Travel Memoir has become a popular genre, savored by armchair travelers who may never leave home and devoured by those who want to follow in the footsteps where globe-trotting authors have led. The best of these memoirs take readers along for an emotional, spiritual and intellectual ride, as the authors connect with people around the world and learn about their own beliefs and perspectives in the process.
Over the last few years, readers have traipsed through the Sierras with Cheryl Strayed in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail; experienced absorbing affairs around the world with Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love; and explored the Australian Outback with Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country, just to name a few.
Dozens more travel memoirs have been published during the last 18 months, written by authors who recount their physical journeys and also capture the passion and thrill of their experiences. If you enjoy reading travel memoirs that chronicle authors’ outer and inner journeys, try these three books, all published in 2015.
- On a Mission: An 800-mile Walk to Discover California’s El Camino Real, by Maggie Espinosa. In what the author describes as “the journey of a lifetime,” Espinosa walks between each of California’s 21 Spanish Colonial missions, discovering the spiritual and historical landscapes that continue to influence California today.
- Around the World in 50 years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth, by Albert Podell. This inspiring book tells the story of Podell’s visits to each of the world’s countries as he survives wars, robberies, earthquakes, wild animal attacks and hilarious encounters with his own species.
- Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe, by Andrew Dickson. Traveling to countries on four continents, Dickson found surprising places where Shakespeare’s plays tap into the psyches of citizens from diverse cultures. From Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell on Robben Island in South Africa to modern Shanghai, China, Dickson encountered people and events that showcased the continuing relevance of the Bard’s words.