Travel Memoirs to Inspire Your Next Vacation

By Briana Seftel

Searching for a good book and dreaming of your next vacation? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Add these travel memoirs to your reading list and be inspired for your next vacation.

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Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Where: UK
Arguably the foremost travel memoirist in the world, Bill Bryson has written many books about his adopted country of England. Bryson’s first foray into travel writing recounts his final trip around the UK before moving back to the United States. He covers every corner of the “small island” from Exeter in England to the northern tip of Scotland and provides irreverant commentary every step of the way.

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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Where: Italy, India and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert’s wildly popular memoir (made into a film starring Julia Roberts) follows the writer as she takes a year-long sabbatical to Italy, India and Indonesia (each place is meant to be eat, pray, love). After reading her inspiring account, you’ll want to eat pasta in Rome and visit temples in Bali, just as Gilbert did.

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Where: Pacific Crest Trail
Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling novel is a true tour de force. After her mother’s death from cancer, the 22-year-old Strayed embarks on a 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 on a journey of self-discovery. Inspiring, uplifting and unforgettable, her journey will make you want to lace up your hiking boots and go on a wild adventure of your own.

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On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Where: USA
You’ll be itching to take a roadtrip after reading Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel of the Beat Generation. Based on his travels across the United States with a few friends, On the Road became an instant classic and emblematic of the counterculture. It was famously written on one fifty-foot-long roll of paper, so take a journal with you and write away!

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A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Where: Paris
Ah, Paris in the 1920s. If you dream of traveling back in time, then you’ll want to read Ernest Hemingway’s account of living as a struggling expat in Paris. Published shortly after his death, the book soon became one of the most iconic books of Paris, and his inspired countless followers in search of that je ne sais quoi.

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A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Where: Provence
What happens when an unsuspecting British author moves into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in Provence? In his bestselling memoir, Peter Mayle chronicles his first year as an expatriate in Ménerbes, a village in the southern departement of Vaucluse. With his wife and two dogs, Mayle soon succumbs to the pleasures of Provençal life, as you will reading this book.

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Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes

Where: Tuscany
If you’re dreaming of Tuscany, then you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of Under the Tuscan Sun. In her memoir, Frances Mayes describes how she bought and restored an abandoned villa in Cortona, a beautiful small town in the Tuscan countryside. Enamored with la dolce vita, Mayes sets out to live like an Italian, with failure and success along the way.

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Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck

Where: USA
While he may be known for his novels like Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck also wrote a travelogue about his roadtrip across America with his poodle, Charley. Along his 10,000-mile journey from New York to New York, Steinbeck riffs on the friendliness of strangers, America as a whole and more.

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