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Armchair Travel – Books by Women Travelers to Feed Your Adventurous Spirit While You’re in Quarantine

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There is really nothing like travel to transport you to another world and get you out of your routine and comfort zone.   But in these strange times of being confined to our own homes, a good tale of adventure might be the next best thing. A good book also holds the power to transport us to another place and explore the sights and sounds of an unknown destination through a good story.  

So until we can board our next flight or train, find your next adventure in a great travel tale.  

Hopefully, a good read will ease the pain of being grounded and help inspire your next adventure.

Here’s our list of travel stories written by incredible women who inspire us with their amazing stories of adventure and resilience.

Books by Women Travelers to Feed Your Adventurous Spirit

Holy Cow – An Indian Adventure

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure
Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald (Image: Amazon)

Holy Cow is Macdonald’s humorous account of her chaotic adventures in India.  India was the country she vowed she would never go back to until the love of her life took a job there and she makes the ultimate sacrifice for love and moves to New Delhi.  Her journey nearly kills her when she becomes seriously ill with pneumonia, an experience that forces her to face her own mortality and her search for the meaning of life. In this chronicle, Macdonald shares her spiritual journey with a witty and light-hearted style.  A must-read for those who love India or planning a trip there.

Tales of a Female Nomad:  Living at Large in the World

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman (Image: Amazon)

This true story will transform your vision of what it looks like to be a middle-aged divorced woman.  When Rita Golden Gelman divorced and left her comfortable life in Los Angeles, she followed her dream of traveling the world.  And more than merely visiting new places around the globe, she connects with people by immersing herself in cultures by connecting and trusting strangers.  Her adventures include living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, observing orangutans in Borneo and cooking with women all over the globe. She is a great example of a brave woman finding her joy and spirit and redefining life on her own terms.

Land of Lost Borders

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road
Land of Lost Borders by Kate Harris (Image: Amazon)

Kate Harris’ memoir about her year spent cycling the Silk Road from Istanbul to India via Central Asia, China, and Tibet.  More than a story of two friends cycling adventures, it captures a brave spirit of exploration with diversions into science, religion, politics, and insights on life.  The book is about discovering unknown places, breaking our own barriers and our longing to discover ourselves.  

Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland

Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland
Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland by Tory Bilski (Image: Amazon)

Tory Bilski’s memoir of Iceland chronicles her adventures with a group of women travelers bonded together over their love of Icelandic horses as they travel through the northern region of the county.  If a trip to Iceland is on your list, this is a great read for this popular destination, which is a hotspot for outdoor adventure travel.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost 

A Field Guide to Getting Lost
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit (Image: Amazon)

Sometimes we need to lose ourselves to find the person we didn’t know existed.  Not a traditional travelogue, Rebecca Solnit explores topics of wandering, being lost and the unknown as an opportunity to find yourself.

Tracks, One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback

Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
Tracks by Robyn Davidson (Image: Amazon)

Robyn Davidson’s true story of self-discovery on her solo adventure across the Australian outback, with only her dog and four camels for companionship.  This is a brilliant account of a young woman’s journey which is often grueling, sometimes funny and always courageous.

An incredible story by an incredible woman.

How Not to Travel the World, Adventures of a Disaster Prone Backpacker

How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker
How Not to Travel the World by Lauren Juliff (Image: Amazon)

If you’ve dreamed of traveling solo but your fears prevent you from taking the leap, this book will inspire you. Lauren Juliff’s account of leaving her very small world with no travel experience, ridden with anxiety, battling an eating disorder and broken-hearted, to venture into the unknown is an inspiring and humorous read.  She accounts for the disasters she survived including a tsunami, being scammed, assaulted and lost. The book will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and follow your dreams.

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner (Image: Amazon)

An engaging read that may inspire you to quit your job and pack a suitcase.  The story of three friends who make a pact to abandon their lives in New York for a year of adventure.  Their journeys take them across four continents and a dozen countries in their year-long journey filled with spontaneous adventures and friendship.

Woman reading a book (Image: StockSnap)


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About the author

Mae has travelled to over 40 countries and lived in 8. Born in St. Petersburg, Mae grew up in Lithuania and has spent most of her adult life in the UK. She has been blogging for over 8 years and is the lead editor on Travel Belles.

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