If you plan on traveling the great unknown, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Travel bloggers and reporters can find themselves contracted to write books about their travels that include both the places they’ve been and the internal dialogue they keep to comment on culture, society, language, and their own personal growth and development. If you want to live vicariously through the adventures of others, or find inspiration for yourself to get out there and explore, here’s a good reading list to get you started.
No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering by Clara Bensen: Can you imagine traveling to the middle east for a full month with only the clothes on your back and a person you met online? That’s exactly what Clara Bensen did. With a small purse, a green dress, and her brand-new partner, Clara traversed Turkey in 2013 where she found herself swept up in the rich history of the land formerly called Anatolia, her new relationship, and self-discovery. While traveling, Clara kept good records not only of what she learned, but also of the Gezi riots that erupted in the capital city.
Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsted: Odds are that none of the fish you’ve eaten in your life is the species you thought it was, and the majority of the olive oil you’ve imbibed is literally rotten. Larry Olmsted is a self-described foodie who travels the world looking for “real” food to compare against the fake versions of food we usually consume in the United States. For some food vocabulary and ideas for how to discover just how good real food is, Real Food Fake Food is one you can’t miss.
How Not to Travel the World: Adventure of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker by Lauren Juliff: A fun, light read, Lauren details the foibles of her travels that are ruined in part by bad luck, in part by her own lack of forethought, and in part by her boyfriend’s lack of empathy. Lauren spins hysterical tales of how all her backpacking adventures wind up wildly derailed and how she scrambled to recover them. If you need advice on what not to do, this is the perfect light weekend read for you.
Unbound: A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery by Steph Jagger: Steph’s gender-defying book follows her mission to shatter common ideas of what women can and can’t do. Wanting something more than a dead-end job and an average life, Steph sold everything she had, suddenly quit her upwardly-mobile corporate gig, and embarked on a five-month journey chasing winter across continents. Putting her physical strength, emotional wherewithal, and spiritual soundness to the test, Steph travelled the world and recounted the tales in a humorous, raw, and relatable fashion.
The Wonder Trail: True Stories from Los Angeles to the End of the World by Steve Hely: Steve Hely was a writer for The Office and American Dad, so you already know this will be a wild wild story. Steve took it upon himself to take a road trip from Los Angeles, CA, to the southernmost part of South America. In 102 short chapters, Steve relays the absurdities, adventures, and altogether insane hijinks he experiences.