At 32 years old, Gilbert was educated, had a home and a husband, and a successful career as a writer. However, she was not happy; she was depressed with her marriage, often spending the night crying on her bathroom floor. She divorced her husband and entered into a relationship with another man, but this relationship did not work out either. She decided that she needed a change. She spent the next year traveling the world. She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life (Eat). She spent four months in India, trying to find her spirituality (Pray). She ended the year in Bali, Indonesia, looking for "balance" of the two, and love (Love).