My Favorite Books Regarding Travel

I think we are conditioned to lust after vacations most during the summer, originating when we enter the school system and have vast expanses of free time between grades. Personally, I think about trips constantly, whether they're realistic or not. I remember when Sawyer was a tiny baby I planned out a fake trip to Fiji or somewhere extremely newborn-unfriendly, just because it was fun to fake it for a few minutes. It was around that time too that I really started reading more international memoirs and travelogues, a genre I've enjoyed since (both reading and listening to). An old high school friend posted about the topic on Instagram the other night and it seemed like the perfect post- here are some of my favorites:

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson- Bryson recounts his attempt to conquer the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000+ mile hike. He's comical, poignant, and honest. 

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman-  I listened to this hilarious, yet often thoughtful, memoir of single-girl Newman's exploits around the world, often finding herself in some crazy predicaments. 

Trespassing Across America by Ken Ilgunas- Ilgunas follows the route for the then-proposed Keystone Pipeline, recounting stories of the people he met and also incorporating relevant information on climate change. 

Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas- Ilgunas buys a van and lives in it while traveling, trying to quickly pay off his student loans while working a variety of jobs (and seeing the country). 

180 Degrees South: Conquerers of the Useless by Chris Malloy, Yvon Chouinard, and Doug Tompkins- I fell in love with this documentary about a group of guys sailing to Patagonia (Southern Argentina) and then climbing mountains. I definitely would love to visit that part of the world someday. 

The Lost Girls: Three Girls. Four Continents. One Unconventional Tour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner- Three girls spend a year touring the world, completely abandoning their comfortable lives for spontaneity. 

An Innocent Abroad edited by Lonely Planet- A plethora of well-known contributors, including Dave Eggers and Ann Patchett, write essays about memorable travel experiences. Great to read in little snippets here and there! 

A Thousand Stairs to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda by Josh Ruxin- I ordered this when at the height of my restaurant-memoir binging phase, a story about a newlywed couple that moves to Rwanda and opens a gourmet restaurant and helps a nearby village with their food and healthcare situation. 


  1. Neat books. I wish I traveled more. Maybe once the kids are in college.

  2. The Lost Girls is one of my favorite books! I read it three times in a year! But, in general, I also love armchair traveling. Thanks for the recs!