69: Worrier's Guide to the End of the World with Torre DeRoche

"The cost of fear is a life half lived. The only way around it is to offer trust before skepticism, calm before vigilance, and grace before suspicion."

—Torre DeRoche, The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World

Contrary to what she'd probably tell you herself, Torre DeRoche is one of the bravest people I know. When we first encountered each other online, she had just finished sailing the world for two years with her boyfriend at the time. Just the two of them . . . on the open seas . . . despite her deathly fear of sharks. I've been captivated by her story and her writing, under the moniker Fearful Adventurer, ever since, and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person for a meal in Chiang Mai when we crossed paths there in 2013. 

Fast forward a few years after that, and Torre found herself in a deep state of grief and loss. Her dad was dying of cancer, and her relationship of ten years was dissolving because of it. Her new book is the story of finding her way back to life — and this time without the worry that had plagued her since she was a child.

Because after all a lifetime of that incessant worrying about worst-case scenarios, it still couldn't protect her from the worst moments when they actually happened. I'm so grateful to have had this time with Torre to talk about her pilgrimages through Italy and India, and I know you'll love this episode—and Torre!—too :) 

More About Torre DeRoche

JB note: Torre's bio is so much more engaging in her own words—I'll let her take it from here :)

I’m the author of two books and live in Melbourne, Australia. I pursued visual communications, but when I moved my life onto a boat in my mid-twenties and set sail with a new love for two years, only words would suffice to express the true terror of being stranded mid-Pacific on a boat with no steering, no working engine and two holes draining the ocean into our home. That’s how Love with a Chance of Drowning came to be written and then published in 2013.

My hair then fell out and my brow creased. And, oh, the love drowned. And so here we are.

My second book is called The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World. Set in Tuscany and then India, the story begins at a time in my life when all hope seemed lost, when I met a wise, hilarious and coo-coo woman who was walking her way around the world. If you enjoy a touch of comedy with themes of death, anxiety and existential panic, I think you’re going to enjoy it.

Topics We Cover

  • Grieving over losing her dad to cancer at the same time her ten-year relationship was ending . . . that she had written a very public love story memoir about. 

  • How she started taking the first steps, when just getting out of bed felt nearly impossible

  • Her wake-up call that all the obsessive worrying still couldn't prevent the worst-case scenarios in her life 

  • When unfailing optimism is more harmful than helpful; what not to say to someone going through loss and what's more helpful than finding silver linings

  • Healing day-by-day through walking and nature (which Torre found works better for her than other forms meditation)

  • Walking pilgrimages through Italy and India; her biggest impressions and life lessons from each country

  • The paradox of suffering and euphoria—and the opportunity that opens up after deep apathy

  • Working through writer's block after her breakup, seeing this memoir as the medicine

  • Taking a three-year hiatus in blogging then recently resurfacing

  • Her dad's advice: whenever you're in a dark place, turn to your writing

Podcast: Worrier's Guide to the End of the World with Torre DeRoche

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