5 Books that Inspire Travel & Adventure

January means it is time to start planning the year’s adventures, so here are a few suggestions to inspire. Disclaimer, this list is pretty much all Aminda’s (with one exception). It is also not an all-time favorites list, I wanted to stick to books that have been published within the last five years. I also wanted to represent several geographic regions. In putting this together, I realized I’m missing Asia, so I’ll be sure to look for something current for my reading list (Couple of my older favorites are Pearl of China and Foreign Babes in Beijing). All reading suggestions are welcome!

The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by [Fedarko, Kevin]The Emerald Mile (U.S). This book is long. And jam packed with history. And feats of engineering. Ready to dive in? It also manages to deftly weave all of that education into a seat-of-your pants race against time down the Colorado River.  Josh, who is more of an audiobook guy, read all 400+ adventure-filled pages in just a few days.

The Syrian Jewelry Box (Middle East). There really are not many contemporary books out there that present the Middle East as a tourist destination, which makes this book compelling. The Syrian Jewelry Box is a memoir told through the eyes of a pre-teen girl discovering the beauty and mystique of Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region while living as part of an expatriate family.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu (South America). One part mystery, one part history, two parts “city-slicker-ventures-into-the-wild”, all parts funny. Be prepared to find yourself longing to grab your machete and depart on a way-off-the-beaten path adventure.

Circling the Sun (Africa) is a fictionalized telling of the life of Beryl Markham, first woman to make a solo East to West flight crossing of the Atlantic. Prior to that accomplishment, Beryl had already lived a full life of adventure in the gorgeous landscapes of Africa. I immediately had to follow this up by reading Beryl’s story in her own words in West with the Night. Both these books will inspire anyone to take chances and live life to the fullest.

Exposure to a Billionaire (Europe). This is definitely the oddity on this list. Encounters is a unique fictionalized autobiography about a corporate flight attendant enjoying the life of luxury provided by her occupation. It’s a light, fast read and a nice change of pace from the more rugged selections on this list. And who hasn’t fantasized even just a little bit about living the lifestyle of the rich and famous?

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