One of the first books I read on travel was Bill Byrson’s A Walk in the Woods. This book infected me with wanderlust.

“But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude that I didn’t know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home.”

Or maybe you’d like to live in France? Why not follow Peter Mayle’s lighthearted adventures in A Year in Provence?

“This was the specialty of Madame our hostess – a rabbit civet of the richest, deepest brown – and our feeble requests for small portions were smilingly ignored. We ate it. We ate the green salad with knuckles of bread fried in garlic and olive oil, we ate the plump round crottins of goat’s cheese, we ate the almond and cream gateau that the daughter of the house had prepared. That night, we ate for England.”

Are you a citizen of the world who wants to make a difference in these places you plan to travel to? Read The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story by Alison Thompson or Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.

“Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life…We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We’re the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects.”

I am a sucker for the romance of the Italian countryside. Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes is a must read on a cold and rainy day with a glass of wine (Italian, certo!).

“Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.”

If you are traveling with young children, why not inspire them with some fun bedtime reading? In ascending order by age: Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, The Magic Tree House series, and Life of Pi

If you can, go. If you can't., read about it.

If you can, go. If you can’t., read about it.


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