Most of us have day jobs that act as a distraction while daydreaming about our next adventure. To help keep the wanderlust alive between meetings, commutes and day-to-day commitments, a few choice books can allow for a little vicarious adventure as the next trip is planned. Grab one of the following 10 books to inspire, delight and get you packing your carry-on bag.
WITTY AND INSIGHTFUL:
“Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends’ weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed.
“Kristin introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests who helped her transform into ‘Kristin-Adjacent’ on the road–a slower, softer, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home. Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports.” (From Amazon.)
“Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth—and brutally honest—weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns.
“Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley’s essays and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood.” (From Amazon.)
“There comes a time in every man’s life when he says to himself, “Holy Sh*t! I’m about to be eaten by a bear!”
“Tony James Slater went to Ecuador, determined to become a man.
It never occurred to him that ‘or die trying’ might be an option…
“The trouble with volunteering in a South American animal refuge is that everything wants a piece of you. And the trouble with being Tony, is that most of them got one.
“Just how do you ‘look after’ something that’s trying it’s damnedest to kill you and eat you?
And how do you find love when you a) don’t speak the language, and b) are constantly covered in excrement and entrails?
“If only he’d had some relevant experience. Other than owning a pet rabbit when he was nine. And if only he’d bought some travel insurance…
“‘That Bear Ate My Pants!’ is the hilarious tale of one man’s quest to better himself. Whether losing a machete fight with a tree, picking dead tarantulas out of a tank of live ones or sewing the head back on to a partially decapitated crocodile, Tony’s misadventures are ridiculous, unbelievable and always entertaining.
“Long before Sky One got involved, there were already plenty of Idiots Abroad. This is the story of one of them…” (From Amazon.)
“Brave, funny, and deeply moving.”
— Cathy Alter, author of Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over
“Three cheers to The Lost Girls for showing us, with good humor and graceful prose, the beauty and importance of leading life astray.”
— Franz Wisner, New York Times Bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother
“Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.” (From Amazon.)
“From the bestselling author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes a deeply personal memoir full of fascinating adventures as he travels everywhere from the Mayan pyramids to Kilimanjaro.
“Fueled by a powerful curiosity—and by a need to see, feel, and hear, firsthand and close-up—Michael Crichton’s journeys have carried him into worlds diverse and compelling—swimming with mud sharks in Tahiti, tracking wild animals through the jungle of Rwanda. This is a record of those travels—an exhilarating quest across the familiar and exotic frontiers of the outer world, a determined odyssey into the unfathomable, spiritual depths of the inner world. It is an adventure of risk and rejuvenation, terror and wonder, as exciting as Michael Crichton’s many masterful and widely heralded works of fiction.” (From Amazon.)
“An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers
“To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck’s goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
“With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.” (From Amazon.)
“With absorbing honesty and an irrepressible taste for adventure, award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales. Unable to commit to his fiancée of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of what’s holding him back— McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Though he ventures from the treacherous slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro to an Amazonian riverboat and the dense Costa Rican rain forests, McCarthy’s real journey is one of the spirit. Disarmingly likable, McCarthy isn’t afraid to bare his soul on the page, and what emerges is an intimate memoir of self-discovery and an unforgettable love song to the woman who would be his wife.” (From Amazon.)
“There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Now completely revised and updated, Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to:
Financing your travel time… determining your destination… adjusting to life on the road… working and volunteering overseas… handling travel adversity… re-assimilating back into ordinary life” (From Amazon.)
“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wildpowerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.” (From Amazon.)
“One Dress, Three Weeks, Eight Countries—Zero Baggage
“Newly recovered from a quarter-life meltdown, Clara Bensen decided to test her comeback by signing up for an online dating account. She never expected to meet Jeff, a wildly energetic university professor with a reputation for bucking convention. They barely know each other’s last names when they agree to set out on a risky travel experiment spanning eight countries and three weeks. The catch? No hotel reservations, no plans, and best of all, no baggage.
“Clara’s story will resonate with adventurers and homebodies alike—it’s at once a romance, a travelogue, and a bright modern take on the age-old questions: How do you find the courage to explore beyond your comfort zone? Can you love someone without the need for labels and commitment? Is it possible to truly leave your baggage behind?” (From Amazon.)
There you have it. 10 books to inspire your next adventure. But don’t forget to document your personal voyage with a pocket-sized Moleskine notebook, perfect for thoughts and sketches. Then you can share them with the world and inspire others!
“A new sized notebook for Moleskine in a portable format designed to store printed emails, itineraries and maps. The essential traveling companion that keeps track of your observations and explorations on the road, so you can concentrate on posting your pics for the folks back home.” (From Amazon.)
– Hard Cover with elastic closure and bookmark ribbon
– Color: Nutmeg Brown
– Dimensions: 4″ x 7″
– Pages: 208
– Sections marked by colored tabs
– Ruled, dotted, plain pages
– Detachable lists
– Includes 1 sheet of stickers
– Paper Weight: 70 gsm/47 lb.; FSC Certified Paper; Acid-Free (pH Neutral)