A few years ago, Alice Steinbach, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist decided to take a break from her life. She took a leave from her job, friends and family to go on a European journey of self-discovery, and her first book, WITHOUT RESERVATIONS, was the exquisite result of that trip.
But once Steinbach had opened the door to a new way of living, she found herself unwilling to return to her old routine. She left her job and went travelling again, only this time her objective was not so much one of self-discovery as it was a reaching out. She wanted to learn, by taking lessons and courses, but also by connecting to and learning from the people she would encounter along the way.
Choosing exactly where to go and what to study turned out to be harder than she'd anticipated, but Steinbach found herself repeatedly drawn to the interests and fantasies of her youth. And so her lifelong fascination with writing, animals, gardening, and food led her to study dog training in Scotland, writing in Prague, gardening in Provence, calligraphy and flower arranging in Kyoto, music in Cuba, cooking in Paris and Jane Austen in Exeter.
Her weeks and months spent with fellow students of all ages are, as she'd hoped, every bit as educational as her courses. And studying side by side with people preparing for careers in these various fields gives Steinbach a second chance at some roads not taken - a chance to reconnect with her past, when so many options were still open to her. In pursuing interests she's never had time to fully explore, she finds that her sense of curiosity is as strong as it ever was, and, as she discovers during the course of this wonderful trip, we are never too old to learn.
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