American journalist Alice Steinbach took a year off to live in four cities - Paris, Venice, London and Oxford - when she realized she had entered a new phase of life. Her sons had graduated from college; she had been divorced for a long time; she was a successful journalist. While there was nothing really wrong with her life, she felt restless. ...Read MoreAmerican journalist Alice Steinbach took a year off to live in four cities - Paris, Venice, London and Oxford - when she realized she had entered a new phase of life. Her sons had graduated from college; she had been divorced for a long time; she was a successful journalist. While there was nothing really wrong with her life, she felt restless. Could she live independently of her family, her friends, her career? Steinbach searches for the answer to this provocative question firstly in Paris, where she finds a soul mate in a Japanese man; in Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to marry, and in the evocative cities of Oxford and Venice. Her trip is peppered with accounts of the exotic strangers she meets, her reflections on life and the observational postcards she wrote to herself during her year away. Colourful, inspiring and beautifully told, "Without Reservations" will take the reader on a unique voyage of discovery into a woman's life, as she evolves a new one.Read Less
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I loved this book....it really gave me the travel bug!
Jul 11, 2007
This is one of those books that I pull out when I'm ready to take a long soak in the tub..something I love coming back to again and again. Steinbach's method of travel is one I can absolutely relate to, although I don't have a career or family...just school! Describing her flight to Europe for a long stay, she writes about her initial excitement and then the sudden "What am I doing on this plane?" moment. Exactly my thoughts when I went on my first long-term trip! It's about accepting - not, for me, overcoming - that what-do-I-think-I'm-doing moment and moving on, observing and discovering... Steinbach's observations are witty and sometimes wistful. She's content, I feel, to stay one step removed from the places she visits, maybe a legacy from her career in journalism. It's something again I relate to - when travelling, I'm more content being anonymous in a café, watching people go by, than inserting myself in the life of the place. Of course that's what I felt, reading it.... A book I very much enjoyed that illustrates the enormous satisfaction and self-growth one can find through travel.
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