Love to read? Then, you’ll love this quote by Anne Lamott…
“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott
And while we explore the world, what better way to explore ourselves than with a great book?
This list of travel books was either written by a woman OR features a strong female character and is organized alphabetically by book title.
So without further ado, here’s the 125 best travel books for women…
Travel Books for Women
1. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz
1,000 Places to See Before You Die is the ultimate bucket list of travel activities to see and do around the world. From historic sites such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s home in Western Samoa to festivals such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the book blends well-known places with unknown destinations. The book’s chapters are divided by geographical locations (e.g. Europe) and then further narrowed by region (e.g. Ireland).
2. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
This book is all about, well, getting lost! It details everything from personal stories from Rebecca Solnit, discovering what it means to be lost, the difference of getting lost to losing oneself entirely, and every conceivable meaning of the word lost. It’s a great read if you find value in wandering, being lost, and entering the great unknown.
3. The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman
If you have ever wanted to give in to your wanderlust, buy a plane ticket, and just go and travel the world this is the book for you. Rachel Friedman, the protagonist of this story, goes from good girl and college grad to world traveler when she randomly decides to buy a plane ticket to Ireland. From there she meets two unlikely friends with whom she travels the world. Part travel memoir, part unexpected journey of self discovery, this book is what every recent college graduate dreams of.
4. A Handful of Honey by Annie Hawes
As she searches for an oasis in North Africa’s Sahara to track down people from her past, Annie Hawes narrates her travels through Morocco and Algeria, while uncovering unique insights into human nature. This book is filled with humor, empathy, a deep examination of the lives and culture of the people she meets along the way.
5. A House in Fez by Suzanna Clarke
A House in Fez is a journey that only Suzanna Clarke could bring to life. The story tells of how she and her husband moved to Morocco and bought a dilapidated house in the town of Fez. While struggling with a house that could collapse at any minute and not speaking a word of Arabic, Clarke weaves useful information about Moroccan life and culture through hilarity and frustration.
6. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway is a master of writing, adventure, and subtle realizations about human nature and society. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes a classic memoir about Paris in the 1920’s and visits from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein – Hemingway’s wife and famed female publisher. Publish posthumously in 1964, this book remains one of the most loved of Hemingway’s work and home to some of the most powerful women in Hemingway’s life.
7. A Pig in Provence by Georgeanne Brennan
If you have ever dreamed of moving to France, eating delicious French cuisine, and living on a farm in Provence, this book is your literary holy grail. In the 70’s, this is exactly what Georgeanne Brennan did with her young daughter and husband. The book is filled with tales of French culture, mouth-watering traditional cuisine, and recipes so you can experience a taste of France right from your own home.
8. A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena De Blasi
Marlena De Blasi is world famous for her books about Italy, and this one does not disappoint. Set to the backdrop of gorgeous Tuscany, the book describes how the author and her Italian husband move to the region and experience Tuscan culture, food, and people. This book will undoubtedly make you want to rent a villa in Tuscany.
9. A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Blasi
Like the previous book, A Thousand Days in Venice reveals how the author met her future husband in Venice. Set partially in Venice and partially in St. Louis, this book is about love, Italy, and the unexpected connections you can make when traveling.
10. A Trip to the Beach by Melinda Blanchard
Melinda and Robert Blanchard wanted a trip to the beach that would never end. So, they bought a small restaurant on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla. But they soon realize that island living is not as easy as it seems and have to deal with the outlandish complications of living a simple life. It’s got amazing characters, amazing scenery,and oh did I mention the hurricane?
Traveling alone is not for the faint-hearted. Luckily for you, this book is full of personal stories from amazing women who journey alone across the globe. This collection has everything from camel rides in the desert to being alone in a Thai train station in the middle of the night. These stories are funny, occasionally terrifying, and always inspirational.
12. A Woman’s World by Marybeth Bond
If you’re looking for women’s travel stories but can’t decide what to read, you’ve found the perfect book! There are more than 50 women’s travel stories in this volume alone. The stories range from end-of-the-world adventures to just around the corner excursions that are humorous, courageous and witty.
13. A Year in the World by Frances Mayes
Frances Mayes, the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, celebrates travel as she chronicles a trip starting in Tuscany and continuing throughout the world. This book covers all that travel has to offer: the allure of the unknown, the pleasure in discovering something new, and the simple joy of the voyage.
14. Adventure Divas by Holly Morris
This book covers the story behind the TV series Adventure Divas. Holly Morris documents her life after she quits her job and sets out for adventure and self discovery with a small television crew and her producer mom. This pro woman book is filled with a unique view of the world, adventurer, and a whole lot of humor.
15. Alaska Traveler by Dana Stabenow
Dana Stabenow is an Alaska born native who has lived a life full of the kind of adventure that only Alaska has to offer. She grew up in Alaska before statehood, worked in a cannery and even the oil fields at one point. Now writing for a magazine, Stabenow takes the reader through Alaska on a journey reminiscent of a pioneer trip.
16. All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou
Set to the backdrop of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, Maja Angelou and a group of expatriates flee the country to Ghana to avoid political tension. She chronicles the difficulties of motherhood, the exploration of her African American identity, and the journey to find a home. Not only is this book a true story, but an amazing glimpse into both West Africa and America’s tumultuous history.
17. All Over the Map by Laura Fraser
What’s a travel writer to do when she turns forty and realizes that she is now divorced, childless and completely unhappy? Why, travel the world of course! Starting in Mexico, Laura Fraser moves across South American and Europe, searching for herself and someone to share her life with. She encounters old friends, new friends, and many cultures as she yearns for a different life.
18. All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
We all love Jane Austen, right? So does Amy Elizabeth Smith, who set out on a yearlong adventure in South America with a suitcase full of Jane Austen novels in Spanish. Her book describes her travels through six countries and meetings with Austen fans all along the way, from politicians to taxi drivers, and even meeting her own Mr. Darcy along the way.
