20 travel memoirs to take you around the world (from the comfort of your couch)

In 1991, Monisha Rejesh’s family left England for Madras but returned to England after only two years after a lackluster experience. Twenty years later, Rajesh returned, hoping to connect with her country of origin. Inspired by Jules Verne, she experienced over 40,000 km of India by 80 different trains.
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Renowned travel writer Bryson takes to the Appalachian Trail in this laugh-out-loud travel memoir. After returning to America after 20 years in England, Bryson reconnects with his home country by walking 800 of the AT’s 2100 miles, many of them with his cranky companion Katz, who serves as a brilliant foil to Bryson’s scholarly wit. A superb hiking memoir that skillfully combines laugh-out-loud anecdotes with serious discussions about history, ecology, and wilderness trivia. Droll, witty, entertaining.
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From the publisher: "Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate look at one of America's most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—Travels with Charley is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade."
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The co-host of the podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, Dan Kois and his wife decide to travel with their two pre-teen daughters for a year in order to reconnect and get out of the cycle of busyness and distraction. They spend four months each in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas. But of course, changing locations doesn’t make all your problems disappear and Kois offers reflections about what they learned along the way.  
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As a homebody with a healthy dose of wanderlust, I've been fascinated by Tsh's around-the-world adventure since the moment I first heard about it. With her husband and three kids under ten, Tsh leaves the States behind to travel to China and Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, Croatia and Germany and England and everywhere in between, for nine solid months. I so enjoyed getting to tag along on her family's global adventures, which were nothing at all like I expected—both more strange and more familiar than I had imagined. Publication date: April 18.
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For her 40th birthday, Irene Skyriver undertook a 700+ mile solo kayak trip from Alaska to her home in Washington’s San Juan Islands. She also shares stories about her Native heritage (Makkah and Tlingit), from her great-grandparents on down.
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From the publisher: "At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her."
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This is a wonderful guide for anyone contemplating solo travel. Journalist Alice Steinbach took a four-month sabbatical from work to travel to London, Oxford, Paris, and Milan when she was in her 50s. Her memoir is as much about the places she goes as it is about the people she befriends.
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Winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography. Jones's remarkable coming-of-age memoir about being a Black gay man from the South is told in a series of moments and scenes from his childhood through young adulthood. My husband Will cited this one as a favorite in What Should I Read Next Episode 214: Deconstructing your best reading year yet because of Jones's storytelling. Note: the audiobook, read by the author, is excellent.
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Relationships require adaptation and for chronic worrier Mary K. Jensen, her marriage to her spontaneous, frugal husband Rudy involved learning his rules of travel. No matter what they faced, he had a rule for it all. They might be opposites but their travels brought them together, leading to good lessons for us all.
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Frances Mayes is best known for her memoirs exploring life as an expat in Tuscany but here she shares about travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. As much as possible, she rented a house and did her best to shop and eat like a local, thinking all the while about what it would be like to call that place home.
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Author Zukiswa Wanner celebrated 10 years since her debut novel The Madams was published by having a reading in as many countries in Africa and Europe as possible. WIth her partner and son along for the ride, she documents their road trip with humor and passion.
Award-winning travel writer and photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström put together this collection of essays from her two decades of travel. The stories bring her photos alive in a whole new way.
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A lapsed Catholic, Rosemary Mahoney invites readers along as she undergoes a pilgrimage of six revered sites, including an Anglican shrine to Saint Mary in Walsingham, England, the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, and India’s holiest city Varanasi.
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