A Sudden Fascination With Travel Books

Posted August 8, 2016 by Inge in Features, Tea Party // Random Thoughts / 4 Comments


A few weeks ago, I was hit with the wanderlust bug. For a long time, the thing that has bothered me the most about my anxiety was the fact that I can’t travel anymore. I long for places I’ve never seen – with Scotland and Ireland being the most obvious examples. These are countries that call to my heart and sing to my soul. I want to discover everything, feel the atmosphere, talk to the people, walk the little cobblestone streets and simply enjoy the feeling of absorbing another culture.

Some of my best memories are from when I was on holiday. Like celebrating my 20th birthday on top of a cruise ship, in a hot tub, as we slowly sailed through the majestic Norwegian fjords by sunset. Or wading through an almost magical-like, enchanting forest in the Canary Islands. Or falling in love with Dublin as we explored its streets and shops.

There’s just this small problem of me having agoraphobia and not being able to travel, which is a bit of a pain in the butt. It’s one of the things I miss most – the exploring, the trying out, the sightseeing, the wondering. I’m working on it, I really am, and I sincerely hope that I can make that step soon(ish). In the meantime, though, I’ll have to get lost in the world of books.

To quell this sudden craving for travel, I’ve decided to order a few travelling books. No guides or anything, but books where characters go on road trips or travel to another country, as we discover other cultures through these characters’ eyes; or simply stories that are set in a different country. Stories that make you feel like you’re there with them, taking in the scenery and tasting the foods. Stories that make you feel alive.

I have a few gems to share with you. You will love these if you’ve grown tired of the same contemporary American towns. They will be like a breath of fresh air.


Wanderlost || In which Aubree, who has never even left her state, suddenly has to replace her sister and unexpectedly goes on a trip around Europe. Amsterdam, Vienna, and Prague are just a few cities where Aubree will leave her footprints. It’s extremely funny and the romance is to gobble up.

Happiness for Beginners || Thirtysomething Helen signs up for a survival course in the middle of the mountains and wilderness with a bunch of strangers. Yes, for fun. And to find happiness. I loved how relatable Helen was, and the mountains are a really nice setting for her story.

Eat, Pray, Love || A non-fiction story by Elizabeth Gilbert, who went away to find herself again. She travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia. It’s a bit slow at times, but it made me smile a lot and warmed my heart.

The Suffering || Seems a little out of place in the midst of all the contemporaries, but honestly, I loved the setting of this book. Tark travels to Aokigahara forest, also known as the suicide forest of Japan. It was properly creepy.

Anna and the French Kiss || With those in love with the city of Paris.

Meant to Be || “Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London.”

About A Girl || Your typical chicklit, set in Hawaii. There’s a ditzy main character, two very handsome love interests, a lot of alcohol, and a very healthy dose of humour.

How Not to Travel the World || I haven’t finished this one yet. I’m currently in the middle of a buddy read with my former #otspsecretsister, Nat. I’m really excited about this one. It sounds like a great read!

“I have the utmost respect for girls who travel alone, because it’s hard work sometimes. But girls, we just want adventures. We want international best friends and hold-your-breath vistas out of crappy hostel windows. We want to discover moving works of art, sometimes in museums and sometimes in side-street graffiti. We want to hear soul-restoring jam sessions at beach bonfires and to watch celestial dawns spill over villages that haven’t changed since the Middle Ages.

We want to fall in love with boys with say-that-again accents. We want sore feet from stay-up-all-night dance parties at just-one-more-drink bars.

We want to be on our own even as we sketch and photograph the Piazza San Marco covered in pigeons and beautiful Italian lovers intertwined so that we’ll never forget what it feels like to be twenty-three and absolutely purposeless and single, but in love with every city we visit next.”

Girls Who Travel, Nicole Trilivas

What’s a place you’d like to travel to?

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4 responses to “A Sudden Fascination With Travel Books

  1. Yessss to wanderlusttt! I’ve been bitten by this bug too, but sadly no one is ready to take me around wherever I’d like to 😀 Celebrating your 20th birthday on a cruise ship in a hot tub while sailing through the Norwegian fjords by sunset omggggg, you luck, lucky person! I’m so jealous right now, hahaha. It’s great that you are working on your anxiety, Inge- hope you get better soon <3
    I've read two of these books- Wanderlost and Anna and the French Kiss. While I adored the first one, the latter, not so much. I used to keep an eye on About a Girl sometime back, but then I just somehow lost interest. Great post, Inge- and thanks for adding books to my already overflowing TBR! 😀

  2. I have never been to Dublin, but I’ve always wanted to go. And is there a single better way to celebrate a birthday? I don’t think so! I have About a Girl, but I’ve never read it (should’ve probably done that a long time ago, it’s a review book…).

  3. I’ve been enjoying travel books lately too! I’m dying to visit Istanbul, Turkey which is #1 on my bucket list rn but I’m definitely planning to check out these recommendations since I haven’t come across a lot of these books before. Another good travel book, BTW, is the Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone (I think…). It’s quite a quirky, different premise but has plenty of travel, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy. 🙂 Wonderful post, dear!

  4. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I would absolutely LOVE to go to Paris!! It’s like been my dream since forever…like at least 900 years, probably. I need to go. NEED. Although I have travelled to China before and honestly it was so overwhelming and stressful that part of me never wants to travel again.? Plus, hello anxiety too. *sighs* So I’m constantly caught between “I want to travel!” and “hell no!” <— my life
    (But Paris though. Coffee and croissants.)

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