19. Almost French by Sarah Turnball
When an Australian television journalist is invited to Paris for an extended stay by a man she barely knows, deadpan humor, ridiculous culture clashes, Parisian dinner parties, and fashion shows all take place. Set in arguably the most romantic city on earth, Sarah Turnball narrates this travel memoir with humor and a fresh twist.
20. An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser
The title – An Italian Affair – sums up this book. When narrator and author Laura Fraser is left by her husband for his high school sweetheart, she leaves for Italy. What she finds there is a nice Italian man who she travels with all over the globe before finally returning home. What sets this story apart is the honesty and the open mindedness that Laura applies to the world around her.
21. An Umbrian Love Story by Marlena De Blasi
This is yet another story from Marelena De Blasi, set just after the ending of A Thousand Days in Tuscany. In this novel, Marlena and her husband Fernando buy a new house in a new town located in Umbria. Like the previous stories, this one reveals how Marlena interacts every day with her unique setting in Italy, the people, the food, the wine and the culture that only Italy can offer.
22. Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe
Set in India, Dave and Liz take a gap year off from school. Dave follows Liz across the world, even though she is dating his only friend. Along the way they meet a cast of characters, learn a little something about visiting another country, and realize that in fact they don’t like each other at all. Unique, hilarious, and full of India, this book is a great look at what happens when two young adults travel together.
23. Around the Bloc by Stephanie Elizondo Greist
Mrs. Greist is a young, would-be journalist who wants learn the effect of communism on the world. So, she sets out on a four year journey through twelve nations, meeting a surprising cast of characters, like an ex soldier and a Cuban hip hop artist. She even works for the Chinese communist party at one point!
24. At Home in France by Ann Barry
Former editor at the New Yorker and New York Times, Ann Barry documents her experience randomly falling in love with and buying a house in southwestern France. She becomes known as “The American” by the locals and shares her colorful views of France with the reader.
25. Avoiding Prison and other Noble Vacation Goals by Wendy Dale
This book is truly an original. Wendy Dale, the author and narrator, keeps ending up in prison every time she visits South America. And yet she keeps going back! In her search for the perfect vacation and that all too elusive happiness that comes with it, she ends up finding great people, adventure, and of course, that happiness can come from even behind the bars of a South American prison cell.
26. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This novel, although written by a man, is still deserving of being on this list. Walter crafts a tale about a whole menagerie of people across a fifty year span on multiple continents who all have one thing in common: they have big dreams. It starts in Cinque Terre, featured on the cover of the book, and moves across the world to Hollywood. Walter also writes a strong cast of female characters, like Claire, the hopeful film assistant.
27. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
This book, from Pulitzer Prize winning Katherine Boo, documents life across the world in the most unexpected of places. This book is the product of three years of reporting on what life is like in an era of globalization and change. Told through a cast of mesmerizing characters and destinations, this book is simply unforgetable.
28. Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
In this sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes creates another beautiful memoir about one of the most sought after destinations in the world. This book takes the reader through the life and culture of Italians living in the Tuscan region of Italy in a way that only Mayes can find. She gardens, makes friends, and travels throughout the region, all with the reader in tow.
29. Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl
If you are ever wondering, “what should I read next?”, then this book is your gold mine. As a self-proclaimed reading list for “Travelers, vagabonds, and dreamers”, this book list has a little of everything and a whole lot of destinations. Nancy Pearl, famed librarian, takes the readers from Texas to Timbuktu, and everywhere in between. There is enough reading material in this book to keep you occupied for a long, long time.
30. Breathless by Nancy K. Miller
This travel monologue, set in the 1960s, follows a young Nancy K. Miller. She has just graduated from college and sets out for the city of her dreams, Pairs, where she stays for some time and eventually gets married. Feminist before there was feminism, this novel is a travel memoir of a time in the past: Paris in the sixties. It’s like time traveling and reading all at the same time.
31. Burmese Lessons by Karen Connelly
In 1996 Karen Connelly travels to Burma, where she enters a country that is ruled by a dangerous dictatorship. She stays to report on the dictatorship, but then must flee the country when it gets too dangerous. In the course of this book, she falls in love with a resistance leader, visits a military camp, and has to make some hard decisions. Connelly paints a world that is both frightening and alluring all at the same time.
32. Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonesca
Isabel Fonesca details her four years traveling with gypsies throughout Europe. A notoriously closed society, Fonesca follows them from Albania to Poland, learning about their culture, stories and taboos. She meets many unique people along the way. It is a fascinating read set in the backdrop of Europe complete with 50 photos from her time with the gypsies.
33. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller talks about the life of her mother, Nicola. Born in Scotland and raised in Central Africa, Nicola is a charismatic and exotic character that Fuller captures beautifully. The story begins with Nicola’s childhood and takes the reader all the way to her very own tree of forgetfulness, her newfound family, and her love of Africa.
34. Cosima by Grazia Delleda
Cosima is the quasi autobiography of Grazia Delleda, famed Italian author and the first female winner of the Nobel Prize. Cosima is a young girl growing up in Nuoro, Sardinia in the late 19th century who wants nothing more than to be an author. In this book Delleda weaves her own history into the life of Cosima and the city of Nuoro itself, creating a unique story and a unique look into Southern Italy.
35. Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daisy Miller is a classic tale of what happens when an American goes to Europe. Sure, it was written in 1878, but the story holds true even today. Daisy Miller is a young and rich American woman who takes a grand tour of Europe and causes a whole bunch of trouble with her undignified American antics. Daisy ends up being foolishly naive, brash, and meets the man of her dreams while horrifying the locals. Mr. James’s descriptive passages make Daisy Miller witty, funny, and always enlightening.
36. Dancing Skeletons by Katherine A. Dettwyler
Dancing Skeletons is a true account of a biocultural anthropologist who conducted field work in West Africa. Her studies involve infant feeding and health in Mali, and she predominantly works with malnourished children, hence the title of the novel. The book is composed of vignettes that are both shocking and beautiful but always engaging. Dattwyler takes the reader through Africa, its cultures, and her friends and co-workers in an account that will have you alternately laughing and crying.
37. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is the debut novel of Alexandra Fuller. In this book she relates the tale of how she grew up unconventionally in West Africa with her spirited mother Nicola and eccentric family. This volume is full of crazy and mind-opening stories about her childhood, including one of her clutching an Uzi for protection in a school photo. It is both hilariously hard to believe and engrossing. Fuller has a way of writing that is oddly unemotional in the best possible way. She can laugh and get the reader to laugh in the most unfortunate of circumstances.
38. Down the Nile by Rosemary Mahoney
Down the Nile is the tale of how Rosemary Mahoney traveled down the Nile River alone in a fisherman’s skiff- starting with her bribing a Muslim sailor for her seven foot skiff! Along the way she had to confront the heat of the day while rowing, something which neither women nor tourists do, and fear of crocodiles at night. She also has to deal with views towards non-Muslim women, fear, violence, and other fisherman, all with surprising wit and grace.
39. Dreams of a Thousand Lives by Karen Connelly
Canadian Poet Karen Connelly decides as a seventeen year old woman to go and live in Denchia, Thailand for a year. In this small farming community in the northernmost part of Thailand, Connelly lives with local families and goes from hating her new home to hating the idea of leaving and having to go home. The book becomes a lyrical tribute to the culture of her small town and the love that she develops for Thailand.
40. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Perhaps you’ve even seen the movie? The plot is simple: a recently divorced woman plans to travel throughout to world to find happiness and discover herself. She goes to Italy, India, and Indonesia. Throughout the journey she finds pleasure in food, devotion, and love, like the title might reflect. But, for all the hype for good or bad, it’s still a worthwhile read for any traveler.
41. Educating Alice by Alice Steinbach
Also known as The Adventures of a Curious Girl, Educating Alice is all about learning, traveling, and reading. Steinbach quits her journalism job one day and sets out across the world for a self educating journey. She learns many things, like French cooking in Paris, border collie training in Scotland, traditional Japanese arts in Kyoto, and architecture and art in Havana.
42. Every Day In Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Every Day in Tuscany is the third book in Frances Mayes’s book series about her love of Tuscany. In this novel, Mayes continues her passion of living life in Tuscany and all the richness and complexity that it entails. In this book, Mayes continues her deeply personal memoir, taking the reader through her move to the countryside and how her life has changed since the first two novels. If you loved Under the Tuscan Sun, then this is a must read.
43. Everything is Going to be Great by Rachel Shukert
A recent graduate from NYU with a degree in acting, Rachel Shukert lands a job in a play. Of course, her part has no lines and doesn’t pay, but the play is going to Vienna and Rachel is going with it. What follows is this novel, a hilarious look at what the author calls, “An underfunded and overexposed grand European tour.” There are drunken nights, culture shocks, miscommunications, and other ridiculous mishaps when a twenty-something college graduate tries to “find” herself.
44. Fast Times in Palestine by Pamela Olsen
Fast Times in Palestine is the byproduct of Pamela Olsen’s 2013 trip to the Middle East. This book discusses all the big questions, like Westerners preconceived notions and the violence, trauma and political tension that rocks the country. But it is also full of little bits of daily events that hit home- things like parties, weddings, and even barbecues that make the book incredibly relatable. This is a travel narrative that challenges your way of thinking.
45. First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is the hilarious story of Eve Brown-Waite, who lives a pampered life of sushi, air conditioning, and coffee. She has always dreamed of joining the Peace Corps though, and one day decides to casually look into the process. Then she meets John, the Peace Corps recruiter, who she falls in love with after spending a year in Ecuador with him. After returning home, she follows John again Uganda, where she aspires to beado–gooder, but really misses her coffee.
46. Forty-Something Phoenix by Marlayna Glynn Brown
As you might imagine from the title, Forty-Something Phoenix is about a forty-something year old woman named Marlayna who decides that she needs to take a trip to reinvent herself. What ensues is a six month trip that takes her through sixteen different countries as a solo female traveler. Like a phoenix, she comes back afterwards a different person, using the ashes of her old life to start a new one.
47. Four Corners by Kira Salak
Kira Salak is truly an adventurer reminiscent of the greatest explorers. In this book, she travels to Papua New Guinea following the 1927 route of famed British explorer Ivan Champion. Along the way she meets cannibals, missionaries, and even a separatist guerilla movement. This book will make you want to be as awesome as Kira Salak, walking through the torturous terrain in search of something new.
48. French By Heart by Rebecca S. Ramsey
French By Heart is the story of how Mrs. Ramsey, her husband, and their three small children, move from the heart of Dixie to the center of France. After hearing that her husband is being transferred with his company, the Ramsey family moves to France and experience all the culture clashing that one might expect when Southern hospitality meets French fine life. This book is definitely a different way to look at France.
49. Happier Than a Billionaire by Nadine Hays Pisani
This book is the highlight of living vicariously through someone else, and living vicariously through Nadine Pisani means quitting your job, moving with your husband to Costa Rica and not working. Somehow it works out for Pisani and her husband though, who manage to have zany adventures in their new city, deal with locals and neighbors, and deliver a hilarious novel.
50. Have Mother, Will Travel by Claire and Mia Fontaine
Clair and Mia Fontaine are a mother-daughter duo that have published multiple novels. Have Mother, Will Travel is their second novel together. In this book, Claire and Mia, 50 and 25, have decided to take a five month, twenty city, twelve country journey across the world that allows them to reconnect and rediscover each other. The book, alternated between mother and daughter’s perspectives, gives the reader fresh view at every turn.
51. Hearing Birds Fly by Louisa Waugh
Journalist Louisa Waugh spent two years working in the Capitol of Mongolia before deciding to move to the small village of Tsengel. She spent a total of one year in that remote village, in the far west of the country. Throughout the novel, she shares not only her story of loneliness in an unfamiliar and remote terrain, but also the stories of the people that she works with, the natives of the village who make their lives out of the rugged landscape.
