From biking through Europe to India to the rural French countryside to exploring Down Under, Musement shares 11 of the best travel memoirs to satiate your wanderlust.
Books are an unquestionably efficient means of transporting ourselves to our favorite cities, such as London and Paris, from home, travel memoirs are a satiating way to experience a destination vicariously. Here are 11 of the best you can read while you’re in lockdown…or whenever you wish.
1. A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle, 1989
Provence is a dream come to true many, including Peter Mayle. The British writer and his wife picked up to live in a stone farmhouse in the town of Lubéron. As suggested by the name,A Year in Provence documents their first year. If you can’t get enough, fret not—Mayle has penned several books on the subject.
2. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, Kristin Newman, 2014
TV writer Kristin Newman spent a good part of her twenties and thirties serving bridesmaid duties, and during her vacation, she’d take long solo trips around the world. From Argentina to Tibet to Russia and more, Newman recounts her adventures so vividly–and hilariously—you’ll be eager for your next adventure.
3. Walking the Nile, Levison Wood, 2016
In December 2013, Levison Wood, no stranger to walking expeditions, undertook the first mission ever to walk the entire length of the Nile River. This book documents his nine months journeying the 4000 miles on foot, passing through six countries with dozens of unforgettable encounters along the way.
4. The Thing About Prague, Rachel Weiss, 2015
Australian Rachel Weiss quit her job and moved to Prague. She spent three years in the country of her heritage, and her heartwarming book recounts the ups and downs of her ex-pat experience.
5. Land of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road , Kate Harris, 2000
Also appearing on our list of recommended summer reads, Land of Lost Borders recounts author Kate Harris’s biking adventure on the storied Silk Road with one of her friends.
5. Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle , Dervla Murphy, 1965
In 1963, Irish cyclist Dervla Murphy pedaled her way from Ireland across Europe to Persia, the Himalayas, and Pakistan to reach India, all with a revolver in tote just in case. She began journaling in Yugoslavia which is where the book begins.
7. Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents, Elisabeth Eaves, 2011
The writer chronicles 15 years of travel, that started with during her sophomore year of college, and her experiences and romances around majestic places found on five continents, from Cairo to Papua New Guinea to Paris.
8. In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson, 2000
Bill Bryson travels the land Down Under by train and by car and logs his encounters with people and the wildlife along the way. A delight from start to finish, the book is divided into three parts: Into the Outback, Civilized Australia (The Boomerang Coast) and Around the Edges.
9. Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure, Sarah Macdonald, 2004
Once upon a time, Sarah Macdonald backpacked her way around India and decided she’d never return. Eleven years later, her husband receives a work assignment to New Delhi so she joins him and eventually embarks on a profound journey of self-discovery.
10. Comfort Me with Apples , Ruth Reichl, 2001
A former New York Times restaurant critic and the longtime editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, Ruth Reichl recounts her journeys from New York, China, France and Los Angeles, all in the name of food. As always, Reichl’s appetite-whetting writing sings. Thankfully, she includes some recipes she picked up along the way.
11. In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin, 1977
Located at the tip of South America spanning Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is undoubtedly one of the world’s most intriguing Bruce Chatwin has been drawn to this majestic neck of the world for quite some time when one day he picked up and went. He spent six months exploring and published this beloved classic.