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Best Books About Travel Written by Women
Looking for some great travel books written by women?
Here are some of the best books to check out!
When I studied abroad in college, I took a class about travel writing. Each week, we focused on a different topic related to to travel writing. One week the topic was women in travel writing.
In contrast to this one week where we studied women travel writers, almost every single other text we read throughout the whole class was written by a male author.
I remember being particularly fascinated by the few female travel writers we did study. Especially when reading the travelogue By Desert Ways to Baghdad written by Louisa Jebb, a woman from Victorian England who set off an adventure around the Middle East with her female best friend at a time when women did not travel much at all, and certainly NOT on their own.
Since then, I’ve read quite a few other travel books written by women.
These books are funny, entertaining, heartfelt, and enlightening. They’re about women who have traveled on simply incredible adventures around the globe. And they’re the perfect books to pick up whenever you have a serious case of wanderlust!
Here are 9 great books about travel written by women:
1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl’s memoir Wild follows her solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, a journey she undertook after the death of her mother. It’s a really heartfelt and honest look at her experience.
Hiking a 1,100 mile trail alone is something I would never do, so I really enjoyed reading about someone else doing it instead! If you’re looking for a gripping story this is a great read.
2. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love is a popular travel memoir that was adapted into a film as well. It follows Elizabeth, a recent divorcee, on her journey through Italy, Italy, and Indonesia as she spends time focusing on something different in each country (hence the title of the book.)
I remember reading this book back in high school while on vacation at the beach, because there was a copy of this book at the condo where I was staying and I needed something to read. This is a great “beach read” and a really entertaining travel story I enjoyed a lot.
3. Tracks by Robyn Davidson
Next up on this list we have Tracks by Robyn Davidson, which is another memoir about a woman completing an adventurous solo trek, this one across 1,700 miles of the Australian Outback.
The book follows Robyn’s perilous journey and many adventures of crossing the Outback alone with four camels and a dog, including facing the sweltering heat and fending off poisonous snakes.
4. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
What is it actually like to live in Denmark? The Year of Living Danishly explores this through the eyes of an expat living in the rural Jutland region of Denmark for one year.
This was an entertaining and enlightening book that I highly enjoyed! Helen is a freelance writer who relocates from England to Denmark when her husband gets a job at the Lego headquarters. This book is part memoir, part nonfiction book about Danish life and culture. I loved it!
5. Unlikely Destinations by Maureen and Tony Wheeler
Did you know that Lonely Planet was founded by a couple of backpackers exploring Southeast Asia during the 1970s? Maureen Wheeler and her husband Tony Wheeler published their first guidebook in 1973, founding the now-famous travel brand Lonely Planet.
Unlikely Destinations follows the origin of the origin and growth of Lonely Planet, as well as the Wheelers’ own travels, combining business history with travel memoir.
6. Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris
Lands of Lost Borders chronicles Kate’s journey cycling the historic Silk Road in Central Asia with her female best friend after college. It combines two of my favorite things: the fascinating region of Central Asia, and reading about people accomplishing physical feats I could never do!
This book is full of adventure and is overall a great travel read.
7. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Another travel memoir that was adapted into a popular film, Under the Tuscan Sun is about an American university professor who decided to buy an abandoned villa in Tuscany and renovate it with her husband. It’s a love letter to Italy, and Tuscany in particular.
This book is no doubt partly responsible for the explosion of tourism to Tuscany in recent decades. If you’re looking for a book that will transport you directly to the Italian countryside, this is it!
8. Cruising Altitude by Heather Poole
Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to be a flight attendant? I know I’m always curious about travel-related jobs and what it’s actually like behind the scenes. Cruising Altitude offers an entertaining inside look at what the profession is really like.
Heather shares tales from her fifteen years of experience as a flight attendant of crazy passengers, overcrowded crash pads, and plenty of crew drama in this fun book.
9. How Not to Travel the World by Lauren Juliff
Written by travel blogger Lauren Juliff of the website Never Ending Footsteps, How Not to Travel the World is an entertaining look at her many adventures (and misadventures) abroad.
I love reading Lauren’s travel blog, particularly the stories of her many “travel disasters.” Describing herself as an accident-prone backpacker, her memoir details all sorts of mishaps, from scams to injuries to natural disasters and more that she encountered on her travels around the globe.
So these are some of the best travel books by women!
Are there any others I should know about? Any books I missed?
Leave a comment down below if you have a recommendation!
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