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A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe
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A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  573 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
The idea of a journey without companions is too daunting for most travelers. Not so the women of this collection. These contemporary pioneers savor the ultimate freedom of solo travel. Marybeth Bond discovers the dubious pleasures of desert camel-riding when she decides to follow an ancient Indian trading route. Faith Adiele, a black Buddhist nun, enters a deserted train s ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 2nd 2001 by Seal Press
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May 23, 2012 Allie rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, memoir
What a fun book! A Woman Alone is a compilation of short travel narratives...all by women, all of whom traveled alone. The authors are all extremely talented writers who transport the reader to India, Los Vegas, Brazil, Japan, and many places in between. Some authors emphasize the independence and freedom of solo travel, others the loneliness or the self-reflection or especially the self-discovery. At the end, whether or not you decide you want to travel solo, you'll CERTAINLY want to travel! Uz ...more
Jun 01, 2008 Ellen rated it really liked it
Twenty-nine women answer the question: "Why go solo?" That was enough for me to pick it up and give it a try. I toted this one around with me in my work bag. I bought it while waiting for Langley in DC a while ago. It was a good cafe book to spend time with while she worked. It then became my lunchtime read. I could usually get through at least one vignette during the hour.
Nicki Hill
Aug 21, 2015 Nicki Hill rated it really liked it
I realize now that travel is not just about physically going somewhere, but about conscious exploration. The physicality of aloneness pushes some people toward this conscious exploration of their surroundings and themselves. Being alone physically--not having someone to share your adventures with as they unfold, having to make every decision, big and little, being able to relax only by yourself or with strangers and never with a being able to relax only by yourself--does make you understand alon ...more
Erica B
Jan 21, 2016 Erica B rated it really liked it
A good collections of travel stories. I enjoyed as it gave me some ideas for next trips, and expounded on the various issues involved with female solo travel. I often do travel myself for the same reasons these authors did - hard to find someone with the same schedule, want of place to go, actually willing to go, also if by oneself you get to set the itinerary, etc. But then there are the drawbacks, can't go have a drink at the local bar as easily as men, always costs more, etc. So hopefully giv ...more
Hillary Wein
Jan 05, 2016 Hillary Wein rated it really liked it
I read this book in a three-day span last year. The stories are short, diverse, and approachable. As a woman who travels alone, I felt a strong connection to these writers and appreciated the fact that they were honest about their fears, struggles, and decisions. Very inspirational for woman who plan to set out on a journey soon.
Dec 27, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
I didn't quite get to finish this book before I gave it to someone else, but I did enjoy it. it was interesting and inspiring to read about other women who like to travel -- although I felt some of them were pretty lucky in their experiences.
Jul 05, 2014 sendann rated it really liked it
Some total gems in here, I took a long time with this collection. There are a few duds, and the kind of unifying tone seems a wee dated at times, but good fun, and wow, great "further reading" list at the end.
May 15, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
While some of the stories in this collection are written better than others, as a whole this book helped me better appreciate my own solo travel ventures. While before I may have looked at a trip to a strange grocery store as a mundane chore, as I read this book I began to see value in these smaller experiences and to validate the range of emotions experienced while traveling. My biggest complaint with the book is the lack of dates attached to each story. Knowing the year helps put the events in ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The essays in this book vary dramatically in both the quality of the writing and the impact of the various women's experiences. There were some that were very interesting and well done, while others were lackluster at best.
Arranged by geographical location, each essay is only a few pages long, and so not a big investment of time. I didn't read all of them, but I did have fun skipping around, and reading this book definitely gave me some things to think about (would I be willing to travel alone?
Oct 12, 2011 Sandy rated it liked it
This is not a novel that you can get lost in, captivating you from beginning to end. Instead, it's a selection of short and totally unrelated travel adventures by different spunky women, traveling solo. Definitely, I had my favorite pieces, both in writing style and locale. The travel tales that I loved were so enthralling they made me want to read aloud to anyone who would listen, and I gave two copies of this book away to family members. Other selections were so-so. I'm sure readers will find ...more
Linda Sprudzane
Apr 25, 2015 Linda Sprudzane rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, as any good book should it made me reflect on my own travels and made me thing of things I should work on to he able to enjoy my solo adventures more, and of course made me want to drop everything and travel anywhere and everywhere. As this book is made up of essays by a number of different writters, I enjoyed some more that others, but all in all a very good read for any solo traveller.
Rand Suleiman
Mar 19, 2015 Rand Suleiman rated it really liked it
i wish i could have a such experience one day.
