Read the World

Hi Everyone,

In today’s blog, we’re going travelling!

We may not be able to travel physically but there’s nothing to stop our imaginations taking flight.

To that end, I’ve put together some of my favourite travel-related novels and stories. I hope they might inspire you as the world teeters and give you hope for a future when travel is possible again.

In the meantime, sit back, relax and read…

In no particular order, here are some books that will transport you to another time, another place, another world:

  1. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee. This is what Lee actually did – he walked out the door of his home and a year later finished his journey in Spain having been caught in the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. On the way he describes the lives of those he meets with great empathy. His writing is evocative and mesmerising. This is a glimpse into a Spain that has disappeared but it is also a rendering of deep longing and a celebration of a life lived unconventially.
  2. Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux. Theroux’s son may be more famous now but in the 1980s, Paul Theroux’s travel writings were lauded by those fortunate enough to read them. Theroux’s wonderfully descriptive writing of his travels by train across China inspired my own journey a few years later.
  3. Tracks by Robyn Davidson. One of my all-time favourite travel reads. Davidson had an idea, a dream, to walk across the western half of the Australian continent with camels. Even before she left Alice Springs on her majestic adventure, she had dealt with wayward cameleers and her own lack of money and experience. She stuck with it though. Her journey is worth reading for the grit she demonstrates in her epic trek.
  4. Bad Lands – A Tourist on the Axis of Evil by Tony Wheeler. Wheeler, of Lonely Planet guidebook fame, goes on an extraordinary trip visiting the ‘bad lands’ of the world (at that time these were Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba and North Korea, amongst others). What he finds are the stories behind the regimes.
  5. Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi and Bernadette Brennan. I fell in love with sailing memoirs when I read the inspiring story of Robin Lee Graham who was the youngest person to sail around the world solo. In the wake of his achievements, others have attempted the record like Tania Aebi. Aebi leaves her home in New York after after a tumultuous upbringing and finds the courage and strength to continue to sail the world *mostly* by herself. Full of journeying, life and discovery.
  6. Australian Grace by Grace Lee – a delightful story told in cartoon form of an Australian moving to Japan and what it was really like. Small but engrossing. Here’s the link to her story.
  7. Any of the Bill Bryson travel books!
  8. A couple on my TBR (To Be Read) pile: Bewildered by Laura Waters (similar to Wild by Cheryl Strayed) but a journey along the spine of New Zealand rather than the west coast of mainland USA; Step by Step written by Simon Reeve: a well-known TV presenter writing about his life in travel.
  9. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. A touch of magic as Mayes restores an old villa in the Tuscan countryside and experiences local life. Told with great delight and whimsy.
  10. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin must take responsibility for the wanderlust of a generation with his engaging travels told with a deeply insightful eye.

What are your favourite travel books? Let me know below.

Happy *virtual* travelling,

Jacqui.

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