When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put

When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put

Following a lifetime of trekking across the globe, Vivian Swift, a freelance designer who racked up 23 temporary addresses in 20 years, finally dropped her well-worn futon mattress and rucksack in a small town on the edge of the Long Island Sound. She spent the next decade quietly taking stock of her life, her immediate surroundings, and, finally, what it means to call a p...

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Title:When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put
Author:Vivian Swift
Rating:
Edition Language:English

When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put Reviews

  • Robin

    WOW! What a cool book this is and what a great pick-me-up it was on a gray November Monday when I peered into my work mailbox and saw a padded envelope containing a hardcover book. It's about the size of a cookbook but it's just a really amazing reflection on one year in the life of the writer while she reflects on previous journeys and relationships. This is a book that I did not want to put down and I carefully read as much as I could during my lunch hour that day and continued with it at home

    WOW! What a cool book this is and what a great pick-me-up it was on a gray November Monday when I peered into my work mailbox and saw a padded envelope containing a hardcover book. It's about the size of a cookbook but it's just a really amazing reflection on one year in the life of the writer while she reflects on previous journeys and relationships. This is a book that I did not want to put down and I carefully read as much as I could during my lunch hour that day and continued with it at home that night. It really transported me to this little village on Long Island Sound or Ireland or anywhere the author went because of her beautiful watercolor illustrations. Just amazing and it's days like Monday when I REALLY love my job because of the free books I get!

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    One of the books from my TBR=explode project for June - I loved this year-long meditation on staying put, through memories and watercolor, drawings and observation. It is similar to Annie Dillard's

    , but with art, and of course with a different person's perspective. I loved how she incorporated her past travels and collections of objects into the months, and the profiles of months by mood/feel/color gave me a true sense of Long Island without experiencing it myself.

  • Abby

    I purposely read this book slowly. Full of beautiful watercolor illustrations (That oddly enough make me think that if I just dug out some watercolors, I could paint like that too. Which is far from the truth, but still I like art that makes you think you can create things just as beautiful) and episodic journal entries that follow a year of village life along the Long Island Sound, this book was inspiring. For much of her life Swift moved from city to city and country to country, but for 10 yea

    I purposely read this book slowly. Full of beautiful watercolor illustrations (That oddly enough make me think that if I just dug out some watercolors, I could paint like that too. Which is far from the truth, but still I like art that makes you think you can create things just as beautiful) and episodic journal entries that follow a year of village life along the Long Island Sound, this book was inspiring. For much of her life Swift moved from city to city and country to country, but for 10 years (the time span in which the book was written) she stayed put and her journal reflects both that life of travel and her interest in setting down roots.

    This was a Christmas gift from my Dad and I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy, or at least sneaking in to your favorite library/bookstore and looking at all the great pictures.

  • Mycala

    This is my second reading of this book, and it's a feast for the eyes on a day like this when I've been stuck in bed for the fifth day, delirious from lack of sleep due to coughing and fever and an ever-urgent need to blow my nose just as I'm about to drift off. I'm in the worst mood -- I just want to get back to being among the living again -- and this book was a lovely distraction. I love her representations of ephemera, the stories of her travels, the tiny glimpses into the landscape of her n

    This is my second reading of this book, and it's a feast for the eyes on a day like this when I've been stuck in bed for the fifth day, delirious from lack of sleep due to coughing and fever and an ever-urgent need to blow my nose just as I'm about to drift off. I'm in the worst mood -- I just want to get back to being among the living again -- and this book was a lovely distraction. I love her representations of ephemera, the stories of her travels, the tiny glimpses into the landscape of her neighborhood, and her cat stories.

    (First time read: December 21, 2012) LOVE this book -- from the "how to use this book" humor at the beginning to the little sketches, the stories of her travels, the paintings, her sense of humor... this is a book that is not only interesting to read, but also very inspiring.

  • Jennifer

    This is a book to be savored. Grab a cup of vanilla tea in a beautiful tea cup, of course and enjoy a journey through the seasons. Be completely immersed in the beautiful watercolors (I wish I could do that!), the poetry, diary entries, and short stories. It felt like spending an afternoon with a good friend. So glad I found this book and now looking forward to reading her other work.