Dec 07, 2007 Catherine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: travelling spirits
Traveling at its best offers a level of reflection and realization that can't be captured in the everyday of home life. This book was both a wonderful way to be part of the writers' journeys - of both the foot and the heart. I recommend this to anyone looking for a something light but not of the romantic comedy genre; and of course, to anyone trying to decide on their next vacation! This book actually has me considering camel racing in the desert or 1,000 mile hiking pilgrimages in Japan. Maybe ...more
Emily Shenfield
Jul 31, 2013 Emily Shenfield rated it it was amazing
Of course, as this is a collection of short essays, some were remarkable and some were just all right, but this book was one of the most inspiring I've read. Hearing tales of women travelling solo, bravely and for a variety of reasons pushed me to try it myself. The locales range from exotic to close to home, and then women are not all inherently adventurous and outgoing. It serves to paint a lovely portrait of the kind of woman who CAN travel alone...which is really almost anyone.
Lauren Stringer
Sep 24, 2012 Lauren Stringer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-books
I read this book because my 20 year old daughter read it to get inspired for her solo travels in Western Europe for a year. It is one of the most inspiring books of travel essays I have ever read. Each one is so different- different traveler, different place in the world--different ages and stages for each woman. I loved every story and want to write my own tale of traveling alone. I would recommend this book for any woman-- or anyone about to embark on a journey alone.
Oct 11, 2007 Laurel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: travellers of all kinds
A book of short essays by women, of all ages and types, who have travelled by themselves in all sorts of places - the stories range from Central American jungles to Japanese temple pilgrimages to flamenco concerts in Morocco to a camel race in the Middle Eastern desert.
Most of the women are braver than I, but their reports of self-discovery and the joys and challenges of single travel are tempting! An inspiring collection of stories.
Robyn Ellis
Aug 17, 2012 Robyn Ellis rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Certainly a fun little read. I brought it with me while I was traveling myself and the authors' thoughts helped me think about the impact of my own experiences. All the stories of these women, not only traveling to exotic places, but traveling alone (something I had always thought of as categorically stupid) even inspired me to go outside my comfort zone every now and again on my own adventure
Jan 26, 2009 'stina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
I read this over the course of a year and a half. Like many collections, there are strong points and weak points, but on the whole, I found it to be quite enjoyable. It's a great book to read in bits and pieces, and I found myself hit with the travel bug when I read it. Having travelled solo in the past, I found myself agreeing with many of the women's accounts: freedom vs. loneliness.
Jun 05, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this group of stories. Some were better than others, of course, but by and large they were well-written and exciting. They gave me a lot of inspiration for traveling alone, and they made me add quite a few destinations to my list of awesome places to visit.
Aug 24, 2008 Grace rated it liked it
I'm enjoying this book. It's really nice for someone like me who tends to have difficulty finishing books because every chapter is a different story, written by a different lone woman traveler so you can pick it up and put it down really easily. The stories are from all around the world too so I'm enjoying dreaming about traveling in so many different countries.
Jun 01, 2010 Cheree rated it liked it
A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe is a compilation of short stories written by women traveling the world alone. Edited by Christina Henry De Tessan, Faith Conlon and Ingrid Emerick, these stories take us remote deserts, lush islands, and a variety of exotic locals.

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Jan 09, 2010 Cara rated it it was amazing
Both funny and insightful, it explores the amazing journeys women take out in the world and inside themselves, with particular emphasis on the obstacles and opportunities of traveling without companions. I found it to be quite an inspiring and self-affirming book.
Nov 10, 2012 Tessa rated it it was ok
Eh. Somewhat interesting, but was bored of it before the end and did not actually finish. Stories seemed more intent on giving details and descriptions of the places visited, rather than contemplating on what it means to travel as a woman, alone.
Sep 05, 2008 Gen rated it it was ok
An interesting collection of essays from women who have traveled alone and mostly preferred it. Some of their experiences with travel mirror my own, but I find that I miss having someone else to reminisce with when the trip is over.
Jul 27, 2011 Kat rated it liked it
The quality of the essays varies quite a bit, but overall, I found this inspiring as I prepare to set out on my own solo travel adventures this fall. That being said, I'm not sure I'd read it again; I preferred the Expat collection.
Jul 21, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It appealed to the adventurous spirit that I have deep down inside just waiting to get out! Well, it might be out just a little already. I loved reading about places that I'm not even sure I knew existed.
Apr 29, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it
Very engaging collection of articles by women writers as they travel around the world and have good and bad travel adventures. Settings range from U.S. to Europe to more exotic places like Brazil, Niger, Turkey,Belize.
Sydney Bender
Jun 20, 2012 Sydney Bender rated it liked it
Quite interesting little collection of short stories. The variety of countries is good, however focus on women traveling solo is definitely emphasized in the passages within, for better or for worse.
Sep 14, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Some of the stories are okay and some are great. As a woman who has dreamed of traveling alone to wild places and simultaneously been terrified of the idea, this was a really good book to read.
Christy Aksamit
Jan 01, 2013 Christy Aksamit rated it it was amazing
This book provokes my wanderlust. I have experienced solo-travel, but some of these women sought out journeys that took courage I have yet to muster. Inspiring, funny, eye-opening.
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