A Good Read

I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.

-Harun Yahya

I love to read. Books are good for the soul. Characters, whether fiction or not, pour out their thoughts and feelings, their deepest secrets, for a reader to connect to and identify with. Books can bring forth emotions that were locked away for years or make you figure out an aspect of your life that was a mystery before. They can teach you something.

Some of my favorite books I have read have involved travel. Maybe not in the traditional sense. In some ways these books are more about finding yourself rather than the actual travel experience, but they involve travel all the same. I’m no expert on these things, and I am sure there are plenty of other travel reading options out there, maybe they’re even better than these. But here are my three favorite books about travel…

  1. The Lost Girls, by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner. This book definitely tops my list, and when I bought the book I had no idea it would. It was one of those things that I randomly found on the shelf at Barnes and Noble while browsing the store and decided to buy it. In brief, it’s the story of three friends in the their late 20s who decided to quit their jobs and take a year to travel around the world. But this book ended up being pretty important to me. Without going into much detail, The Lost Girls helped me to reconsider the direction in which I wanted to take my career and the life I wanted to live. Plus these three ladies are pretty awesome. Find out more about them and their book on their website.
  2. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. This was the first Bill Bryson book I read and my favorite book by him. I can’t decide if it was the best book of his to start with or the worst, because after reading this one none of his others could really compare. In this book, Bryson chronicles his attempt to hike the Appalachian trail with his friend, Katz. This story is funny, entertaining and yet, still informative. Bryson is able to turn mountain after mountain of trees into an engaging book. A must-read for the adventurer. Read more in this review from the New York Times.
  3. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yeah, I know. It’s a little cheesy and more of a spiritual journey than about travel, but I enjoyed it all the same. It kind of shows you how other cultures can bring out different aspects of life. After a failed marriage, Gilbert seeks devotion in India, heads to Italy to experience pleasure and in Bali, a “balance between world enjoyment and divine transcendence.” There’s a lot to gain from this book, especially as a woman. Here is the New York Times review of Gilbert’s book.

I know of a few other good ones, but I thought I would keep the list short and sweet. At some point soon I’d like to dig into Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which seems to be getting pretty decent reviews. Also, by sheer chance this week Nomadic Matt sent out an email with a list of his favorite books to read. Seriously, I did not steal his idea, I’d been planning on writing this post before I got his newsletter! You can check out his list on this page. Just scroll down three-quarters of the way. Any travel books or writers you would suggest reading?


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