The Art of Solo Travel - A Girls' Guide". This is not just a guide for solo female travelers, but an invaluable source of practical tips on how to manage a small budget on the road and on how to appreciate your time abroad by yourself.
I've been travelling alone for most of the time. After living for seven years in Rome, I moved to Ireland in 2005, and relocated to London in 2007. Now I'm about to start a new journey: I'll be moving to Shanghai in July, again by myself.
Admittedly, I have had times when I wished to have a travel companion, and when I felt tired to be always alone on the road, but then, this book came along and I started re-thinking the whole issue over. Besides, I reckon I'm not an easy travel companion if someone just wants to go on holiday, I pursue the constant quest for the unknown, and this might lead my friends not to tolerate me anymore.
The author makes it clear for the reader from the first page: "If you are reading this, you are not the average girl". She's right, solo women travellers are (and must be) fiercely independent, determined, stubborn.
The best thing of this book is that it's "true". Stephanie doesn't lose herself on unrealistic hyperboles: travelling and travelling solo are great experiences, but they also have their difficulties, and travellers must pay attention to details.
Furthermore, women travelling solo are, or appear, more vulnerable, and when unwanted attentions come about travellers inevitably feel uncomfortable. When all due precautions are taken, I agree with Stephanie when she says "solo travelers experience a more intimate relationship with their destinations".
The book has had a soothing effect on me, helping me not feel lonely the very moment I'm about to leave friends and family all over again.