Insomniac City by Bill Hayes
This book was reviewed on the ABC radio program ‘Overnights with Rod Quinn’ as part of my Christmas special. The podcast of the review is available under the ‘Podcasts’ tab if you want to hear the full review (:
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book before my upcoming trip to Japan and I was able to use the book while I was in Tokyo. So this review is first hand experience. I also spoke to Jane Lawson, who is an expert on all things Japan!
A before and after review to correspond with my upcoming trip to Tokyo. I’ve also included a few snaps from my trip while I was trying out some of the walks (:
This travel book has a less formal approach compared to a Lonely Planet or a DK travel guide. It focuses on breaking Tokyo up into the famous districts, it then tells you a little bit about them and the gives a suggested walk with corresponding pictures.
Visually this is an incredibly appealing book and the personal detail provided by Lawson gives the book a special feeling of being unique and almost reads like a blog post
A small portion of the book is dedicated to the standard ‘Where to Stay’ and ‘Useful Phrases’ and other useful tips and tricks
The walking directions are very detailed and specific. Due to the constant changing of the Tokyo landscape (there’s an enormous amount of infrastructure constantly going on in the city) this book was already slightly out of date with some of the routes.
An introductory guide to Tokyo, it’s informative without being overwhelming. It allows you to capture your own impression of the city and make it your own trip
In 2015 my sister and I took off to live in London…much to my mother’s horror we went with the decisive notion ‘Oh, I’m not sure when I’m coming back to Sydney’
Needless to say it only took a few months for that idea to change. However, I’d decided that my time in London could not be complete until I’d spent time exploring the continent. I decided to take one month off to travel around Europe. Though I still paid rent for my gorgeous (but tiny) flat in Central London and still needed to eat and drink (at least more than the lattes I made at work) so I couldn’t afford to go on a organized tour group or book everything through a travel agent, which meant that I needed to plan everything from flights and accommodation, to metro tickets and guide books myself. Needless to say it was a terrifying prospect for a 21 year old. It can be stressful and draining- so much so that it can make you think, “is it worth it?” However, planning my solo trip around Europe was one of the best things I ever did for myself.
By planning your travels alone, you gain a confidence in your ability to handle yourself, it makes you smart with your money and, most importantly, it allows you to get the most out of your trip. You get to experience cities the way you’ll enjoy the most- you won’t simply be ticking off famous places you’ve seen.
So once you’ve decided to travel, what are the next steps? No doubt you have a general idea of where you’d like to- America, Europe, Africa and, believe it or not, that’s all you need to get started! Here are some tips to help you when all you have is an idea, your laptop and your wallet.
That’s it! Short and sweet tips to get you on your way for your first solo trip! It’s essential to remain safe and vigilant when you’re by yourself, make friends where you can and enjoy yourself. You’ll learn something about when it’s just you and the whole city 🙂