As has escaped no one, things got pretty crazy in the past month. No one is going anywhere, or at least, they shouldn’t be. When I can’t physically travel, I travel in my mind, so I’m sharing five of my favorite travel-related books.
I say say “travel-related” because some are definitely “travel-adjacent” – this is not a typical travel book list. It’s a list of books that inspire me to travel, whether that be through history, science, food, or adventure. I hope you enjoy them and please, share your personal favorite travel or travel-adjacent books in the comments. I’m always looking for new reading material.
1. The People’s Guide to Mexico by Carl Franz – It’s been awhile since I read this, but I found it to be both comprehensive and engaging. It incorporates a lot of personal experience acquired over a broad swath of time, and will really pull you in. I have no idea if it is still relevant, it was first published in 1988, but if you are reading for enjoyment and inspiration whilst quarantined on your couch, I don’t think it matters.
2. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – I will never experience Paris as Hemingway describes it in this book, and for that, I will always feel loss. Though it’s much more memoir than specifically travel themed, the romance of Paris between the wars is palpable and fierce. An all time favorite of mine, even if I weren’t quarantined.
3. My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Leibovitz – I’ve learned to really enjoy cooking these past few years and, along the way, I’ve discovered a love for books that combine travel with food. This is one such book. As a bonus, it contains recipes, so you can cook your way through quarantine when you aren’t reading.
4. Bee Quest by Dave Goulson – Goulson is a professor of biology by trade and this book is about his search for rare bee species, a search that takes him to a number of locales, both exotic and common (depending on perspective, of course). It sounds like it could be quite dull, but Goulson’s dry wit and love for the topic are entirely engaging. I was surprised how much I loved it and I hope you are, too.
5. Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals: Adventures in Love and Danger by Wendy Dale – The author travels to Columbia and stays there, during a less-than-safe period of their history. You often fear for her safety and live vicariously through her adventurous spirit. This is another one that’s a little older – I read it in the early aughts – so I’m actually a little curious how I’d feel about it now. Maybe I’ll re-read it myself.
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