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Go Your Own Way: Women Travel the World Solo

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There is nothing quite like hitting the road by yourself to awaken your senses, sharpen your mind, and build your confidence. In twenty-three beautifully crafted essays, women recount the thrills of traveling solo. Despite threat-assessment levels and airport-security hassles, women of all generations are traveling more freely and independently than ever before. In that go- There is nothing quite like hitting the road by yourself to awaken your senses, sharpen your mind, and build your confidence. In twenty-three beautifully crafted essays, women recount the thrills of traveling solo. Despite threat-assessment levels and airport-security hassles, women of all generations are traveling more freely and independently than ever before. In that go-for-it spirit, Go Your Own Way spans the globe: adventure diva Holly Morris finds herself lost in the jungles of Borneo, alone with her thoughts and a cold-blooded companion; Lara Triback's quest to learn the tango takes her to the late-night dance floors of Buenos Aires; Stephanie Griest finds female friends invaluable in her journey through Uzbekistan; and Amy Balfour recounts a hilarious trek up Yosemite's Half Dome. The writers in Go Your Own Way pay tribute to the empowerment of independent adventure and discovery, offering up the perfect antidote for today's climate of fear and international discord. All the while, they show that alone doesn't have to mean lonely.


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There is nothing quite like hitting the road by yourself to awaken your senses, sharpen your mind, and build your confidence. In twenty-three beautifully crafted essays, women recount the thrills of traveling solo. Despite threat-assessment levels and airport-security hassles, women of all generations are traveling more freely and independently than ever before. In that go- There is nothing quite like hitting the road by yourself to awaken your senses, sharpen your mind, and build your confidence. In twenty-three beautifully crafted essays, women recount the thrills of traveling solo. Despite threat-assessment levels and airport-security hassles, women of all generations are traveling more freely and independently than ever before. In that go-for-it spirit, Go Your Own Way spans the globe: adventure diva Holly Morris finds herself lost in the jungles of Borneo, alone with her thoughts and a cold-blooded companion; Lara Triback's quest to learn the tango takes her to the late-night dance floors of Buenos Aires; Stephanie Griest finds female friends invaluable in her journey through Uzbekistan; and Amy Balfour recounts a hilarious trek up Yosemite's Half Dome. The writers in Go Your Own Way pay tribute to the empowerment of independent adventure and discovery, offering up the perfect antidote for today's climate of fear and international discord. All the while, they show that alone doesn't have to mean lonely.

30 review for Go Your Own Way: Women Travel the World Solo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan Stolz

    I was lent this book by one of my grad school professors, who has an essay included in the collection, during a summer writing project when I was focusing on Americans traveling overseas. I gave the collection an average score because many of the essays tend to fall into a bit of a pattern and they often end with a sentence or paragraph which tries to summarize the trip in some grand lesson (granted, endings are hard and I think the authors were trying to find some universality in their personal I was lent this book by one of my grad school professors, who has an essay included in the collection, during a summer writing project when I was focusing on Americans traveling overseas. I gave the collection an average score because many of the essays tend to fall into a bit of a pattern and they often end with a sentence or paragraph which tries to summarize the trip in some grand lesson (granted, endings are hard and I think the authors were trying to find some universality in their personal stories). Overall, the tone is closer to 'chick lit' than literary fiction, which is fine -- I finished up the book during a late-night plane ride (I tend to be less envious when I'm reading travel writing while traveling myself) and I wanted something that I could read while sleepy. One thing, as a writer who'd love to break into travel writing, that I found valuable is that the author bios (which are all decently informative) include other travel anthologies the writers have been featured in. I'll use those for future submission information.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I thought this was a great book!! Some better than others, sure but they were all very interesting peeks into solo travel experiences from women. I'm at a loss to understand why anyone would be so disappointed as to say how bad this was- these are people sharing personal experiences!! Though, I'm not a huge lover of short stories in general, it was still incredibly interesting, start to finish. I haven't read the first book and now I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully, there are more of I thought this was a great book!! Some better than others, sure but they were all very interesting peeks into solo travel experiences from women. I'm at a loss to understand why anyone would be so disappointed as to say how bad this was- these are people sharing personal experiences!! Though, I'm not a huge lover of short stories in general, it was still incredibly interesting, start to finish. I haven't read the first book and now I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully, there are more of these to follow :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    This anthology includes a handful of excellent anecdotes, but most of them are unriveting. The few stories that stand out as gems were truly lovely and relatable, excellently written and leaving the reader craving more. Most of the chapters, however, felt like insular personal memories best shared as reverie among friends and lacking universal appeal or depth of imagery and presence. Okay overall, but I would have quit this book if I had any habit of book-quitting. Very few travel books have tak This anthology includes a handful of excellent anecdotes, but most of them are unriveting. The few stories that stand out as gems were truly lovely and relatable, excellently written and leaving the reader craving more. Most of the chapters, however, felt like insular personal memories best shared as reverie among friends and lacking universal appeal or depth of imagery and presence. Okay overall, but I would have quit this book if I had any habit of book-quitting. Very few travel books have taken me so long to finish.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karie

