Looking for a new book to read? Bored of the ones on your to be read pile or need some books to keep you entertained on an upcoming flight? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here are three books by badass women (because we all know there needs to be more women authors on bookshelves) that will inspire you, let you know you aren’t alone and give you that push to go out and experience life your way. So grab a cup of tea and let’s me tell you about three of my favourite female travel memoirs that have been released in 2017 so far.
Travel Memoir #1
Missadventures: A Tale of Ignoring Life Advice While Backpacking Around South America – Amy Baker
Released: March 2017
I like to think I write as if I’m just having a chat with you over a good cuppa and as such, I like other people who do this too. It makes a much more personal story, facts are great but experiences are better. This is how Amy’s book is written – and it’s ace.
It is split into chapters based on all the countries visited and then the corresponding advice she received for each section complete with a summary at the end of which piece of advice won through and lessons learned. Basically any woman who has ever received unwanted advice (which I know is EVERY WOMAN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD) needs to read this book. No, we don’t have to worry about settling down, yes we get fed up and just quit our job and travel, no we aren’t getting it out of our system by travelling now.
Amy’s book is a no holds barred, humourous account of the realities of backpacking in your thirties – the good and the quite frankly horrible – and the quest to discover who you really are and just how strong you can be. It is also a lesson how not to base your decisions solely on one person’s recommendations and most definitely not to put your name down to climb a mountain in a few days time whilst hyped up on ceviche. (See people, veganism saves you from yourself…!)
Travel Memoir #2
All Over The Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft – Geraldine DeRuiter
Released: May 2017
First of all, this book was released in May. It’s my birthday in May so obviously it must be a present just for me. Shhhh, let me live in my little bubble for a while! You probably know Geraldine better as the blogger over at The Everywhereist where you can find posts such as ‘The Mathematics of Churros’, ‘Just a Bunch of Adorable Animals in Turkey. Whatever. No big deal.’ and the milk incident post. Look it up, it’s hilarious.
This isn’t your typical travel memoir, she didn’t sell up and go travelling for a year or decide one day she wanted to be a digital nomad. Her book basically covers her life from when she was made redundant and Rand (her husband with what must be the best moustache on the planet!) convinced her to set up a travel blog to her life now, the family who have shaped her into the person she is and the situations she has either hilariously or sadly found herself in. Don’t read it if you are looking for a typical I gave everything up to go travelling memoir, read it to remember that even though travel may be a huge part of who you are, so are the people around you. A reminder to appreciate them whilst they are still around, look up at the stars every once in a while and push yourself out of your comfort zone because it could result in something amazing – or an abandoned smallpox hospital. It also taught me that Italians eat a lot for their afternoon meal and to never fill up on the first course!
Seriously though, I am in love with the way Geraldine writes. It’s poetic and lilting and thoughtful and they suddenly it speeds up and you are hit with comedic timing that leaves you laughing on the train home.
Travel Memoir #3
Revolutionary Ride: On The Road in Search of the Real Iran – Lois Pryce
Released: January 2017
I first heard of Lois Pryce when I attended her talk on riding through Iran at a travel show earlier this year. You may have read her previous books, ‘Lois on the Loose‘ and ‘Red Tape and White Knuckles‘. Lois likes to take her motorbike somewhere and just ride and explore whether that be from Alaska to Argentina or the length of Africa. One day she realised this was what would make her happy so she quit her job, taught herself motorbike maintenance and shipped her bike to Alaska. I’m pretty sure she’s not looked back since.
The story behind her Iran ride starts when she left her muddy, battered bike parked on a London Street and came back to find a note attached to it.
I have seen your motorbike and I think that you have travelled to many countries. But I wonder, have you been to my country? That is Iran. It is very beautiful and the Persian people are the most welcoming in the world. Please do not think of what has happened here and in Tehran. These are our governments, not the Iranian people. WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS! I wish that you will visit Iran so you will see for yourself about my country. WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS!!! Please come to my city, Shiraz. It is very famous as the friendliest city in Iran, it is the city of poetry and gardens and wine!!!
Your Persian friend,
This was back in 2013 when the relationship between Iran and the UK was a volatile one and the Western news was full of negative views of Iran. Never one to take everything she reads as a given, Lois set off to find out the truth for herself. What she found was an Iran was nothing like she imagined, a place full of warm friendly people that welcomed her into their homes and were happy to talk about any number of subjects with her. This is a tale about not believing what people tell you and instead going out to discover what a place is really like. I love reading Lois’s adventures, solo exploration with just her motorbike for company on the road. Her books always talk about the history of the place she is visiting coupled with the conversations she’s had with locals giving you a glimpse of the bigger picture.
So there you have it. Three female travel memoirs that I’ve loved reading this year. Have you read any of them? Got any suggestions for other books I need to add to my reading list? Let me know in the comments below.
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