I have only had a chance to read a few Bill Bryson books. Of those few, Notes from a Small Island is my favorite. I read this before I went to the UK. I only read it because it was listed in one of the Book Lust books.
Even though I had not been planning my trip to the UK when I read this, it had an impact on how I did envision and then carry out my plan- primarily on the travel part of my trip. I wanted to see Cardiff, Oxford, and London. Having read this book actually made me excited to walk around these areas, explore, and then just get on a train for the next location. It made me notice the small stops along the train path, even if I wasn’t getting off to see the town.
Bryson has this way of making you feel like you are walking or riding next to him as he travels. Since he travels alone in this book, I felt prepared for what it would on my own. My trip to the UK was my first time traveling alone. My anxiety was more focused on making sure my parents spoke to me every day. When it actually came to the logistics of dealing with trains and buses, I felt far more comfortable in part because I understood it was the best way for me to see almost everything I wanted to see.
I am not sure I could have felt as comfortable in a country that wasn’t english speaking. I am just not that confident with my language skills. Doing this in the UK made me feel comfortable enough to travel alone again.
Have you ever travelled alone? What helped you prepare for it? Any specific book I should read?