52. Heidi’s Alp by Christina Hardyment
Christina Haryment was struck one day by the idea that she should travel with her four young daughters in a camper across Europe and see all the places where famous children’s literature was written. The result is Heidi’s Alp, a charming novel about their adventures seeing Pinoccio in Italy, reading tons of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and, of course, seeing Heidi’s Alp. This book brings reading-inspired travel to a whole new level.
53. Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald
As a young woman, Sarah Macdonald traveled to India and was not impressed. As she was fleeing the country, a beggar prophesied that she would return for “love”. Turns out the prophecy comes true and she returns to India with her love interest. But shortly after arriving she gets ill, almost dies, and is forced to confront her feelings towards India, religion, her love life, and more. This novel is full of ups and downs and is always good for a laugh.
54. Incontinent on the Continent by Jane Christmas
From the Amalfi Coast to Tuscany, Jane Christmas and her mother Valeria bicker across Italy in search of a trip that will heal their relationship. Jane’s mother Valeria, clad with her walker, trunk of medications and incontinence, is unflinching and often hilarious. There are quite literally hundreds of travelogues about Italy and Tuscany, but this one is uniquely fresh and funny.
55. Jasmine and Fire by Rosemary Mahoney
This book, set in beautiful Beirut, is told from the viewpoint of Rosemary Mahoney who was born there, but moved to America in the 80’s with her family. After years of feeling like she was missing something, she decides to move from New York to Beirut to rediscover her hometown and childhood. What she gets is a whole lot more than she bargained for. Mahoney’s Beirut is a city rife with unrest, turmoil and vibrancy.
56. Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
Who would have thought that setting up a beauty school in Afghanistan would be considered humanitarian relief? Deborah Rodriguez did just that when she traveled there in 2001 with doctors and nurses to aid the war torn country, only to find that her skills seemed to be a little less pressing. That didn’t stop her though, and the result is the poignant Kabul Beatury School, a story about how to break down barriers through the simple act of of teaching women how to become hairdressers and breadwinners.
57. Life is a Trip by Judith Fein
This book is more of a compilation of travel stories than a travel memoir. In these pages Judith Fein shares with readers why travel is so important and enlightening through 14 of her own personal stories. Fein travels everywhere with her husband, from Vietnam to Isreal and Mexic0. In these 14 sections, Fein discovers love and loss, culture clashes and travel experiences. But, above all, it’s about the people she meets along the way.
Lonely Planet, the people who bring you guidebooks to almost everywhere in the world, have compiled an amazing anthology of international authors and their best travel stories, like DBC Pierre, Frances Mayes, and Joyce Carol Oates. Their stories range all over the world, from pick pockets in Rome all the way around the world to the Sudan.
59. Lonely Planet: On the Edge by Cecil Kuhne
Lonely Planet does it again in this anthology of stories. Like the previous book, Lonely Planet on the Edge is all about travel, only this time it’s extreme travel. In these stories, the writers travel to the harshest places, both mentally or physically difficult. In this anthology, the world’s best travel writers recount their journeys into jungles, across seas, and going off the well-traveled roads.
60. Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche
Self-professed city girl Torre DeRoche decides to travel with the man of her dreams across the ocean in a sailboat in this travel memoir. What she gets is much more than salt water and sea swells. Instead, her journey gives her a leaky sailboat, a stormy Pacific, and forces her to confront her fear of water. This year-long voyage delivers more than its fair share of seasickness and bravery.
61. Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
If you have ever read a travel memoir and thought, “Man, what I would give to try that delicious French cuisine the writer is talking about right now,” then this is the book for you. Not only do you get to read about France through the lens of the delicious and unique food that it has to offer, but Elizabeth Bard also supplies you with recipes for that very same food. This could easily be called a love story, just a love story about food that you can taste as well.
62. Marcus of Umbria by Justine van der Leun
You, like me, might assume that Marcus is a man. You roll your eyes wondering if this is going to be another love story about Italy. Marcus is, in fact, a dog. When Justine van der Leun’s plans to move to Italy with an attractive Italian gardener fail utterly, she turns to a rescued English Pointer she meets on the streets instead. What results is this hilarious and unexpected novel.
63. Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
Taking a walkabout with an aboriginal tribe in Australia is not something most women would seek to do on their own. Marlo Morgan is a different kind of woman. She takes a four-month long journey through the Australian outback, learning to live in harmony with nature. Along the way she must test her own endurance while traveling with an extraordinary community across one of the harshest plains in the world.
64. My Invented Country by Isabel Allende
This memoir by Isabel Allende is set in her ancestral home of Chile. Allende is the offspring of parents and grandparents born and raised in Chile who decided to move to America in the mid 70’s. After spending a lifetime hearing about their love of the country, she decides that is the time to visit and reconnect with her roots. My Invented Country is a look into the nostalgia that Allende has of her home country and also the harsh reality of violence and political unrest.
65. My Life in France by Julia Child
This book is all about how Julia Child, famed chef, fell in love with France and French food. Starting in France in 1948, Child takes the reader though her life, her love affair with everything France, and her discovery of great food. Throughout the novel, Child’s love of food pours through the pages and into the reader. And as a bonus, you get to see France from the eyes of the famed chef herself.
66. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha by Sarah Erdman
Nambonkaha is a remote village in the Ivory Coast. Sarah Erdman arrives at the village as a Peace Corps member and discovers much more than just Africa. She sees a village where everyone- including the children- work hard, where AIDS is an ever-present threat, and poverty is a constant fact of everyday life. This book is a look at a not-often seen side of Africa, one that is not only captivating but beautiful.
67. No Touch Monkey by Ayun Halliday
No Touch Monkey is an amazing and zany book about what happens when a slightly eccentric woman named Ayun Halliday travels across the globe with a group of unwitting cohorts. Halliday has a special knack for getting into hilarious amounts of trouble. From the red light district in Amsterdam to drug induced Apocalypse Now reenactments in Vietnam, nothing in this book will be reminiscent of any travel memoir you have ever read before.
