Yesterday I had the opportunity to peruse the tomes in my sanctuary. Well, they weren't exactly tomes. And the sanctuary I write of is really the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. Regardless of description, I spent an enjoyable hour or so looking through books.
Typically when I shop for much of anything I make a list or know what I want, go to the store, buy it, or an acceptable substitute, then return. A bookstore is different. I could browse in a bookstore until they throw me out!
First stop: US Travel. Here I looked through dry travelogues, opinionated travel idea books and a few interesting book about 'places to go.' One that caught my eye was a book about traveling in Illinois. As I thumbed through it, the dryness seemed to fall out of the pages. It seemed to be lists of itineraries with phone numbers, written by someone who searched the web for interesting things about a particular area and wrote a few things down.
The place listed in the book, nearest where I grew up was The Slammer (www.theslammer.net) in Aledo, Illinois. Nifty place. I still remember it as the county jail. But I wonder. Are lists of places what travel is all about? Going from point x to point y to point z? I hope readers of these books understand that the places listed therein are guidelines. Go ahead. Ride or drive off the beaten path.
I then looked for books about solo travel and was struck by two things. Firstly, Why do some of these read like a recipe book?
Buy ticket A in advance.
Let friends and family know where you are going.
Pack light and smart.
Don't trust the locals.
Stay in your hotel overnight.
call your mommie in the morning and night.
ACH!!! Traveling alone, whether it be by motorcycle, car, bus or plane is not primarily about the trip. It is about the journey of an individual soul. It's about the adventure.
Secondly, why are so many of these books about women solo traveling? I just searched Amazon with the keywords solo and travel. The first page results gives 8 out of 16 books that are specifically for women only. I find that interesting. If anyone can explain that, please let me know, ok?
Well, I'm off to tune up my bike...