    Some stories were more intriguing than others (hence taking 4 years of in and off again reading to finish). Contrary to expectations, it did not leave me yearning to travel solo.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Pretty good, but not quite what I am looking for.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    The title sounded interesting. That’s the main reason I picked this book up. But…I’m not a big fan of anthologies like this. Why? Because these blurry snapshots of the lives of 23 different writers — some better writers than others — give no real taste of the places they’ve visited and seen or any real impression of who these women are. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting or that it wasn’t insightful; it was. In Julianne Balmain’s “Wolf Pleasures” she talks about her delight in stumbling across th The title sounded interesting. That’s the main reason I picked this book up. But…I’m not a big fan of anthologies like this. Why? Because these blurry snapshots of the lives of 23 different writers — some better writers than others — give no real taste of the places they’ve visited and seen or any real impression of who these women are. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting or that it wasn’t insightful; it was. In Julianne Balmain’s “Wolf Pleasures” she talks about her delight in stumbling across the perfect place to have breakfast in New York when she impulsively follows a businessman off the subway when she overhears him talking to someone on the phone about how he’s going to grab a bite to eat first. She writes: “…we all know the hard truth: All but the very best and rarest of travel partners would — accidentally, unwittingly, inadvertently, unconsciously, innocently — have interfered with this delicate breakfast hunting process. That moment of hesitation at the hotel, for example. Might not the two of you have decided to stay and shell out $25 each for the continental treatment? Knowing you were seriously hungry and other options were uncertain and might not materialize, that it might be hard to get a cab, that there could be traffic, that he or she, as lovely a person as he or she is, can’t handle the noise and the crowds and the stairs and the sooth of the subway and thus gets grouchy at the mere suggestion of a subway ride before coffee. Knowing, let us be honest, that it would be worth sixty or seventy bucks and plasticized pastries to not have to deal with your fond companion when he or she is getting a ‘little grumpy’ and doesn’t realize it.” (p.32-33) Aarti Sawhney’s “The Trek to Thirty” was also relatable when she writes about how her family tried to urge her to give up a solo Himalayan trek and to wait for them to all go together. “They had no idea what this trip meant to me, and I wasn’t about to tell them,” she writes. “I feared that sharing concerns about my life with my family would invite unwanted ‘helpful’ advice or action. The last thing I needed was a series of lectures, or awkward introductions to ‘eligible boys.’ I nodded as they tried to dissuade me, but continued my investigation…” (p.134) Traveling alone — as a woman — takes a special kind of bravery. Traveling to Italy on my own was scary but freeing. When you’re alone, you’re more acutely aware that you’re the one in the driver’s seat, making the decisions. Even making my way solo to Vegas to meet friends had a special sort of joy because those were the only moments I wasn’t tethered to doing what a group wanted and I could be stubbornly, unapologetically selfish in what I did…but, I won’t deny that I do enjoy traveling with others because I love sharing a memory and being able to turn to someone and say, “Remember when?”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth Peninger

    This book caught my eye in a local used bookstore as I browsed. It caught my eye for a couple of different reasons. One, the cover picture. After having traveled to Italy and Greece last year the cover picture is a familiar and pleasing one for me. Two, I am a horrible traveler and I have a love/hate relationship with it. Why that would prompt me to read a book about travelers I will leave up to you to analyze, I'm not entirely sure myself. :) This is a real-life travel guide to locations around This book caught my eye in a local used bookstore as I browsed. It caught my eye for a couple of different reasons. One, the cover picture. After having traveled to Italy and Greece last year the cover picture is a familiar and pleasing one for me. Two, I am a horrible traveler and I have a love/hate relationship with it. Why that would prompt me to read a book about travelers I will leave up to you to analyze, I'm not entirely sure myself. :) This is a real-life travel guide to locations around the world told by their visitors, namely women. The reader is given glimpses into the solo travels of women to some familiar and not-so-familiar destinations. Through their eyes and experiences we learn about the locale but more importantly we get a glimpse into what they learned about life and themselves while traveling solo. And their lessons can be ours - to propel us to find our own lessons or to hang on to and assimilate into our lives. It was a lovely book full of interesting moments and people.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Since I had my first child, I've been too scared to fly or to travel anywhere by myself, because I'm afraid I'll die en route and my husband will be the one to pick out the children's clothes, which will lead to them being ridiculed mercilessly by their peers. Also, he'll only feed them fake meat cooked on the backyard grill and cheese-flavored snacks, which will lead to them being very unhappy and overly salt-infused. So... the women writing the stories in this book are living a dream that I am Since I had my first child, I've been too scared to fly or to travel anywhere by myself, because I'm afraid I'll die en route and my husband will be the one to pick out the children's clothes, which will lead to them being ridiculed mercilessly by their peers. Also, he'll only feed them fake meat cooked on the backyard grill and cheese-flavored snacks, which will lead to them being very unhappy and overly salt-infused. So... the women writing the stories in this book are living a dream that I am only now (that the kids are old enough to pick out their own clothes and also cook a little) allowing myself to consider--going somewhere I've always wanted to go, and going by myself.I liked that the experiences they related weren't all cheer, weren't all successful, even. Even so, I found it inspiring, and assigned a couple of the stories to my daughter hoping they'd inspire, her, too.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyne Mistake

