There is something incredibly special about travel memoirs for me; I find them colorful and thrilling, and they inspire me to write my own one day. I love being taken away by them. They allow me to experience new cultures, embark on adventures, and try new things without leaving my couch and spending only the price of the book.They have the ability to take me on a journey, full of scents, tastes, and sites that fill my imagination – such a wonderful sensation to experience. The seven books I have listed here are just a few that I have enjoyed and found interesting; not all travel memoirs are of the same caliber but here are a few that I appreciated, reveled in, and recommend:
Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr David – Someday I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail (or a least part of it), but in the mean time I love to read about other’s experiences completing the 2,181 mile trek. This book tells of David’s first experience on the App Trail and her personal journey as she makes her way from Georgia to Maine. It was a profound time for her and she has since completed the hike numerous times and won recognition for her endeavors. Get it!
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez – I thought this book was great because it shows how everyone can use their talents to make a positive change in the world, and you don’t need some fancy degree to do so. Rodriguez is defined as a hairdresser and humanitarian, sweet title, because she took her cosmetology experience and moved to Afghanistan to teach women the skills needed to work in a salon, thus providing many women with the chance to earn their own livelihood and independence – which was not always looked upon favorably. Great, inspiring, beautiful story.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – This happens to be another Appalachian Trail book but it is also one of the funniest books I have ever read, probably because it is written by the great Bill Bryson. Even if you don’t care about hiking, or nature in general, I would still recommend this book just because it is so comical. In his book, Bryson tells of his misadventures while hiking along with his troublesome companion and the wild time they have. You will love it.
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho – I am not sure if Travel Memoir is the best way to describe this book but I have placed it on this list anyhow. Paulo Coelho is a literary genius, which should be enough to read this book, but if you need more of a reason this book is the personal story of Coelho’s pilgrimage along the road to Santiago located in Spain. It is a spiritual tale of his journey and is fascinating! I also loved this book because this is another trail that I would love to hike one day, for it is one of the oldest pilgrimages to take and goes through Spanish countryside. Yes, please.
Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Anne Kidd Taylor – I read this book several ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sue Monk Kidd is a great author and she shares this memoir with her daughter, Anne, as they travel through Greece, Turkey, and France. It focuses on their relationship with another and also their individual pursuits. They travel to various sacred sites throughout their journey emphasizing their quest for spiritual guidance and inspiration and it is wonderfully vivid. Honestly, just writing about the book makes me want to re-read it.
Tracks by Robyn Davidson – This is an adventure memoir as Davidson writes about her experience trekking across the Australian outback with a couple of camels. I thought the book started off a little slow, but once she begins her journey the story definitely picks up and becomes a tale of endurance and stamina. I learned a great deal throughout this book in regards to Australia, the desert, and camels and I found it an interesting adventure.