Saturday, September 3, 2016

Without Reservations and Packing Light

I seem to be in a 'traveling' mood with my reading lately. Perhaps I long for the days when traveling was easy and exciting for me and so I am living vicariously through the pages these authors put down of their own experiences. Whatever reason, I have two books to share with you today.

I read first 'Packing Light' but I want to start with the book that grabbed my heart. That was

 'Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman'. 

I love Europe and would love to go back and just wander to my heart's content and this book sated those yearnings I've had for so long and will never do in person. 

It's a true story, written by Alice Steinbach, a former newpaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. When the book begins, Alice is a single mom, an empty nester, alone, stuck in a job where she realizes that to satisfy the demands of her career she has become the person everyone else expects her to be. That good mom, that reporter who meets deadlines regardless, the clock-puncher, the schedule-keeper. She doesn't like that person. It isn't her..

And, so she takes a years leave, packs her bags and flies to Paris. I loved her tales of wandering through the streets of Paris, soaking up the very existence and essence of the life there. I so wanted to be her! 

She travels to other counties, England, Italy... places where she has no agenda, just joy. The places she describes, the feeling she pens down, the friendships she made. It all sounds so wonderful. You just get caught up in every moment. I loved every single word. 

And, then there was the book I read before 'Without Reservations'.  It was:

     'Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life With Less Baggage'

It, too, is a true story. What's with me and true stories lately? I do love the real thing. Anyway, Allison Fallon is a school teacher, in her twenties. She's always had these dreams of the life she would have, a wonderful husband, kids, that perfect house, that perfect life. But, none of this is happening. It seems to me she is a bit impatient but who knows, she evidently didn't think so. 

When an acquaintance invites her to go on a trip to all fifty states she accepts. She quits her job, gets rid of a lot of her belongings, stores the rest, packs some bags and the two of them start on this journey. She is trying hard to 'find herself' but it isn't as easy as one might think. There are trials and tribulations along the way. She loses the guy she's left behind, the car breaks down, they run out of money. And, they are constantly trying to downsize what they have packed in the car. 

It teaches us that we have way 'too much baggage' in our life, real and imagined. And, it teaches us that we are stronger than we think we are. 

I had trouble with the book in places, just couldn't connect my thought process to what was happening but when I finished that last page, the one word that came out of my mouth was "WOW". 


  1. Wow is right! These both sound wonderful and I would love to read them, especially Without Reservations I think. Great review of two interesting-sounding books!

  2. I loved Without Reservations! It satisfied my wanderlust while I was stuck in a travel-less stretch. Thanks for the other recommendations, they look good too.

  3. They sound like fitting books for a trip. I'll have to keep them in mind when I literally pack my bags.

  4. They sound like fitting books for a trip. I'll have to keep them in mind when I literally pack my bags.


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