Explore new destinations from the comfort of your home! Go off the beaten path with these explorers, expats and volunteers as you travel through the Netherlands, Nepal, Thailand, France, Spain, India, Greece, Kenya and Australia by book.
Featured in this post are non-fiction memoirs and travelogues written by Jennifer S. Alderson, Alison Alderton, EJ Bauer, Jill Dobbe, Robert Fear, Margaret Halliday, Rob Johnson, Susie Kelly and Gus Pegel.
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Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand Travelogue by Jennifer S. Alderson
“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'”
I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.
Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.
Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.
Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.
Boating with Buster: The Life and Times of a Barge Beagle by Alison Alderton
Amidst a crisis, Alison feels life’s not worth living, but Buster, a Beagle puppy, will change everything…
Acquiring Lily, a Dutch barge, Alison and her husband, Roger, head for the calmness of the inland waterways. Boating with Buster, they learn plenty about boisterous Beagles and bothersome boats! Redundancy triggers a move to Ireland where the characters are larger-than-life, and the lakes so huge they are known as inland seas. They become custodians of a historical property, partake in milestone boating events, and go ice-breaking in the coldest winter for fifty years. A move to Europe seems to be the chance of a lifetime, but tragedy strikes when Buster develops a debilitating illness. Watching the world go by aboard Lily aids Buster’s recuperation, as they travel through the Netherlands and Germany: spending long summer days on the Mecklenburg Lakes and winter in the former Eastern bloc. Finally, they cross the Baltic Sea to enter Danish waters.
Buster’s story flows through the waterways of Europe in this colourfully portrayed, moving book of canine companionship. A memoir written in first person, Boating with Buster is a charming ‘tail’ that readers who enjoy animal stories, travel and boating will delight in.
From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi’s City by EJ Bauer
When Elizabeth receives a diagnosis of breast cancer, she reassesses her life’s to-do list. Having always suppressed her travel longings, she opens her neglected ‘someday’ ledger and takes a much closer look at the contents.
After an opportune invitation from a friend to meet in Paris, and her sister’s enthusiastic agreement to be part of the adventure, a plan begins to take shape.
Join the Australian trio as they savour the sights of France and Spain, where no trip is complete without a morsel of local cuisine and a sip of something sparkling.
Only in India: Adventures of an International Educator by Jill Dobbe
Travel along with two international educators who take the leap and move to Gurgaon, India, to become principals at an Indian/International school. Excited by the opulent marble hallways and the grandness of the school, they quickly learn it lacks even the most basic supplies, like chalkboard erasers. The couple, however, make a go of it and ultimately adjust to the dizzying day-to-day life of Indian society where sacred cows stop for red lights, women wear glittery saris while planting rice, and dreadlocked sadhus go about renouncing all their worldly pleasures.
Part memoir, part travelogue and part tragic comedy, readers will marvel at all the couple has to endure only to end up leaving the school and India abruptly, without even so much as a Namaste. Despite a catastrophe or two, their go-with-the-flow attitudes and kindred senses of humor help them to endure the overwhelming bustle of India, while recognizing and appreciating its distinctive allure.
Journey Through the Ancient and Sacred Sites of Greece by Arsinée Donoyan
Journey Through the Ancient and Sacred Sites of Greece takes you on a fast-paced tour of eight days through historic, ancient and sacred sites of the Bronze Age Mycenae, Epidaurus, famous for the acoustics of its theater, the Byzantine city of Mystras, and the sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi. The adventure continues with the visit of the Thermopylae battle grounds, the awe aspiring Meteora in Thessaly, and Acropolis, in the heart of Athens. Crossing over the Canal of Corinth, sailing by the famous Rio-Antirrio Bridge, roaming the charming streets of Nafplio and Athens, and driving through the mountains and seashores of the Peloponnese and mainland Greece is a definite outstanding experience. Through her camera lens and with close to two hundred photos, along with short historic descriptions, the author engages the reader in her personal narrative full of curiosity and emotions, and some humor. An invitation to return centuries back in time to explore mysterious and glorious ancient civilizations, and to discover the natural beauty and hidden treasures of breathtaking landscape of the Peloponnese.
Travel Stories and Highlights: 2019 Edition by Robert Fear
Travel the world with these coffee-time reads.This anthology showcases the talents of 55 authors, writers and poets. Among them are well-known travel memoirists, experienced travel writers and rising stars in the travel writing world.
A compilation of 66 short stories and 66 highlights, this collection will transport you around the globe from the comfort of your own home. It is a book you can pick up and enjoy whenever you have a spare minute.
