An essay published at The Millions. I write about how Voltaire's Candide inspired both my physical garden and my literary one. Along the way, I share thoughts from Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Diane Ackerman, Adam Gopnik and . . . The Martian (by Andy Weir.)
Stephanie Rosenbloom is a New York Times travel writer and her book, Alone Time, is about such mindful travel. She spent a week each in four different cities and wrote about them. There are many beautiful literary and philosophical nuggets in this book. If you've never done solo travel and want to, read it. If you're an experienced solo traveler and just want comfort from the experiences of someone who GETS your kind of traveling, read it. Here's my review at PopMatters.
While there has lately been a growing number of small-town India travel memoirs, 'Nautanki Diaries' by Dominic Franks stands apart with its earnest sincerity and exuberant love for cycling as, beyond a sports activity, a metaphor for life. Certainly, it is worth spending a few hours to take this charming journey with the writer and let his beloved Nautanki reveal and redefine both exterior and interior landscapes for us readers too.