68. Nothing to Declare by Mary Morris
These are the self-titled “memoirs of a woman traveling alone”. In Nothing to Declare, Mary Morris sets out traveling simply for the sake of traveling. She bounces from Mexico to Honduras, the Caribbean to Guatemala, and is confronted by the reality of everyday life in different locations around the world. She is also confronted by the reality of her own life choices. This book is another success of the famous writer of both fiction and nonfiction alike.
69. Off the Rails by Lisa St Aubin de Terán
Off the Rails is a travel book like no other. Instead of focusing on a specific location, Lisa St Aubin de Terán focuses on the act of riding trains. From a childhood journey on the Occident Express through Russia to more recent travels through South America and Europe, this train addict looks at the world through a different lens. Off the Rails is a great book to read, not only for the different perspectives of destinations like Argentina, Italy and Scotland, but also for the amazing details of her own life, which are unusual by most peoples’ standards.
70. On a Shoestring to Coorg by Deryla Murphy
Not many people imagine traveling to a far off and foreign destination with their five year old. Deryla Murphy has a different perspective and set off with her five year old daughter to Coorg in the 70’s. Their trip to Southern India was punctuated with bus rides, biking and walking while staying in cheap hotels or with friends on their way to Coorg, which she and her daughter Rachel fell in love with. This book is also punctuated with very insightful and interesting tidbits about India, the caste system, the history and the people.
71. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Isak Dinesen, AKA Karen Von Blixen, was a Danish baroness who owned and worked on a coffee plantation in Africa. This novel is a autobiographical memoir of her time in Africa, published under her pseudonym. Dinesen’s life was truly extraordinary: she married and later divorced her husband, running the plantation all on her own after he left, all the while loving Africa and the locals. The book is slow to start, but once it gets going it’s amazing. It has everything from lion encounters to incidents with bugs and is the basis for the Academy Award-winning movie by the same name.
72. Paris in Love by Eloisa James
This is yet another book where the author decides to pick up everything and move to Paris, something that we all dream about doing every now and then. Eloisa James spends a year in the city of love with her Italian husband and two teenage children before moving back to the US. This book is punctuated by a great family whose cast of members includes a mother-in-law who overfeeds everyone, a hilarious dog, and an eleven and fifteen year old who must navigate puberty and school all in a foreign language.
73. Paris to the Past by Ina Caro
This book is unique for a couple reasons. The first is that instead of the usual structure, Ina Caro structures her novel around 25 one day train trips that leave from Paris. She punctuates these train trips with historical facts and personal and endearing tips. Caro has nothing short of an amazing passion for Paris and a knowledge that far surpasses any other. This book is equal parts travel guide, history book, and travelogue.
74. Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands
Paris Was Ours is an anthology in which 32 famous writers reflect on one of the greatest cities in the world. These 32 writers are not simply tourists in Paris, but people who have, at least for a time, made the city their home. In their essays, the writers talk about Paris, its charms, and what made them decide one day to move there. Some of them came from the US and Canada, some from England, Iraq, Iran and even Cuba, and a couple from other parts of France. Their essays are diverse, but their love of Paris is not.
75. Passionate Nomad by Jane Fletcher Geniesse
Passionate Nomad is the story of Freya Stark, world famous traveler, explorer, Arabist, and writer. She is also the author of the famous novel The Valleys of the Assassins. Born in the early 1900’s, her life was simply fascinating. She traveled all over the world and had a passion for exploring the Middle East. Her knowledge of the region was so great that she even helped the British Secret Services during WWII. This novel is a tribute to Stark, her travels and explorations, and her controversial life.
76. Rambles in Germany and Italy by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley, the amazingly famous author of Frankenstein, wife of famous author and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and good friend of poet Lord Byron, was an avid traveler. It’s even rumored she conceived the idea of her famous novel on a trip to Switzerland. She often wrote about her travels, and this little novel is one such example of her travels to Germany and Italy, which she calls rambles. It’s old compared to the other books on this list, but if you can overlook that it’s a fascinating read to see just how little some of these places have changed.
77. Return to Paris by Colette Rossant
At the end of WWII, Colette Rossant makes her return to Paris as a teenager after living in Cairo for the last 9 years. She is left in the care of her less than amicable grandmother with her estranged older brother and finds solace as the house cook. But, at its heart, this is a coming of age book about food. While it is technically a memoir, it reads like a fiction novel. You find yourself entranced by Colette’s life and you root for her throughout the novel. Colette’s narration is charming and self-depreciating, and that’s what makes this book so fantastic.
78. Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence
In 1921 D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda traveled to Sardinia, where all that they observed became the basis for this book. While the main character is Mr. Lawrence, his wife plays an crucial role. More importantly is the role that Mother Italy plays in this novel. She is a character in her own right, and D.H. Lawrence spends the duration of this novel and two others trying to understand the complexities that she has to offer. Sea and Sardinia is almost a century old now, but it is a gorgeous travel book and still holds up well today.
79. SEAsoned by Victoria Allman
This book is the first hand account of how Victoria Allman, Yacht Chef, spent her first year at sea. She was traveling from the Bahamas to Italy, France, Greece, and Spain with her new boss. The boss who, coincidentally, also happened to be her new husband and the captain of the boat. Along the way she has to deal with inexperienced crew members, storms out on the open ocean, insane charter guests, mechanical disasters that lead to flooding and, of course, being a newlywed. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to charter a private yacht around the world, this book is for you.
80. Second Wind by Cami Ostman
Many of us have dreams to visit all seven continents. Cami Ostman is no different, except in that in addition to visiting seven continents, she also wants to run a marathon on each one. Reaching the midway point in her life, Ostman realizes two things: her marriage and subsequent divorce left her with no option but to redefine herself and she really, really likes running. It’s with these in mind that she sets out on her quest. This is an empowering book where one woman challenges herself to go far outside of her comfort zone and achieves her goals.
81. Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy
Very few people have the courage to quit their New York City job and move all the way to India. Miranda Kennedy is one of those few people. In her twenties she does just that, leaving New York City for Dehli, India with no job prospects and nowhere to live. When she arrives, she finds that life in a developing country is less scary than what she expected, meets many new friends, overcomes many struggles, and finally finds someplace to live. This book is the story of her five years living in India and learning to ride sideways on a scooter.
