adventure book. Probably 40% of it turned into ramblings on whether or not his strict christian upbringing was all true or not and how it meshed with his sexuality, which really got tiresome and took away from the books ultimate potential. Finished it, but had to bounce back and forth to some other books in between listening sessions because of that.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Kelly
  • Chris Kelly
  • 04-06-20

Uninspiring and disappointing

Had high hopes but was disappointed by the uninspiring narration and story. Such a journey, especially one of self discovery, is expected to be packed full of interesting encounters or revelations but all seemed to fall flat. Seems like another American millennial trying to be a writer. His narcissistic nature was almost unbearable at times : one quote which stuck in my head 'For the most part, my brain automatically discards the vast majority of people as ubforgdttable' captures his nature and narration perfectly. Particularly, his attempt to find North America (coffee and craft beer) in Central and South America with little attempt at trying out local foods or customs was particularly grating. His earnest to address his religion and sexuality was the only grabbing feature of this book, and his conclusions (or lack thereof) are honest. One might come to the conclusion that the lack of any inspiring or entertaining parts of his journey are also honest - I just found it a waste of 12 hours of my life. I could have read A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush if I wanted to read about unprepared and failed adventurers - and be spared any shallow attempts at making the book 'deep'. Would rather read about his parents journey across America. Better books include Tracks, Wild and other autobiographies which include in depth explorations of self and past, entertaining encounters and actual descriptions of landscapes.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nikki
  • Nikki
  • 02-24-19

Absorbing

Bought the book after hearing him talk with Rich Roll on his podcast, otherwise it would not have been the sort of thing I'd hear about or be interested in. It turned out to be a gentle but absorbing book and I really wanted to know how it ended . There were no earth shattering conclusions to be drawn but I think that was partly the point and I enjoyed the journey.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aimee
  • Aimee
  • 12-05-18

love it. amazing.

loved it. stared from the beginning again as soon as I finished it. excellent stuff.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. cassidy
  • S. cassidy
  • 09-14-20

travel does broaden the mind

if you like this, try zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance.which this reminds me of

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aesh
  • Aesh
  • 08-05-20

Heartwarming

This books is excellent for fans of biographical journeys of self-discovery. Had this been clearly described more as the journal of such a journey, I would have found myself much more enraptured. Jed’s a great host, his voice had a great melody to it but he left me wanting to know more. I needed the conclusion but he clearly is still on his journey.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jolaura86
  • jolaura86
  • 05-19-20

Pleasant but unfulfilling, unremarkable and shallow

If you are looking for a tale with depth and discovery, this is not it. The author is shallow and dripping with privilege. There are certainly moments of hardship on the trail, but he seems to learn nothing from them, except that he really wants his rich, white, American home comforts back. I was waiting and waiting for the moment of revelation, the lifting of the veil to some striking level of self awareness. It never happens. He waxes lyrical about the times he gets to stay in nice hotel rooms, eat good meals and be taken care of by friends and family. The parts of the trip that are closest to home are his favourite ones. That’s fine, everyone has their own experience, it’s just not worthy of a book. One quote almost made me ditch the book completely. When referring to a night spent wild camping, with apparently plenty of supplies to last them to the next day, he says breathlessly: "We survived on bread, and salami and cheese." I nearly burst out laughing! As a seasoned traveller myself, this sounded like a pretty standard and more than adequate dinner on the road. He also often spends his time listening to current podcasts or watching a movie on his laptop, in his tent or hostel. He seems for the most part immature, self absorbed and unable to really connect with the journey he is on. It appears to me less an epic quest of self discovery and more an extended holiday where he can’t stop thinking about his family and friends back home, (even though he goes home for Christmas, and seems to have a steady stream of friends to either stay with along the way, or who come to visit and join him for parts of the trip), and is never able to let go of his insatiable need for the things his privilege affords him, with some cycling and wild camping in between. The book is pleasant enough if you’re looking for a way to pass the time, it has nice descriptions of the route from Oregon to Patagonia, and a couple of moments of almost introspection around the author's faith and sexuality, (that seem to lead nowhere), but that’s about it. Don’t believe the hype, this is not one of the great travelogues and in my opinion, as a fan of the genre, should not have gotten past the editing phase. Unfortunately his Instagram fame has made him an NY Times bestseller, with access to all the wealth, validation and privilege he craved along the road.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matt Norris
  • Matt Norris
  • 04-10-20

Incredibly honest

Jedidiah is one incredibly honest author, he holds no punches on himself and his attitude and his thoughts. At times you love him, fee sorry for him, annoyed by him. It’s a lot more about a persons faith and faith label than I thought, I’d only recommended to certain people who enjoy those questions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-26-19

Didn’t want it to end

...and now that it has ended I’m about to go start it again from the top. I think that says it all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for miss wood
  • miss wood
  • 10-06-18

An inspiring odyssey

I stumbled across this book without knowing about the instagram hype. I enjoyed listening to every second. He writes his journey well and has a voice that was made for narrating an adventure. The story explores and ambles well. It got me thinking about different lives, opportunities and struggles to my own and made me want to expand out of my comfort zone. The fact his adventure didn't come from a hardened explorer, equipment heavy or high budget made it easier to feel inspired. I would listen again and probably just pick up at different points to enjoy the travel descriptions.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Angela Walters
  • Angela Walters
  • 05-24-20

I want to return this as I didn’t know I could.

It’s boring and I don’t like the narrators voice. I would prefer to listen to something else please

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mary
  • Mary
  • 02-04-19

Travelled so far but so little

It is a sincere recount of an adventure. I kept waiting for a big epiphany, but it never came (the writer did say that he didn’t have one though). I felt sad that the adventurer travelled so far physically but so little mentally (that is, moving away from his fear that actively being gay is wrong).