Travel Related Reading

Confession: I have two addictions. Obviously, travel is the first. But, second would be books. When I'm interested in a topic, I track down as many on the subject as possible. So again, obviously, many, many books on travel and countries I have visted or plan to visit. Someone once asked me how I decide where in a country I would like to go. I do use guidebooks and websites, but usually, the madness begins with books. History, culture, nonfiction, fiction, native authors, expats... I read as much as I can, and often, never enough. But through reading, I gain a sense of place, of time, of history, of people. And elements resonate, and I suddenly MUST visit a particular site or sit on that coastline, or check out that view. 

I also find that travel anthologies are a great way to gain inspiration and come up with new ideas of places that may not have immediately jumped into my head when I start itching to pay airport roulette. My favorites tend to be those by women, for again, perhaps obvious reasons - so many in the past as well as now caution against women traveling, especially solo. Reading these women's accounts of their experiences in vastly different times and spaces counters the fear. 

Because if they did it in hoopskirts and on sailing ships, surely I can manage in jeans and on planes.

So here is a list of what is currently in my library. I've highlighted my personal favorites. In cases where I have specific recommendations by country, I've given the country its own category. Keep in mind - these are the types of books I'm drawn to. I highly recommend visiting a bookshop (a used bookshop is even better - you always come across the most random stuff there!), and perusing the shelves. As a last general recommendation, there are a few authors I would recommend that are not as well known as Theroux and Michener. They are all dense, but so worthwhile: Colin Thubron, writing extensively on Russia and Central Asia; Jason Elliott, who took my on a journey of beautiful words through Afghanistan and Iran; and for historical fiction, Edward Rutherfurd covers history like none other with his fictional characters set in a historical context in a single place. 

Happy reading and living vicariously until you can wander that city, hitchike that highway, and swim in that ocean yourself!

Travel - General

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Travel Anthologies by Women

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The British Isles

Northern Europe

The Mediterranean

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Turkey

Israel

Egypt

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Morocco

The Middle East & North Africa

Central & South Asia

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Burma/Myanmar

Cambodia

East Asia

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North America

Peru

South America

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