Reading the Best Travel Books
Almost everyone loves to take a trip, regardless of whether it is to a location relatively close to home or a far-off destination. However, traveling is not always feasible because of circumstances beyond our control, such as family commitments, illness, injury, work responsibilities, or the expenses involved in going on a trip that might not be in your budget.
As a result, sometimes you have to live vicariously by reading a book, where the main character(s) is traveling to some exotic destination. Another alternative is to browse through the pages of an illustrated travel guide and dream. Either way, picking up one of the best travel books is sure to keep you satisfied.
Here are a few of my favorite travel-related books that may appeal to other travel lovers.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure by Marlena De Blasi (2005)
This American author is well-known for her books about vacationing, or actually moving, to Italy. De Blasi has written several books using various Italian cities as the settings for her own travels as well as those of her fictional characters.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure tells her own personal story. As a divorced, American chef and food critic, she meets, quickly falls in love and marries a Venetian banker. Soon, they “pull up stakes” and move from the picturesque city of urban Venice to the rustic countryside of rural Tuscany.
Almost immediately, the newlyweds fall in love with the village of San Casciano dei Bagni, along with its people and authentic cuisine. One elderly villager takes them under his wing by taking them to local festivals and teaches them how to prepare many Tuscan dishes.
One of the things I really like about this book is the story is interspersed with delectable recipes, some from the author’s private collection.
A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi (2003)
Another book by the same author, A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance, is a different take on De Blasi’s whirlwind romance with her Italian-born husband, Fernando.
Not only does she fall head-over-heels in love with a virtual stranger, Marlena also falls hard for the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of an amazing city.
This nonfiction book effectively combines tantalizing, culinary content with the author’s personal memoirs. It proves that someone, who thought she would never be able to truly love again, actually does so very successfully.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (2007)
Another recently divorced woman decides to leave the security of her home and job in America to travel, on her own, to three different countries in Europe and Asia in order to find her real self.
Gilbert eats her way through Italy, gaining several pounds in the process, mediates at an ashram in India and finds true love on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Eat, Pray, Love is a beautifully written book. At the same time, it is a comfortable read that is sure to delight any woman who believes you can find happiness in life, if you look in the right places.
1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Shultz (2015)
Since the 2007 movie The Bucket List was released, pretty much everyone has a wish list of things they would like to accomplish and places they would like to visit sometime before they die.
Travel journalist Patricia Shultz provides an informative, practical guide, complete with 600 color photographs, to whet your travel appetite. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die makes many budget-friendly suggestions on accommodations, restaurants, festivals and historic sites to check out.
This travel book covers 28 countries, around the world, and emphasizes experiences and places that are sure to be fun, beautiful and unforgettable.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (2012)
This book has been selected for book clubs around the world (including Oprah's), and was turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon as well. It's technically a memoir, and has been loved by many readers.
The story follows the author's solo hike, which totaled 1,100 miles, along the Pacific Crest Trail. After her mother died of lung cancer, Cheryl Strayed set out on her adventure, on her own, and focused on her own personal self-discovery while dealing with physical challenges and whatever else the trip threw her way.
300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
This book is perfect for making you feel like you're on a beach vacation, as it takes you to the warm culture of Portugal. It's also a book to read in one sitting, because it's so enjoyable.
When journalist Joanna Millard goes to Faro to reignite her career, she discovers shady unravellings within the government and gets tied into the mystery of a missing child. Full of twists and turns, this book will keep you wondering until the last page.