Rosie’s #Bookreview #Travelogue HEADING EAST: 1 Year: 26 Countries: 1001 Worries by Dawn East #TuesdayBookBlog

Heading East: 1 year: 26 countries: 1001 worriesHeading East: 1 year: 26 countries: 1001 worries by Dawn East

4 stars

Heading East 1 Year: 26 Countries: 1001 Worries is a travelogue from solo traveller Dawn East who left her teaching career to go travelling.

Dawn’s route began with a flight to Moscow and then on to the Trans-Mongolian railway. She visited parts of China, South Korea, Japan and travelled through Asia to Australia. In a second part, Dawn travelled through some of Eastern Europe, finishing off in Finland.

After a year of planning her trip, Dawn chose to travel as cheaply as possible, staying in hostels, travelling by bus, walking to tourist sites where possible and keeping to a £40 daily budget. I liked Dawn’s honesty which included her fears and concerns. A seasoned traveller, Dawn was able to keep herself and her belongings safe, and avoid local opportunists; she also had lots of good advice for others who might want to follow her trail.

On the whole I found the book very interesting, as there was plenty of detail about all the places that Dawn visited as well as a list of trip advice and packing tips at the end of the book. Some of my favourite parts of Dawn’s trip were from Australia, but I did learn quite a lot from many of the other destinations. I think that this would make an ideal gift for anyone considering travelling in the future.

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Book description

The very thought of home ownership and settling down was enough to send Dawn East running for the hills – otherwise known as the Trans-Mongolian Train, where her adventures across Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe would begin. But how would a self-confessed fussy eater, who worries about everything from bag-snatchers to parasitic skin infections, cope with a year of strange foods, noisy dorms and leaving behind a blossoming relationship?

Join Dawn, a forty-year-old primary school teacher, on her one year sabbatical as she navigates her way through twenty-six different countries.

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Solo #Travel #Memoir My #Bookreview of Alone Time by Stephanie Rosenbloom

33295222Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude by Stephanie Rosenbloom

3.5 stars

Alone Time is a non-fiction memoir of self-discovery. The author believes that the single person, as a commodity, is a growing market particularly for travel and dining alone, whilst time alone is good for the soul: it can reduce stress, lessen anger and provide the opportunity to be reflective.

With this in mind Stephanie Rosenbloom travelled to four cities to explore and experience them through solo travel. Paris in June, Istanbul in summer, Florence in autumn and New York in winter.

The book is split into short chapters, making it easy to dip in and out depending on the reader’s interest in each location. Each section is interspersed with quotes and references as well as the author’s own thoughts. I wasn’t a fan of all those citations and testimonials as they took me away from the author’s experience which made the book a disjointed read for me.

I have never considered heading to a city to spend my quiet thinking time there alone. However, for hundreds of years pilgrims have used lone journeys to their destinations of choice as a time for reflection, so I can see where the author is coming from. This book combines Rosenbloom’s own desires to find answers with her interest in the benefits of solo travel.

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In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller–and even in one’s own city–is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world–patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds–in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.

Alone Time is divided into four parts, each set in a different city, in a different season, in a single year. The destinations–Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York–are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Each section spotlights a different theme associated with the joys and benefits of time alone and how it can enable people to enrich their lives–facilitating creativity, learning, self-reliance, as well as the ability to experiment and change. Rosenbloom incorporates insights from psychologists and sociologists who have studied solitude and happiness, and explores such topics as dining alone, learning to savor, discovering interests and passions, and finding or creating silent spaces. Her engaging and elegant prose makes Alone Timeas warmly intimate an account as the details of a trip shared by a beloved friend–and will have its many readers eager to set off on their own solo adventures.

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