Spending time waiting for flights, ferries, trains, and buses can add up to a lot of hours, especially if layovers are involved. Thus, it makes it the perfect time to just sit back and relax with a good book. Here are four classic and contemporary travel memoirs which every globetrotter should have on their bookshelf.
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
In 1869 Twain published his travel memoir about his time aboard the Quaker City which took him and his fellow pleasure cruisers all over the world, with the highlight of the voyage being the Holy Land. As you might expect from some of Twain’s previous work there is a rather sarcastic edge to his writing as he describes his fellow travelers which keep this book from feeling dated in terms of prose. He truly goes on the adventure of a lifetime, and reading about how these places have developed is fascinating as you see them in the present day.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair With Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
This memoir spans the author’s 15 years of travel beginning in college until the recent past. While her travels and the destinations she ends up in are the main components it is more a reflection on the changing nature of young women and how they are shrugging off traditional lifestyles and roles expected of them to find their place in the world, which might not just be one place, but a feeling found in many. For anybody who feels like they are still searching, but have that sense of home every time they stop off in a new country then this is the book for them. Home can be a person, not a place.
Out Of Africa by Karen Blixen
This is a classic film with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, and both the book and the film begin with the famous line, “I once had a farm in Africa…” Blixen’s life in Africa and Denmark her native country was published in 1937 and details the trials both agriculturally, politically, and romantically that she underwent while living in Kenya on her coffee plantation. Well known as an author in her own right, she paints a beautiful picture of Africa in the 1930s and her love for Denys Finch Hatton which knew no bounds.
A Cook’s Tour: In Search Of The Perfect Meal by Anthony Bourdain
In memory of Bourdain, this list would not be complete without his memoir which found him searching for delicacies all over the world and in the back and beyond of countries like Cambodia and to the Mekong Delta. While this memoir covers all of his pursuits for that perfect meal, it also gives you an insight into his character and his willingness to always put politics aside and enter a country such as a Khmer Rouge held territory or that held by the Viet Cong in search of food. His book truly covers it all and possesses that unique outlook on life he was so well-known for.