Today I was supposed to be off to Australia. Instead, I am looking up koala bears and kangaroos. With my trip postponed until next year I am sharing my favourite travel books to give you some inspiration. You too may have had a trip or vacation cancelled and I completely understand your pain.
Do not fear, the current situation will not last forever. We will all soon be back complaining about being in the aisle seat on a plane.
To help your mind feel like you’ve got a slew of one-way tickets to some of the most exotic destinations in the world, I’ve rounded up 5 favourite travel books of mine and satisfy your wanderlust like no other. Get ready to sip some wine, nibble on some delicious charcuterie, sail across the bluest seas, and rebrand your quality of life.
Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York
In 2015, I moved to New York. I was so excited to finally be living in the big city that I would take a bus every morning at 5am to take me into the centre. This was the book keeping me company. I purchased it in Barnes and Noble and have read it multiple times since. The follow-up to the award-winning anthology Goodbye to All That, Never Can Say Goodbye is an exuberant celebration of New York, featuring contributions from luminaries such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Susan Orlean, Rosanne Cash, Nick Flynn, Whoopi Goldberg, Phillip Lopate, Owen King, Amy Sohn, Alexander Chee, and many others. These essays take place in dive bars and museums, cinemas and old restaurants, horse-drawn carriages and subway cars, capturing the true essence of life in New York.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything
My mum read this book before it was “discovered”. She told me that I too would instantly fall in love with it. Having visited Bali and lived in Italy, it was a no-brainer. This is a book all about self-discovery and finding yourself. It open at 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby and she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, India and Bali. The movie is just as magical as well, and starring Julia Roberts.
My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine
If you know me, you know I will soon be moving to Paris. Having lived in Rome, Barcelona and New York, it is the next on my list. Before that happens though, I like to spend hours devouring books about the city. For readers of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, My Paris Dream is a charming and insightful memoir about coming of age as a fashion journalist in 1980s Paris.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision to walk eleven-hundred miles and to do it alone. This is for everyone needing to get away but struggling (thanks COVID-19).
The Constant Gardener
I have a crush on Rachel Weisz and I fell even more in love with her in this film. As soon as I found out it was a book I had to read it. It will not disappoint. Tessa Quayle, a brilliant and beautiful young social activist, has been found brutally murdered by Lake Turkana in Nairobi. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined.
Gorillas in the Mist: A Remarkable Story of Thirteen Years Spent Living with the Greatest of the Great Apes
For 13 years Dian Fossey lived and worked in a remote rain forest in Africa. She struggled daily with rain, loneliness and the poachers who slaughtered her beloved gorillas with horrifying ferocity. Last year I went to Tanzania on safari and can wholeheartedly say it changed my life. This is for animal lovers and adventure seekers.