REVIEW by Beth: Living Without Reservations by Barbara Elaine Singer (@lifereinventor , @bunnybetha)

Is This All There Is to Life?
One 44 year old woman ” quit her life”, or perhaps life quit her. There had to be more than waiting for retirement and living in a world where enough is never enough. She dreamed of a life that was so much more. A true story of a life-changing, awe inspiring, “all-in” journey of globetrotting and discovery of what it means to be brave, dream big, think outside the box and create one’s own definition of happiness. Barbara’s wake-up call came with divorce, the sudden death of her fiancé and her only child going off to college. Alone, devastated and yearning to explore, she calls her dad and asks to borrow his camper for a road trip. He says no, but… What happens next is an odyssey that stretches across generations and lifestyles from Alaska to the Caribbean to Italy with barely a breath in-between. Through it all, Barbara finds a way to rekindle an understanding with her quickly growing-up, distraught daughter, and a new life of her own dreams and her own gutsy making. This story is for all those who say “some day.” It will inspire you to take that leap of faith and begin living your dreams. (picture) Author Barbara Singer always dreamed of being a wanderer and seeker of living a true life, not just going through the motions. She had done the wife, mother and corporate executive life in the suburbs, but found it didn’t feed her soul. One crazy night changed everything. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Have you ever dreamed a different life for yourself, and wondered how the heck you could make it happen?
Barbara Elaine Singer takes a step into another kind of world for herself after divorcing her husband, sending her daughter off to college, losing her fiance to an untimely death, and suddenly being unemployed. Barbara’s journey covers lots of territory, as she travels many miles in search of a new kind of happiness for herself. While she’s counting up the physical miles she’s cruising, Barbara is also on another journey, this one an inner exploration. Barbara read, prayed, meditated, and took time to just breathe (in addition to a few panic attacks along the way) as she took off on this journey. Oh yeah, she also started having some fun. Used to making big bucks and acquiring lots of possessions, Barbara  got rid of lots of her stuff, put the rest in storage, and took off on her journey. 
I’m a sucker for memoirs written by mid-forties folks taking chances, making changes in their lives, because that’s what I did by going to college (for the first time) in my mid-forties. When I read the book description that’s included above, I knew I had to read this book; I just had to learn about Barbara’s journey. Living Without Reservations is a memoir, a travel diary, and a witty sharing of Barbara’s experiences.  Writing in a conversational voice, Barbara doesn’t use big words or long, drawn out sentences. Her story is easy to read but also poignant. Barbara allows herself to feel the pain of her losses, the uncertainties that accompany being unemployed, and the new experience of not having a man in her life. I normally refer to authors using their last names, but I feel that I know who Barbara is by reading her book; she allowed me to know her, human foibles and courage. Barbara’s snarky sense of humor made me chuckle many times, especially when she’s traveling with her aging father, or dealing with her daughter.
There were parts of Barbara’s book that made me wince, and announce (rather haughtily) to myself that I wouldn’t do THAT with MY life. Yeah, sometimes I’m a old fuddy duddy. And maybe just a bit jealous, as I’ve been pondering for over a year how to retire from my current profession and take on new challenges (which I’m too chicken to tell you about right now).  After tut-tutting a few times, while reading Barbara’s story, I finally came to the conclusion that of course this isn’t what I would do, because it’s not my story. It takes a lot of guts to bare your soul to people you don’t know, to write about your own life with honesty, telling your readers, “this is me, this is how I changed my life.” Barbara could have created a fictional character to live out these life-changing experiences, but she kept it honest. I admire that. 
I’m so excited about Living Without Reservations, I want to tell you more about it, but then you won’t read it! 
Again, I’m going to ask you, have you ever said “someday” about your dreams?
Ever imagined a different life for yourself, then declared “but I can’t do that because (insert your own reasons here)?” 
I’ve read a few reviews of this book that declare it a wonderful story for women to read who want to change their lives.  I think it’s a great book for men also, because I believe that most of us want to change our lives in some way. Living Without Reservations is one of a kind, telling one woman’s story in her unique voice. This is Barbara’s story. What, and how, we change our lives (or not) is our story. Barbara wanted to be happy, to live authentically. Living Without Reservations will tell you how she learned to do this, so that I (and all of you) can go out and change our lives as we see fit.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I love this book, so I’m giving it 5 stars, an absolute must read about one woman’s inner and outer journey to live her dream life.
Please check out Barbara’s website,
Click here for paperback!
Click here for Kindle book!

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