82. Some Girls by Jillian Lauren
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, is the New York Times bestselling tale of how Jillian Lauren came to live the life of a harem with Prince Jefri Bolkaih, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei. As a NYU dropout, she was offered 20,000 dollars to spend two weeks “livening up parties” in Borneo. Those two weeks turned into an eighteen month lifestyle that lead her to very unlikely places. At the end of it all, she meets her birth mother and even adopts a baby.
83. Somebody’s Heart is Burning by Tanya Shaffer
Tanya Shaffer describes herself as an, “incorrigible wanderer” and Somebody’s Heart is Burning does that title justice. In this novel she runs away from domesticity and American life to Ghana. Once in Africa, she wanders from place to place, roaming the continent and meeting new people. She encounters shaky romances, unexpected political debates, and a clash between North American and African cultures that makes this book both provocative and beautiful.
84. Spanish Recognitions by Mary Lee Settle
There are many books in this collections about how authors, in their early adulthood, run away from their lives to travel to far off and foreign places, but this novel takes it to a whole new level. This is no memoir of how Settle, as a young woman, runs to Spain. Instead, it’s about how she goes to Spain at the age of eighty-two! Part travel memoir and part history lesson, Spanish Recognitions is about how a woman finds the unexpected and magical in another country.
85. Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik by Marie Javins
Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik is the tale of solo traveler Marie Javins’s second trip to Africa in 2005, after first visiting in 2001. Here, she revisits everything she grew to love upon her first visit and imparts the reader with all she finds amazing about the continent. This book is a tour of the heart and soul of Africa and with Javins as the tour guide, it is immensely funny, life-altering, and compassionate.
86. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder
This book is the amazing story about Berlin told through the eyes of Anna Funder. Funder, who is uniquely attached to Berlin, meets an amazing cast of characters that she uses to navigate through the complex waters Berlin, before and after WWII. Through these people, she learns about how Berlin is trying to come together after years of neighbor informing on neighbor and a general culture of fear.
87. Surprised by Oxford by Carlyn Weber
Carlyn Weber attends Oxford University as an opportunity to complete her graduate studies. She is acutely aware when she arrives that her agnostic lifestyle differs from many other students. Through the course of the book, she falls in love with Oxford, an also finds a place in her heart for a religious connection. This memoir is part girl-meets-god, part travelogue, and told throughout the course of the traditional school year.
88. Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Goldmen Gelman
Rita Goldmen Gelman is the female nomad of this novel. It starts off with her life at the age of forty-eight and in Los Angeles but soon turns to giving it up to live the nomadic life and travel all over the world. Among some of the places she visits are Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, and the rainforests of Borneo. She lived in tiny huts in the middle of nowhere and giant palace-like homes. The experiences that Gelman have had just can’t be beat and make for a great read.
89. Terra Incognita by Sara Wheeler
Terra Incognita is the account of Sara Wheelers’s travels in Antarctica. She spent a total of seven months living in this cold wonderland, keeping the company of both scientists and dreamers. Like a true adventurer, Wheeler set out to live in one of the least hospitable continents on earth. But for Wheeler, Antarctica is more than just an icy wonderland, it is a place where she can observe scientific ongoings as well as reflect on how this environment is affecting her personally.
90. The Best Women’s Travel Writing by Lavinia Spalding
Since 2004, Travelers’ Tales has been collecting the best women’s travel writing and publishing it each year for readers and travelers alike. Currently there are eight volumes, with promises of more to come. Each volume features a variety of stories from almost everywhere in the world. Some stories will have you wishing desperately that you were there with the author, and others will only leave you sighing in relief and glad that you are far, far away.
91. The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
Jacqueline Novogratz left behind a career in international banking to go out and explore the world. What she found was a whole lot of poverty. Now she has made it her mission to figure out how to stop the spread of global poverty. The Blue Sweater is a tale about poverty, but also a story about how she found her blue sweater all the way in Rwanda after donating it to a Goodwill when she had outgrown it. At its core, this a story about global awareness.
92. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Asne Seierstad spent four months living with a bookseller and his family in Kabul in the spring of 2002. Sultan Khan spent his life supplying books to the people of Kabul regardless of the political party in charge, Communist or Taliban. He had been interrogated, arrested and imprisoned. This is the story of his life, the lives of his wives, and how Seierstad navigated the waters of a restricted woman’s life and the public life of men.
93. The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers
In The Cat Who Went to Paris, Peter Gethers has crafted something of a unique novel. One day, Gethers’ girlfriend Cindy buys him a cat named Norton, even though Gethers has made it clear that he is a cat hater. The result is this novel about a man, his girlfriend, and his Scottish Fold cat who travel from place to place. This novel is absolutely hilarious and an amazing travel memoir for the cat hater and cat lover alike.
94. The Clumsiest People in Europe by Favell Lee Mortimer
Favell Lee Mortimer was a famous Victorian children’s novel author who absolutely never traveled anywhere. It may seem strange that she is even on this list at all, but while never traveling herself, she took extensive notes on many other places and cultures. She was, for lack of a better term, a cantankerous old woman who had a lot of opinions about every other culture other than her own. In this ridiculous and hilarious novel, you get to read all about them, no matter how wildly impractical and viciously judgmental.
95. The Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak
The Cruelest Journey is about how Kira Salak kayaked six hundred miles alone down the Niger river to Timbuktu. After growing up idolizing the legendary explorer Mungo Park, she set out to retrace his path to the legendary city. In her journey she battles storms, unpredictable conditions on the river, and sometimes hostile natives who see her only as a rich white woman with something to give them. She also has to battle with her own exhaustion and preconceived notions about Africa.
96. The Lady and the Monk by Pico Iyer
Pico Iyer spent a year, or four seasons as he calls it, in Kyoto living as a monk to reconnect, learn more about Zen Buddhism and to get to know one of the loveliest cities in the word. But he didn’t expect to meet a woman! The lady in question is married, but attractive, eccentric and fascinating to Iyer. So fascinating in fact, that he writes this book as a tribute to their relationship and cross-cultural infatuation.
