Friday, August 31, 2007

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

We have a friend who does not like to travel. Does not like to make a day trip to Chicago to see the museums. Does not like to be out of her home element.

I , on the other hand, need to see things and because I live in a very small Midwestern rural community, have to travel to see these things. We don't have any Impressionist painting here in Waupun. We don't have a zoo, an observatory, a Field Museum, good ethnic food shopping, a theatre-well I could go on! I live in a very safe place and for that I trade any local access to culture. When we first moved here I was sick that I couldn't read the New York Times every day, much less the Sunday Times! Well, I have gotten over it-I read the Times on line...

I also do not get to travel around the world, or even the country the way I might like. I have been pretty busy raising children and I have a lot of animals that have to be accounted for when I go away, so I haven't been ANYWHERE in the past few years. This makes the book, Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach so appealing. Who doesn't dream of quitting her job and traveling the world? Alice Steinbach wangles a leave of absence from her job and goes to Europe -- the dream with training wheels.

Publishers Weekly said "In a travel-book-cum-memoir set against a glamorous background of European cities, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Steinbach describes the months she spent traveling after she took a sabbatical from her job as columnist for the Baltimore Sun. For Steinbach, traveling is an exercise in reconnecting with a more independent and uninhibited side of her personality. Her not-quite-spontaneous adventure begins in Paris, where she finds a kindred spirit in a worldly Japanese businessman. From there she heads off to Oxford, where she takes a course in English village life, and on to Milan, where she meets the most charming of her fellow travelers, a young American girl soon to be married. The obstacles Steinbach faces on her journeys seem minor--overcoming a fear of ballroom dancing in Oxford and putting aside the habit of always doing "at least two things at once." Only in Milan, when she was nearly mugged, does Steinbach experience anything harrowing. Though the descriptions of each locale are thin, they are not really the purpose of this memoir; rather, the author's intent is to connect emotionally with each city and to learn "to take chances. To have adventures [and] to see if I could still hack it on my own, away from the security of work, friends and an established identity."

Wow, this sounds so interesting to me-not that I wouldn't love to travel with my husband or with my women friends but what guts to just go and try it on! See what you might discover about a place...

Oh and also, I got the most wonderful album called Rubber Folk by various folk artists.
A collection of Beatles cover versions to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rubber Soul compiled by Mike Harding. Each artist, comprising of the cream of British Folk music. Inc: Martin Simpson, Paul Brady, Jim Moray, June Tabor, Boo Hewer dine & Eddy Reader and others.
These are not just remakes of well loved songs but refreshing new interpretations by wonderful artists. The performances remind us of the wonderful song writing and how this music has held up for 40 years!! I just LOVE this album!

Well, off to lunch with Mom! Talk to you later,
When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it. - Anatole France


Anonymous said...

Just checked out your, My Photos.
It's nice to look back at your creations.

b said...

I go to Waupun for vacation! :) I'm definitely going to check out that book. I've been itching for a road trip, but not with 2 little kids. I'm still debating the sheep and wool festival, but I'm kind of broke, and there's also the Clearwater Brewfest to consider (I was pregnant the last 2 times). If I make it down there, I'll definitely look for you!

TM said...

I happen to be that reluctant traveler....And happily so! My parents tell me that as a small child when we would get in the car, after only a few minutes, I would say, "when are we going home?' I still feel that way.

Lynda said...

You can travel vicariously through your friends! I will take pictures and show you what we see!
You know what is best for you and the does not include world travel!!

Anonymous said...

I love that pic. It reminds me of my fav artist Salvador Dali!! Lauren