See the world through the eyes of a Dominican man on his first trip abroad. Travel across the outback to the most remote roadhouse in Australia. Teeter on the edge of a cliff on the Adriatic coast as the bus loses control. Chill out on a Flotel in the remote Amazon tributaries of Bolivia. Find Christ in the high Andean passes between Chile and Argentina. Experience terror in the Egyptian desert at the hands of armed soldiers. Swim as nature intended with reef sharks in the warm waters of the Maldives.
Enjoy these and many more fascinating insights. They will stay in your thoughts long after you finish reading them. This book will inspire your travel dreams.
Prana Soup: an Indian Odyssey by Margaret Halliday
Prana Soup describes Margaret Halliday’s three trips to India in candid, sometimes hilarious, detail. She embarks alone on her first trip at the age of fifty, undeterred by multiple sclerosis and osteoarthritis. She fell in love with the country and returned for two six-month trips, keeping a diary of her travels. These diaries have now evolved into Prana Soup.
On her first two visits she travels from the Himalaya to the southernmost tip, meeting a fascinating mix of people and having memorable adventures. Her quest plunges her into a veritable ‘life force’ soup of tasty delights and enticing encounters. She escapes a rail riot, receives a tempting marriage proposal, has a close encounter with a python, is pulled up a hillside after an arduous trek in Sikkim, resides with royalty in Udaipur, has a strange liaison in Goa, is blessed by an elephant, travels to the biggest ship breaking yard in the world, does a Brahma Kumaris meditation course on the top of Mount Abu and stays in Auroville, the ‘City of Dawn’, to mention a few. She keeps encountering folk who are on a spiritual quest and realises that she too is a seeker. Her third trip focuses more on seeking rather than simply travelling. She traverses the second highest road in the world to Ladakh, ‘Little Tibet’, does a Buddhist retreat near Dharamsala, a month long yoga course in Rishikesh, stays at the headquarters of the Hare Krishna movement and undergoes ayurvedic treatment for arthritis in Mumbai where she also attends meetings with the ‘divine banker’, Ramesh Balsekar.
In the book’s epilogue she describes her future travels and spiritual experiences, explaining how they have enriched her life and enabled her to live with the pain of MS and osteoarthritis, hopefully inspiring others to live life to the full.
A Kilo of String by Rob Johnson
After living in Greece for thirteen years, writer and reluctant olive farmer Rob Johnson has got used to most of the things that he and his partner Penny found so bizarre at the beginning. Most, but not all.
A Kilo of String is the story-so-far of this not-particularly-plucky couple’s often bewildering experiences among the descendants of Sophocles, Plato and Nana Mouskouri with occasional digressions into total irrelevances.
This is a book which is almost guaranteed not to change your life, but what it will do is answer many of the fundamental questions about life in Greece, such as:
How do you avoid ordering a double tomato for your pine marten when booking a hotel room? Should olive harvesting be registered with the Dangerous Sports Association? Why are chicken livers useful (other than to the chickens themselves)?
Oh yes, and there are some serious bits too about how life in Greece has changed since the beginning of the economic crisis.
Safari Ants, Baggy Pants And Elephants: A Kenyan Odyssey by Susie Kelly
More than 40 years after leaving Kenya, Susie unexpectedly finds herself returning for a safari organised by an old friend.
With her husband Terry, Susie sets off for a holiday touring the game reserves, but what she finds far exceeds her expectations. In this, her seventh, travelogue, she takes readers from five star hotels to luxury tents in the wilderness, and to poverty in Nairobi’s slums, describing a journey of joy, excitement, discovery, nostalgia, of new friendships and encounters of the very close kind with Kenya’s majestic wildlife. Forgotten memories come flooding back as she revisits the scenes of her childhood and adolescence, so movingly portrayed in her popular memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry, many of them changed beyond recognition.
Written in her characteristic laid back style, this is a travel tale that will appeal to all those readers who have enjoyed Susie’s previous books, as well as anybody who has lived in or dreams of visiting Kenya, the magical land Susie still thinks of as ‘home’.
From Australia to Germany: The Ultimate Overland 4×4 Adventure by Gus Pegel
A true story of a fifteen year old, who traveled in a Postie van 4-wheel drive from Melbourne, Australia to Stuttgart in Germany with two others. Crossing the vast expanse of the Australian outback to Perth in Western Australia, where they caught a container ship and sailed via Singapore to Sri Lanka and India, and from there, continued overland crisscrossing India up to Pakistan, all the way to Europe via Turkey and what was then Yugoslavia. This book gives an account of the journey, with all its ups and downs. It is not a tourist guide, but a detail of the things they experienced along the way… many of which most tourists would never see.
From Australia to Germany will be enjoyed by those who love to travel along back roads and off beaten paths.
Get your copy and go on a 4×4 adventure!