Sometimes before we do something, we need the perspective of a person similar to us. The similarity could be in age, background, socio-economic conditions or gender. This is especially true when we wish to embark on a new venture, an explored territory.
Women travelling is nothing new, but what is new is their doing it solo? When I travel solo, I look at the world from a different lens, not coloured by the viewpoint of a family member or a friend.
So while the books below are not about solo women travellers, they represent women’s take on different destinations and locations. So read and get inspired.
These are My Favourite Travel Books Written by Women
1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love is a popular travel memoir adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts. In her story of a difficult divorce, the author invites us to join her on a journey towards personal fulfilment by seeking out her interests of pleasure, devotion, and balance. Along the way, she becomes enamoured with Italy’s culinary delights, discovers the power of prayer in India, and ultimately finds peace in Indonesia, where she meets her soulmate.
So while taking you to these three countries, the author also brings a woman’s perspective to the narrative.
2. Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Want to escape to the Italian countryside? Under the Tuscan Sun makes for the perfect literary getaway. When Frances Mayes set her sights on an abandoned Tuscan villa, she wasn’t aware of the challenges ahead. Join her in this warm, witty memoir as she navigates cultural misunderstandings, legal frustrations and the reality of renovating a house that appears determined to remain a ruin.
3. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
Eager to get to grips with the secrets of the famously happy Danish, author Helen Russell gave herself a year to uncover the recipe. Embarking on a new life in rural Jutland, she takes us on a beguiling journey that sees her surviving a long, dark Scandinavian winter with the help of cured herring, Lego bricks and pastries. Offering an insightful analysis of the country’s childcare, education, cuisine and design, The Year of Living Danishly shows us how we can all benefit from taking a leaf out of the Danes’ book.
4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
In her memoir “Wild”, Cheryl recounts her courageous solo journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, which she embarked on after her mother’s passing. This poignant and sincere account offers a glimpse into her personal experience.
So if you are one of those who would never attempt to hike a 1,100-mile trail alone, you could get a taste of it by reading about her experiences.
5. Unlikely Destinations by Maureen and Tony Wheeler
Have you heard the story of how Lonely Planet came to be? It all started with a pair of backpackers exploring Southeast Asia in the 1970s. Maureen Wheeler and her husband Tony Wheeler wrote and published their first guidebook in 1973, eventually leading to the creation of the well-known travel brand Lonely Planet.
“Unlikely Destinations” traces the roots and expansion of Lonely Planet, along with the Wheelers’ voyages, blending travel memoir with business history.
6. Cruising Altitude by Heather Poole
Are you interested in knowing what it’s truly like to work as a flight attendant? I’m always curious about jobs related to travel and behind-the-scenes experiences. Check out “Cruising Altitude” for a fun and informative glimpse into the profession.
Heather recounts her 15 years of experience as a flight attendant in this enjoyable book, sharing stories about chaotic passengers, cramped crash pads, and various crew conflicts.
7. How Not to Travel The World by Lauren Juliff
“How Not to Travel the World” is a captivating read authored by travel blogger Lauren Juliff from the website Never Ending Footsteps. It offers an amusing insight into her numerous adventures (and misadventures) while travelling overseas.
8. What I was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
In your twenties and thirties, you may feel pressure to achieve certain milestones, such as finding a job, buying a house, or starting a family. However, Kristin Newman chose a different path and traveled the world solo for extended periods.
In her book, “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding”, she shares her experiences with a diverse range of romantic interests, including Israeli bartenders, Argentinian priests, Finnish poker players, and captivating landscapes. This book may inspire you to plan your next adventure.
Also Read: The 25 Most Inspirational Books
9. Journey by Jan Morris
Whether in Las Vegas, Bombay, Athens or Aberdeen, Jan Morris has a unique talent for conveying the essence of a place. In her book Journeys, Morris presents a collection of passionate and evocative travel essays that are both historically and politically astute. Reading it, you’ll understand why Rebecca West, a doyenne of travel writing, called Morris “the best descriptive writer of our times” and why Alistair Cooke, an equally legendary writer, dubbed her the “Flaubert of the jet age.” Read these travel books written by women and get inspired to travel.