Travel books are a part of my packing list to somewhere gorgeous. I pack the real thing, the paperback edition and, yes, I even have an old fashioned hallmark card bookmark. There is a lot of waiting times at the airport and while in transit. I make use of this free time by reading. I also recharge by reading in hostels common area or in my corner bunk bed.
If you need some travel books and great reads to accompany you on your travels, here are some that have done me a great job.
This book is on the top of my list of best travel reads or beach reads or vacations reads and even holiday reads because I can personally relate to the writer’s life experience. Plus the lead actress in the movie was Julia Roberts, my favorite actress! This book is memoir by American writer Elizabeth Gilbert.
The book chronicles her trip around the world after her divorce and her self discovery in Italy, India and Indonesia. At 32, after her divorce and a devastating rebound relationship, she decided to travel the world for a year. She went to Italy for the “eat” part, India for the “pray” and finally Indonesia and fell in “love”. Truth? I’m watching the movie while Im writing this post.
One of my favorite books written by Brazilian Paulo Coelho. The book follows a young Andalusian Santiago in his travel from his homeland in Spain to Egypt, after having recurring dreams of finding treasure buried in the pyramids there. Santiago has no idea what kind of treasure is waiting for him when he arrives there, or if he will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way.
But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.
This book is another memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—with a man and with French cuisine. Yep, I love memoirs! LUNCH IN PARIS is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home.
In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence, the prequel to this book and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life. Believe me, I still have that dream!
I love how this book is presented, in form of short stories for easy read and you can skip some stories if you want to and she even put in her email address at the end. This is a compilation of short stories of her own travels and 40 other women she met along the way.
The stories are funny and sad, poignant and tender, familiar and bizarre. They will make you laugh and cry and maybe even send you off on your own adventure. Also included are the story teller’s website and contact details if you want to meet them along your journey too. There are recipes scattered throughout the book with some of the stories.
Both revealing and inspirational, perhaps the best thing about this hilarious trip across four continents is that for you, the reader, the “geography of bliss” is wherever they happen to find themselves while reading it. To me that is every destination I have been to.
Here’s another one of my favourite memoirs, Under the Tuscan Sun. Its about how the writer, after her divorce, buys and restores a villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. I enjoyed reading this book and would love to travel in the Italy countryside soon. Frances is one of the travel writers that I would love to follow.
This is Maya Angelou’s fifth autobiography, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes. It’s a 242-page book divided into short chapters, great if you get distracted by your seat mate onboard the plane. Most of the locations in this book takes place in Ghana in the early 1960s, at a time when pan-Africanism was on the rise and before the Civil Rights Act was passed.
This book was very much about identity and belonging, themes very dear to the African-Americans who went to Ghana and elsewhere in Africa hoping to be welcomed as returning sons and daughters.
This book is one of the reasons I fell in love with Leonardo, who played the lead actor in the movie, who went backpacking to southern Thailand. I remember reading this book in about three days, one of the fastest read I’ve done. It is about the story of a young backpacker’s search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism, and his time there, in its small, international community of backpackers. The story is never ending adventure (especially the last 30 pages or so….) I don’t think you will be able to put this book down.
I love how Bill Bryson puts in comedy in his travel writing. His curiosity about the Appalachian Trail got him and his friend trying to complete the trail. The book is written in a humorous style, interspersed with more serious discussions of matters relating to the trail’s history, and the surrounding sociology, ecology, trees, plants, animals and people. And you should see the movie!
I haven’t started to read this book, but definitely on my list of next read! This book is for those new and haven’t done any long term travel yet, that’s me. I came across this post about an interview with the author from nomadicmatt.com The author, Rolf Potts, has listed in this book all about practical backpacking information, valuable insights, travel quotes and planning for a life on the road. A must read for newbies.
You should also check this out, What the Florida? for off the beaten paths in Florida.
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Happy travels and reading!
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