  • Kelley

    What a lovely and delightful book. Ideas for my own journal habit and good reminders to be slow and look around. ❤

    What a lovely and delightful book. Ideas for my own journal habit and good reminders to be slow and look around. ❤️

  • Lindsaygail

    I really enjoyed this. I love the idea of being able to write a travel memoir about your own home. Swift mixes in stories and memories from her wide range of travels as well, but the majority of the book is about seeing the place she has decided to stay put with the same kind of wonder and appreciation she has felt for more exotic places. She does this by being very observant, writing about and drawing what she sees for a year in her hometown. Being a homebody myself I could relate to this, and

    I really enjoyed this. I love the idea of being able to write a travel memoir about your own home. Swift mixes in stories and memories from her wide range of travels as well, but the majority of the book is about seeing the place she has decided to stay put with the same kind of wonder and appreciation she has felt for more exotic places. She does this by being very observant, writing about and drawing what she sees for a year in her hometown. Being a homebody myself I could relate to this, and it encouraged me to enjoy my own day-to-day life that way as well.

    I'm glad I bought a copy because I think I will enjoy revisiting this as the seasons change. The chapter about January was the most resonate part for me this reading.

  • Kay

    I was attracted to the book by the title but enchanted by the watercolors that fill the pages. A kind of illustrated diary. There are not entries for each day but frequently themes for each month. Some of my favorite parts of this book were just ideas. For example to draw one tree each day of the winter. Might try that. I also loved the little sketches of snowmen in poses I would never think of like diving (only the butt shows) or synchronized swimming, sketches of crows playing in a sprinkler.

    I was attracted to the book by the title but enchanted by the watercolors that fill the pages. A kind of illustrated diary. There are not entries for each day but frequently themes for each month. Some of my favorite parts of this book were just ideas. For example to draw one tree each day of the winter. Might try that. I also loved the little sketches of snowmen in poses I would never think of like diving (only the butt shows) or synchronized swimming, sketches of crows playing in a sprinkler. At the end I wasn't really sure of what travelers do when they stop traveling but if more people could enjoy the small things in life the way Vivian Swift does the world would be a nicer place.

  • Carrie

    Comfy but a little depressing. Vivian Swift's cozy vignettes and peaceful paintings made me want to curl up with a cup of tea and snuggle with kittens and imagine myself as an adventurous, independent woman. But I couldn't brush aside the subtle reminders of loneliness underneath all her memories. This book found a perfect niche in my life as I read it during the time I was getting married and, a bit reluctantly, closing the chapter of my traveling days. Through reading her journal entries, I re

    Comfy but a little depressing. Vivian Swift's cozy vignettes and peaceful paintings made me want to curl up with a cup of tea and snuggle with kittens and imagine myself as an adventurous, independent woman. But I couldn't brush aside the subtle reminders of loneliness underneath all her memories. This book found a perfect niche in my life as I read it during the time I was getting married and, a bit reluctantly, closing the chapter of my traveling days. Through reading her journal entries, I realized I'd rather sacrifice the thrill of traveling for the comfort of companionship. I think she never was able to come to the same conclusion.

  • Laura

    My friend Bonny recommended this book to me, so I hesitate to review it negatively, but I think she'll forgive me! As we're both avid collectors of travel journals and sketchbooks, I can see why she thought I'd like it. The concept is great but the execution left, for me, a lot to be desired. The format, loosely, owes too much to Sarah Midda's brilliant 'South of France, a Sketchbook,' with its calendar-based organizing principle and its vignette-based illustration style. I say 'loosely' because

    My friend Bonny recommended this book to me, so I hesitate to review it negatively, but I think she'll forgive me! As we're both avid collectors of travel journals and sketchbooks, I can see why she thought I'd like it. The concept is great but the execution left, for me, a lot to be desired. The format, loosely, owes too much to Sarah Midda's brilliant 'South of France, a Sketchbook,' with its calendar-based organizing principle and its vignette-based illustration style. I say 'loosely' because Swift ignores what makes Midda's book so successful (other than the high quality of her illustrations) and that is its breathtaking pithiness. Midda gets a whole world in her tiny, jewel-like sketches and her lists and her timelines.

    Midda's book has spawned zillions of imitators, Swift being the most recent. (To cite one example: her full-page illustration of Wellington boots introducing the April chapter is an egregious ripoff of Midda's May espadrille page.) Unfortunately, in every case, Midda's imitators fall far short of the mark. Swift's book is too much----too much text, too many illustrations, for the kind of book it aspires to be. A good editor would have been a godsend. And then there's the quality of the illustrations themselves. Some of them are quite nice, but many are badly drawn and badly painted. Swift needs to spend much more time honing her craft.

    And finally, I found the basic premise of the book , a journal of 'staying put' a bit annoying. Since she never gives us a real rationale for a non-travel travel journal, I began to wonder if she were just trying to fit the square peg of her clunky memoir into the round hole of this popular genre.

    So there. I feel grinchy, but I'll get over it. (Bonny, are you still speaking to me?) If, by the way, you haven't read and feasted on Sara Midda's 'South of France, a Sketchbook,' please put a copy in your very own hands. It's the real deal.

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