97. A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson
A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar is a fiction account of two traveling women, Eva and Frieda. Eva lives in 1923 and has been commissioned to write a book titled A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar. She is traveling on a bicycle with her sister Lizzie to the city under the pretense of being a missionary. Frieda lives in modern day London and unexpectedly meets a homeless man from Yemeni. After befriending him and learning some unexpected news, they go on a journey together.
98. The Lady in the Palazzo by Marlena De Blasi
Once again, Marlena De Blasi has set out to share her Italy with readers. In this memoir of her series titled Italian Memoirs, Blasi and her husband move to a small town in the region of Umbria. This town is so small that her new neighbors are a little suspicious of her, and throughout the course of the novel she has to learn to come out of her own shell and to interact and gain the trust of these rather timid and standoffish Italians. As she gets to know them, Blasi shares their stories with the reader as well.
99. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett
The Lost Girls is the story of three friends who decided, in their mid-twenties, to go explore the world. In reality, they are all fleeing from some big milestone: marriage, job success, and kids. Together, Holly, Jen and Amanda travel through four continents and have a rather unconventional detour around the world trying to both run away from life and also define it. Their 60,000 mile journey takes them to Africa, Brazil, the Amazon, Vietnam, and Australia.
100. The Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse Esarey
The Motion of the Ocean is the story a couple who honeymoon in one small boat across the ocean. It is the humorous story of how Esarey quits her job to take an extended honeymoon with her new husband across a total of 17,000 miles. Over 813 days, Janna and her new husband Graeme are forced to share everything every minute of every day, including their occasional feelings of hatred toward each other and the confined space. This book is a hilarious comedy about the true meaning of being a wife and living on the ocean.
101. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady is a fantastic and empowering novel of how Isabel Archer comes to England after the death of her father to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. The story is told from the perspective of the late 18th century, but in the course of the novel Isabel travels across Europe and meets an amazing cast of female characters, like her highly independent aunt who travels the world all year long. Isabel is a strong and spirited young woman who only wants to remain independent and free her whole life.
102. The River Queen by Marry Morris
Mary Morris, after the death of her father and the realization that her child would soon be leaving home for college, decides that what she really needs is a good adventure. So in 2004, she heads to the Mississippi, where she boards an old houseboat named The River Queen, and sets off just weeks after Hurricane Katrina. In the course of the novel Morris survives her adventure and spends a good deal of time reflecting on the changes the towns she visits have undergone since the hurricane and her own history.
103. The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
Jil Ker Conway was the first woman president of Smith College. She also grew up in the Australian outback, and her memoir is a return to her childhood home. She grew up on an 18,000 acre sheep farm in the very remote New South Whales in the 1930’s. Later, she and her mother move to Sydney, where she attended school. Throughout, her book is punctuated by amazingly detailed descriptions of the Australian landscape around her.
104. The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
The Road of Lost Innocence is the harrowing and true tale of Somaly Mam. When she was 12, Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather. Born in a small village in the heart of the Cambodian forests, she was trundled off to brothel after brothel before she was freed by a French aid worker. She is now an activist who seeks to help young girls in similar situations. Her book is a frightening and beautiful look into Cambodia.
105. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
This wildly hilarious novel by J. Maarten Troost is about how he and his girlfriend move to Tarawa, a remote and little-known island in the Pacific. Life in Tarawa is much more difficult than they imagined though, and they have to deal with incompetent officials, toxic fish, pollution, large bugs, and the realization that the perfect island paradise doesn’t exist. In the words of Troost, he, “should have known better.”
106. The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
In 2003 Kathleen Flinn was gently let go from her corporate job in London. She took it as an opportunity to pursue her life’s ambition of getting a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Blue. So she clears out her bank account and heads to Paris, where she is confronted by a demanding class load, competitive classmates, and the realization that her French is less than adequate. Ultimately, she fulfills her wishes, but not without a couple of tears along the way.
107. The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof
This book is a Carribean adventure for food lovers everywhere. Ann Vanderhoof and her husband traveled to the Carribean and meandered by sailboat from island to island. At each destination, Ann searches out local foods and cuisine while reflecting the traditions of the culture and the folklore and history of each island. She also meets a cast of amazing islanders, whose personalities take over the book and capture the soul of Carribean island life.
108. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises is perhaps Hemingway’s greatest novel. The book chronicles the two main characters, lost and confused Jake Barnes and the overly confident Lady Brett Ashley, as they travel from Paris to Spain in the 1920’s. They visit the big city’s nightlife and the gruesome bull fighting ring with some of their friends. Lady Brett Ashely is an amazing female character who will leave you absolutely hating her or wishing you were her.
109. Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey by Wendy Hinman
If you have ever dreamed of buying a 31-foot long boat and setting out on the open ocean with your husband, then you should consider reading this hilarious and cautionary tale. Wendy and Garth Hinman spent seven years at sea, traveling from place to place and living on their boat. The result is what they call “character building opportunities,” also known as the inevitable outcome of spending 24 hours a day with one other person confined in a small space.
110. Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler
In her mid-thirties, Karen Wheeler traded in her high-end London flat and career as a high fashion editor for a run down house in rural Western France. She gives up her fast paced life, some easy comforts, and internet. The end result is the discovery that sometimes it’s just the simple things that matter, like drinking wine with new found friends and taking a bike ride through scenic France. This book is the perfect example that sometimes, just maybe, indulging your urges to break away from the iPhone and computer is not such a bad idea.
111. Tracks by Robyn Davidson
In Tracks, Robyn Davidson crafts a novel that is supremely hilarious. With no one but her dog and four camels, Davidson travels through the deserts of Australia. The book documents what ends up being a 2700 km journey across harsh plains and even harsher attitudes and redemption from naysayers who called her expedition a suicide mission or a cry for publicity and attention. But through it all, Davidson still had amazing humor and groundedness in her journey, which she ultimately completes.
112. Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Kidd Taylor
This book represents another mother-daughter traveling due. Sue Monk Kidd, famous author of The Secret Life of Bees, and her daughter Ann travel throughout France and Greece. Sue, in her fifties, and Ann, in her twenties, struggle to reconnect and rediscover each other and themselves. Each battles with her own personal struggles, writer’s block and post-college big life decisions, both writers bringing a unique “something” to the story that makes it both engaging and heartfelt.
113. Travels in a Thin Country by Sara Wheeler
In this book, Sara Wheeler talks all about…Chile! This is the story of how Wheeler solo-travels all over Chile, from top to bottom. This novel is highly informative, and if you have ever been to Chile or want to go, this will definitely resonate with you. But, it is just plain interesting to read. Sara Wheeler has a way of discussing the country and her love for it that is infectious. It also has more than a fair dose of dry British humor as Wheeler navigates her way from the arid desert all the way to the south pole base of Chile.
114. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
You know this book. You might have seen the movie. Maybe you know of Frances Mayes. If you ever want to read about Tuscany or the Tuscan region, you’ve come to the right place! Under the Tuscan Sun is the story of how Mayes buys a dilapidated villa in the Tuscan countryside and discovers the pleasures of living an authentic Italian life. Mayes meets great characters and above all cooks some amazing food. This is the book that inspired a movie and a passion for all things Italy and Tuscany.
115. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman
Set in 1986, Susan Jane Gilman’s memoir Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is another post-college romp across the world. Fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire set out to the People’s Republic of China, newly open to tourists. With very few provisions and completely unprepared, the two friends venture off the map and get more than they bargained for. There is culture shock, government surveillance, increasingly sinister run-ins, and the usual cast of self discovery and enlightenment. Susan Jane Gilman is truly hilarious throughout the novel.
116. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Perhaps you have seen the famous movie by the same title, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading this gem. Originally published in 1847, this book has a cast of unforgettable and horrifying female characters. What makes this a women’s travel novel, you may ask? It’s all about Britian, and Thaceray does an amazing job of satirizing this great country. It’s also partially autobiographical, and based on a one-sided love affair with his friend’s wife. It’s a great read and a great way to look at Britian in the late 19th century.
117. Very New Orleans by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler
New Orleans is a city that has captivated the world for centuries. Nodding to this history, Diana Hollingsworth Gessler has crafted a book that is “a celebration of history, culture, and Cajun country charm.” Hollingsworth Gessler takes the reader on a tour through pre-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans with this book. More of a quirky artist’s journal than an actual novel, every page of this book is covered with watercolored portraits that document that city.
118. Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
This book is less of a travel memoir and more of an inspiring collection of all the world’s best wanderers. Some of the world’s most prominent and best known walkers from both history and fiction are featured in this book, like the famed poet William Wordsworth. Solnit also covers the physical, psychological, even religious permutations of walking. All possible aspects of the word “wanderlust” are covered, making this a fascinating read.
119. Wanderlust: A Love Affair With Five Continents by Elizabeth Eaves
Another book titled Wanderlust? This book is all about how author and narrator Elizabeth Eaves travels through the world. Starting when she was still in college, this book traverses more that fifteen years of her life. From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to Cairo, Eaves travels the world and meets a host of attractive men along the way. She rediscovers herself in each place and comes to understand the way that women center themselves in new societal roles and romances.
120. West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Beryl Markham is something of a legend. Woman, aviator, and race horse trainer are just a few of her titles. This novel is her account of her life in Africa in the 1920’s and 1930’s before her 1936 solo flight attempt across the Atlantic Ocean. Growing up in Kenya, Markham learned to fly a bush plane and be a true free spirit. Hemingway read this book and praised it above all others, saying that it made him ashamed of his own writing, and National Geographic called it one of the best adventure books of all time. It is definitely worth the read.
121. What About Your Saucepans? by Lindsay de Feliz
If you can’t tell from the title of this novel, Linsay de Feliz is something of a funny lady. This book shines even as Feliz is discussing the horrible reality of her new life in the Dominican Republic, where she moves to pursue her career dreams of being a scuba diving instructor. What she gets is the seedy underbelly of the Republic, being shot in a poorly planned robbery, and helping her husband run for public office. This book is surprising, hilarious, and terrifying all rolled into one.
122. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim by Jane Christmas
Jane Christmas, at the young age of fifty, sets out with a group of friends to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostel. This nomadic journey is roughly 500 miles, begins in France, and ends in Spain. Christmas spares the readers no detail of her gruesome journey, from difficult fellow hikers to downright brutal physical conditions. She suffers through her spiritual hike and doesn’t hesitate to tell her readers. It is forthright and crafted with a dash or two of humor.
123. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
What can I say about Wild by Cheryl Strayed? This book really packs its punches. The premise is simple: a 26 year old woman, Strayed, decides to solo hike the Pacific Crest Trail spanning the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and ending in Washington State. With zero long distance hiking experience, she sets out with the reader. What ensues involves bears, rattlesnakes, heat waves, snowfall, loneliness and bliss. This book really delivers on its premise, and is equally rejuvenating and beautiful.
124. Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
Without Reservations is a book about how Alice Steinbach searches for new ways to define herself. She does this by traveling across the world to places like Paris, Milan and Oxford, where she meets a surprising number of people who become important in the story. In Paris she meets her soul mate, in Milan she befriends a woman, in Oxford she studies. It is a fresh twist on the often highly introspective travel memoir from the famed and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.
125. Zaatar Days, Henna Nights by Maliha Masood
28 year-old Maliha Masood decides to take a trip to the Middle East to rejuvenate her life. Leaving from Seattle, she heads out with only herself, her bags, and her wry sense of humor. Along the way she develops some serious questions about her Islamic faith, camps in the Sahara, has a “run-in” in Turkey, and much, much, more. As Pakistani-born Masood tramps across the Middle East, she shows readers a fresh and contemporary view of the Arab world in a way that is not often seen.
“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates
What are your favorite travel books?