Travelling with friends and family is usually thought of as a privilege. In theory, anyway. In practice, it’s more often about debating which sights to see, panicking over diminishing phone batteries and bickering over what to eat. Not much joy in that. But alone you can do as you please. You can wander markets, relish silence, go to a park. Go to Paris. Why not?
In Alone Time, New York Times travel columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom travels alone in four seasons to four remarkable cities – Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York – exploring the sensory experience of solitude. Along the way she illuminates the psychological arguments for alone time, revealing that whether you recognize it or not, it’s good to be alone now and then.
This is a book about the pleasures and benefits of savouring the moment, examining things closely, using all your senses to take in your surroundings, whether travelling to faraway places or walking the streets of your own city. Through on-the-ground observations and anecdotes, and drawing on the thinking of artists, writers and innovators who have cherished solitude, Alone Time lays bare the magic of going solo.
I loved the concept of this book, being a mum to an 11 month old daughter, my time alone is very precious and this book really made me think. I also enjoyed being able to escape within the pages as I did read it either when I was alone, or when she was asleep.
I have been on holiday twice by myself to Norway and Gibraltar and I did feel at the time as though I should have travelled with someone as I was often the only unaccompanied traveller, but this book has made me reconsider the trips and how lucky I was to be able to wander and explore. It shows you the true beauty of spending time alone, and if you do find yourself in the same situation, cherish it, even if it is for just a few hours.
I have been to three of the four cities visited in the book, New York, Paris and Florence and loved my time there and this took me back to the places I visited – but I haven’t been to Istanbul so I was intrigued to see what the author would do when she visited that city. It was quite inspirational, I loved the descriptions and it is definitely a place now that I would consider, when previously it wasn’t somewhere I’d really thought to about!
Four stars from me for this one, did make me think and definitely will change how I look at my free time in the future and to make the most of it – even if it is just going out to grab a coffee. A really relaxing book to read and it is very well written.