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on 8 October 2012
I bought this Kindle version as it was inexpensive and had an intriguing title. Well I was in for a real treat. Worth much more than the cover price I paid. Top quality stuff.
Don't expect a guide book on Thailand and India - this is certainly not what the book is about.
The author starts by explaining why her 'successful' corporate lifestyle and lots of material stuff in her home in Australia just doesn't make her happy - and possibly never did. However, this doesn't comes across as self indulgent - just a way of explaining why she needs to make a huge change in her life.
You can't help but admire her guts at taking off into the unknown, on her own, and making a damn good story out of it at the same time. I found myself routing for her and wishing her well at every turn of the page. She writes in a very easy style that had me reading the first half of her book in just a couple of days. I felt I was walking the streets by her side sometimes as the descriptions are so easy to visualise. I am writing this review as I get to the end of one very magical book.
I hope this is the first of many travels Michelle undertakes in her lifetime and I also hope she writes about each and every one of them too. If this book doesn't make you want to reach for your own backpack (no matter how old you are) then nothing will.
I have never been to Thailand - but I know I will get there one day now, after reading this account. Her enthusiasm throughout the book is contagious.
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on 23 February 2016
She didn't really give herself a chance to feel lonely, it would seem, judging from her incessant encounters with
dodgy local Indian touts on the make. Her methods of finding her way through the human Indian jungle was nothing short of laughable. Especially as she was apparently a seasoned traveller. Though I suspect those expeditions revolved around a molly-coddled set-up. Hotels arranged, trains and buses prebooked and baggage ferried around from A to B. She was certainly not of the mindset of a experienced backpacking traveller, who blended in with the locals where and when possible. Far from it, preferring instead to stand in a crowded public place, and relish the attention from parasites intent on ripping off the naive Australian girl.
Annoyingly, she blindly stumbled along in directions her better nature was screaming against, and any instincts she may have had to avoid at all costs. She was lucky that her only problems were how clean the hotel room might have been.
She was full of contradictions raptures one minute and then blown away the next. She never seemed to enjoy the countryside of India and Thailand from a hiking or cycling point of view. Everywhere was always by Tuk Tuk, or taxis. And trains or buses wers always a harrowing experience. That is not what being a traveller is all about. Sometimes it really is more about the journey than the destination. Especially as it often isn't what you expect. So you arrive tired and grumpy and decide to spend the time in your hotel room, and see nothing....
So whats the point. If Michelle had blended in more, wore the attire of local women and kept a low profile, she would have had a completely differerent experience and one which did not revolve around travel agents, touts and dodgy tuk tuks. Try walking.
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on 28 August 2013
This book was very very good!! I have previously travelled Thailand and India a found it very good that I could relate to everything you wrote. I am currently on my way to travel south east Asia for 6 months and will be re visiting India. I am looking forward to reading your next book.
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on 14 February 2013
Enjoyed this book. As a regular traveller to Thailand it was fascinating to read all about her time here. The majority of the book centres around India which again was fascinating. A brave lady to give up her home and friends to travel..
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on 30 March 2016
I really enjoyed this book. It gives an honest account of Michelle's experiences. Sadly I've not been to India or Thailand, but this book takes you there and helps you to understand the culture of the locals.
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on 23 February 2012
What a trip! I could not put this down. The author has a unique talent for word craft and aeasthetics that brings the reader right to the kerb in these exotic and vibrant places. You see, hear and smell Thailand and India experiencing their rich and vivid cultures. This is a lively journey that is informative, anecdotal, personal and always compelling.
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on 12 August 2013
I found this book to be very entertaining and couldn't put it down! I have read some of the negative reviews so wasn't sure what to expect, but I am so glad I wasn't put off by them!
Having been to India I know how it can shock the system, so rather than viewing Michelle's comments as bigoted or patronising, I found them to be a very honest take on how first time visitors to India can feel and react.
The way the book was written and flowed came across as someone who had written with passion about her own experiences so these could be shared with others, rather than being a work of fiction written purely in the interest of being published.
As a single female traveller about to embark on a World trip, this book gave me a great insight into what I may feel and encounter, reduced some of the nerves I m feeling and has inspired me to add India onto my trip!
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on 26 April 2013
As a frequent solo woman travller, I had high expectations of this book, but how disappointed was I. This woman epitomises the worst kind of traveller - and I've had the misfortune to meet a few. Ill prepared, bigoted and seemingly a bit of a drunk. And the book is badly written to boot. I have never before reviewed a book, but I am concerned that her account of her time in India would put others off travelling in that wonderful country. A little research and forward planning together with an open mind, goes a long, long way and you will find wonderful atmospheric and inexpensive places to stay rather than "crappy hotels", some superb food and lovely warm and interesting people.
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on 13 December 2013
This book is badly written with a lot of typos which are so bad in places I had to re-read the sentence to make sense of it. The author has a very patronising attitude to the local people she meets and the bit where she says she wants to bath and clothe a street beggar made me cringe, especially when she appears to assume the child is unhappy and wants her to have all the materialistic things she disdainfully rejected in Australia.
Her own friends who join her just appear and disappear from nowhere with no explanation of who they are, where they came from or when they arrived. Someone called Dave just turns up at her hotel and someone called Gill suddenly appears out of nowhere and spends the evening with her and Dave....annoying.
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on 13 March 2013
I first met Michelle on an Explore incorporating Estonia, Russia and Finland in the summer of 2002. With E mail we kept in touch and met up again when I visited Cambodia via Thailand in 2005. Michelle and I spent the day sightseeing and catching up. Since then I we have kept in touch with tails of our travels, Michelle having done a lot more then me.

Friends have said I should have a go at writing a travel book and I Come Alone certainly would inspire any such budding writer. I do hope to see you again sometime Michelle.

Peter Hughes
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