    This is a book about women travelers, who are traveling solo. It is inspirational at times, motivational at others, particularly as a female traveler who occationally worries about the dangers of traveling solo through certain areas of the world. However, it's also misleading because some of these stories are not by a woman traveling solo, they are by a woman alone for a moment on a trip with others, and often with a male romantic partner or figure. A few good stories, such as "Armed and Dangero This is a book about women travelers, who are traveling solo. It is inspirational at times, motivational at others, particularly as a female traveler who occationally worries about the dangers of traveling solo through certain areas of the world. However, it's also misleading because some of these stories are not by a woman traveling solo, they are by a woman alone for a moment on a trip with others, and often with a male romantic partner or figure. A few good stories, such as "Armed and Dangerous" (Mexico) by Michele Petersen, are not necessarily "adventure travel" writing, but they certainly inspire and motivate me personally go to see these things for myself, and there are more stories such as "The Road to Avoiding Wellness" which I look forward to reading and hopefully learning from.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Well, I have to admit I have been unable to actually read this book cover to cover. A significant number of the stories are weak and poorly written. I wll take another run at it and edit this as things change (if they do). Stand-outs include Snake Eyes of Borneo, and most notably Three Minutes of Freedom, by Lara Triback who, for any of you out Oregon ways, will be reading at Powell's bookstore on July 12. In the spirit of full disclosure the author is a good friend of mine, but regardless of th Well, I have to admit I have been unable to actually read this book cover to cover. A significant number of the stories are weak and poorly written. I wll take another run at it and edit this as things change (if they do). Stand-outs include Snake Eyes of Borneo, and most notably Three Minutes of Freedom, by Lara Triback who, for any of you out Oregon ways, will be reading at Powell's bookstore on July 12. In the spirit of full disclosure the author is a good friend of mine, but regardless of the influence of public fealty, it was still the strongest piece of those I read by quite a good stretch. I'm quite interested in the thoughts of folks who've read it without the subjective slant I offer...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    What a great collection of stories, written in the first person by women travelers. Maybe not every one is really "Solo" and maybe the grand majority are a little too happy-happy but I still really enjoyed every story. What a great collection of stories, written in the first person by women travelers. Maybe not every one is really "Solo" and maybe the grand majority are a little too happy-happy but I still really enjoyed every story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I was so inspired reading the stories of women traveling the world in this book. It made me want to pick a place on the map and go! There are also lots of helpful tips about traveling alone, and being safe while you do it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Simply wonderful collection of essays about traveling as a solo woman. Tore through most of it at the beach. Rarely does a book capture my attention so much to steer it away from the sun, sand, and waves. My copy will be read again and again and is dogeared already.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Didn't enjoy it as much as their first effort (A Woman Alone), but still a good collection of enjoyable short travel narratives. Didn't enjoy it as much as their first effort (A Woman Alone), but still a good collection of enjoyable short travel narratives.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    I love travel writing, but this took me ages to get through. Some stories were totally captivating, while others left me bored. Nonetheless, I love the concept- women traveling the globe.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Upnorth

    Great descriptions of solo adventures by women

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Good book of short stories. I've had many of the experiences that they have described, but am still not a huge fan of solo travel! Good book of short stories. I've had many of the experiences that they have described, but am still not a huge fan of solo travel!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Great beach read filled with short stories of women traveling the world!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Enjoyable and interesting but not the best collection of travel stories I've read. Enjoyable and interesting but not the best collection of travel stories I've read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    A few gems in here that were so lovely and inspirational is the reason I'm giving it five stars. Makes me even more excited about my first trip solo soon. A few gems in here that were so lovely and inspirational is the reason I'm giving it five stars. Makes me even more excited about my first trip solo soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    Good mix of women's stories of traveling the world solo, yet not alone. Why they do it and what they learn. Good mix of women's stories of traveling the world solo, yet not alone. Why they do it and what they learn.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Sigh.... made me want to hit the road NOW but at least I will be in Mexico tomorrow! I am so glad I traveled in Europe by myself.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  25. 4 out of 5

    MaryB

  26. 5 out of 5

    A

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  28. 5 out of 5

    Callee

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  30. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

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