5 Books to Awaken Your Inner Traveler

5:52 PM Life in Between 0 Comments


June 17, 2016

Sometimes, my trips are few and far between. It's in those moments that I find another way to escapereading. Reading anything and everything that can transport me to another city, country or continent. Uncovering the adventures of expert travelers around the world is what inspires me daily, and I'd love to hand that same passion over to you.

To be clear, the books I'm highlighting are ones that every travel writer/blogger has probably read at one time or another. They are popular for a reason! I have enjoyed combing through the pages of these books time and time again. They are sure to awaken your wanderlust.

1. Under the Tuscan Sun
Restoring an abandoned villa in the heart of Tuscany? Copious amounts of Italian food? Where do I sign up? Under the Tuscan Sun is the story of Frances Mayes, a well-known poet, cook and travel writer who highlights the beauty of simplicity and the importance of pursuing pleasure. If you really want to taste Italygnocchi, bruschetta, risottothis is the book for you.

2. Wild
Like many others before me, this book inspired my love of hiking. But be warned, it's not for the faint of heart. Wild is the remarkable journey of Cheryl Strayed who makes a dangerous trek on the Pacific Crest Trail in the name of self discovery. When her life is finally too out of control to cope, one simple purchase inspires her to walk from California to the tip of Oregon with no prior wilderness experience. It's a wonderful read, and I'm still amazed at Cheryl's strength and tenacity. Just be prepared for some less-than-savory moments.

3. Eat, Pray, Love
This book has inspired so many people that on its 10-year anniversary publishers released a companion book called, Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It. It's a collection of essays from readers who were inspired to change their lives thanks to Elizabeth's memoir. Most people already know everything about this book. Elizabeth Gilbert, travel writer and free spirt, discovers that the life she's built for herself is nothing like the life she wants. After leaving her marriage, she spends a year living in Italy, India and Bali, learning how to rebuild and become herself. Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing inspirational speaker. I encourage you all to not only read Eat, Pray, Love, but to also read her books CommittedThe Signature of All Things and Big Magic. Her writing is uniquely beautiful. She connects with the reader instantly.

4. The Best American Travel Writing 2013Elizabeth Gilbert, Editor
To be honest, I purchased this book because of the editor. (I'll buy anything with her name on it.) This book is a collection of the best travel writing from magazines, journals and websites in 2013. Other anthologies have been released, but this one has always been my favorite. Be sure to check out Daniel Tyx's story about not traveling. Or, A Prison, A Paradise that was originally printed in the New York Times Magazine. It's the tale of John Jeremiah Sullivan traveling to Cuba to visit his wife's family. Sounds pretty commonplace, but these writers can make any subject wildly entertaining.

5. A Walk in the Woods 
A friend of mine who is a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail was playing the audiobook of A Walk in the Woods on our way home from a weekend of hiking. As I sat in the backseat of the car on the long drive, I fell in love with it. Bill Bryson writes with colorful humor detailing hiswhat seems endlesshike on the AT. Out of shape and unprepared, his friend Katz comes along and hilarity ensues. It's a comedic look into the bumps and bruises that hikers experience on the trail.

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