At lot of us have been stuck inside for extended periods of times lately and it can get stifling for sure. So, I decided to compile a list of books that have taken me to places all over this earth as a means of distraction and escapism. Therefore, even if we may not be able to go there in real life right now, maybe this will be a nice way of planning for when this will eventually be over.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
I wanted to start with something easy – a good, old-fashioned road trip through the USA. Morgan Matson is one of my favourite contemporary Young Adult authors and I really adore all her books. This one in particular is one of her earlier works though and just so much fun. While she always manages to have an emotional component and some depth to her characters, I definitely just wanted to get into a car with a potential love interest and drive around for a while after finishing the book …
This is a read I finished only very recently. You’ll know that I had some points I didn’t absolutely love about this book, but if you want to imagine what it’s like to go explore Europe as an exchange student, this might just be something to look into regardless.
It might not sound like a conventional travel book, and it’s not. The Hundred-Foot Journey focuses heavily on the culinary journey of a young man originally from India, however, you follow him around as you explore his life in his home country and later on in the UK and France. This is also one of my picks that is available as a movie, just in case you want to get really hungry from all the delicious food they are cooking on-screen.
I have talked about this book a plenty, but it was just such a lovely read. Who says that every vacation or travel experience has to be packed full of excitement and rushes around every corner? If you maybe are longing for some calmness on the beautiful island of Guernsey, I wouldn’t fault you! (The book is set shortly after WWII and does explore the topic, just to be clear)
Memories of the Eagle and the Jaguar Series by Isabel Allende
From what I heard, Isabel Allende is really more known for her adult fiction, however, I was obsessed by this series as a kid/young teen. It follows teenagers Alex and Nadia through their adventures from the Amazon to the Himalaya and lastly to Kenya. It didn’t feel like it was written for very young readers, but it definitely was marketed as Young Adult. There are some really heavy themes explored and the books get more adult as the characters age. Still, I have very fond memories of it and therefore picked it as my only fantasy-inspired read.
Do I even have to explain myself? I know this book has flaws, but to me the writing was magic and I felt like I had just spent a summer in the countryside of Italy myself. What more could you possible want? Maybe it’s time for me to check out the movie as well?
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
We are now entering memoir territory! This was not an easy read but since Cheryl Strayed had gone through all of it herself, it was very hard to rate. When you decide to go on the Pacific Crest Trail (from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State) all on your lonesome self, you have a lot of time to think and work on past trauma. This book deals with all of that!
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Now, we all know that this isn’t the most relatable journey for the majority of people. Very few of us can afford to just go travel all over the globe for a year, yet I found Elizabeth’s travels from Italy to India to Bali such a rewarding read. Depending on where you are in life, I think you might find yourself more interested in one specific part of Eat, Pray or Love in the book and that is totally valid. It will not connect with everyone, but I had some really enlightened moments during the whole affair.