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Get Inspired to GO…  Spark your Wanderlust with 15 Fab Books and Podcasts

Well, summer is upon us! If you’re the wandering kind then your internal compass is most likely pointing you OUT of the office.  And, if you’ve been craving some time away from your usual routine and are ready for some travel, you are not alone in your wanderlust.  According to “nearly 85% of survey responders plan to travel this summer, 42% plan to travel more than last summer, more than 54% plan to fly on a plane, and 100 Million are planning a road trip over 250 miles”. 

With all that travel going on you may be wondering just where everyone is going.   Well, a blog on the “Top 10 biggest Travel Trends for 2023” notes some interesting adventures this season like:

  • Mainstream solo travel
  • Wellness Travel and Digital Detox
  • Sober Travel Experiences
  • Long-Term and Nomadic Travel
  • Multi Country Trips
  • Cultural Experiences

Do any of these ideas sound interesting to you?  If you’re thinking about a getaway for yourself but haven’t yet pinned down a destination, check out our list of books and podcasts that are sure to get you eager to hit the road!

In the Shadow of the Mountain – By Silvia Vasquez-Lavado  

Vasquez-Lavado was looked upon as a Latina hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately though she was hanging by a thread. Deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she’d suffered as a child, she started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent― the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains and death’s proximity―woke her up. She then took her biggest pain as a survivor to the biggest mountain: Everest.  In the Shadow of the Mountain is a remarkable story of heroism, one which awakens in all of us a lust for adventure, an appetite for risk, and faith in our own resilience. 

Wilder Journeys, True Stories of Nature, Adventure and Connection – Edited by Laurie King and Miriam Lancewood 

Follow the call of the wild with these incredible true stories from an international group of nature lovers, nomads, and adventurers.   They impart their wisdom through stories of walking across the Australian desert, living with a family of eagles in Scotland, surviving for 10 years in an Australian forest, and hunting in the wilderness of New Zealand in this beautifully illustrated hard cover. 

    Fifty Places to Travel with your Dog before you die:  Dog Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations – by Chris Santella and DC Helmuth 

    From the dazzling glaciers of Alaska and the onsens of Japan to the sun-soaked beaches of Portugal, this book explores fifty dog-approved journeys, highlighting where to stay and how to travel with your beloved furry friend. Enjoy locations such as the ski trails of Mariposa, the gothic architecture of Prague, the chic salons of Paris for a doggy makeover, and the world’s first dog cruise—complete with a three-course canine-friendly meal. See the world as you’ve never seen it before—through the eyes of your pup—as Fifty Places to Travel with Your Dog Before You Die takes you through fun-filled festivals, special dog holidays, and luxurious hotels and retreats that have been given the paw print of approval. 

    Lands of Lost Borders:  A Journey on the Silk Road – by Kate Harris 

    Harris makes her debut with this exciting travelogue of her bicycle journey along the Silk Road.   

    Pedaling mile upon mile alongside her best friend in some of the remotest places on earth, she realized that an explorer, in any day and age, is the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. Forget charting maps, naming peaks: what she yearned for was the feeling of soaring completely out of bounds. The farther she traveled, the closer she came to a world as wild as she felt within.  

    Not Cool:  Europe by Train in a Heatwave – by Jules Brown 

    A laugh-out-loud train journey across Europe with a travel writer who should know better.  Inspired by the budget train trips of his youth, veteran travel writer Jules Brown thought he’d try and visit 9 cities in 9 countries in 9 days. Sadly, that wasn’t his only mistake.  It soon turned into a hot and steamy adventure by rail across Europe, taking in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Liechtenstein, Zürich and Milan.  A tale of relaxing train rides to famous tourist destinations and guidebook sights? Not so much. All aboard for an offbeat travel adventure with a very funny writer seriously in danger of losing his cool. 

    Vagabonding:  An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term Travel – by Rolf Potts 

    There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Now completely revised and updated, Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to: 

    • financing your travel time 

    • determining your destination 

    • adjusting to life on the road 

    • working and volunteering overseas 

    • handling travel adversity 

    • re-assimilating back into ordinary life 

    Updated for our ever-changing world, Vagabonding is an indispensable guide for the modern traveler. 

    A Walk in the Woods:  Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail – by Bill Bryson 

    The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, and sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go and Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces readers to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–including a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

    The Salt Path – by Raynor Winn 

    Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. 

    They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey. 

    The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways. 

    Camp: Stories and itineraries for Sleeping Under the stars – by Luc Gesel 

    With tales from the trail, arresting images, and helpful instruction, this wild guide reveals what calls people to camp: under all the gear, it’s as much about living off the grid as it is about the thrill of staying alive. Whether you love car camping with kids, rock climbing with friends, or roughing it solo in a lean-to, you’ll find there’s always somewhere new to explore–even if it’s just in your backyard. 

    Inside you’ll find: 

    – Interviews with expert campers, adventurers, basecampers, and alpinists 

    – Hundreds of captivating photographs of sites and set-ups around the world 

    – How-tos that cover choosing a tent, building a fire, making coffee, and more

    The Geography of Bliss:  One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places ion the World  – By Eric Weiner 

    THE GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS is part travel memoir, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide that takes the viewer across the globe to investigate not what happiness is, but WHERE it is. 

    Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? 

    In a unique mix of travel, psychology, science and humor, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions. 

    Armchair Explorer Podcast – The Armchair Explorer podcast is adventure storytelling set to music and cinematic effects. In each episode one of the world’s greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road. No long-winded interviews, just straight to the heart of the action.  

    Travel Tales Podcast – Travel, at its best, changes the way we see the world. The podcast digs into stories from people who took a trip—and came home transformed. Travel Tales by AFAR is your ticket to the world, no passport required.  

    Women Who Travel Podcast – Though travel and adventure have historically been publicly claimed by men, women have always been part of those narratives, too. Each week, host and Condé Nast Traveler editor Lale Arikoglu shines a light on some of those stories, interviewing female-identifying guests about their most unique travel tales—from going off-grid in the Danish wilderness to country-hopping solo—sharing her own experiences traveling around the globe, and tapping listeners to contribute their own memorable stories. This is a podcast for anyone who is curious about the world—and excited to explore places both near and far from home.  

    Zero to Travel Podcast – With over 15 years’ experience travelling the world, Jason Moore shares his passion for all things travel in his weekly hour-long podcasts.  Take a listen as he interviews fellow explorers on their epic journeys, from walking across America to visually impaired cyclists embarking on a 16,000-mile journey from Argentina to Alaska.  Other weekly posts include tips on how to budget, travel safety tips, as well as how to find work while on the road.  

    Alice in Wanderland Podcast – Scottish adventurer Alice Morrison lives in a village in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and her fortnightly podcast gives an insight into daily life there when she’s at home. However, older episodes cover her Sahara expedition, when she trekked 2,000kms with camels, while more recent ones cover her Atlas Expedition when she took camels 1,400kms across the Atlas Mountains. 

    Traveling is an empowering and exciting activity and wherever you choose to go this summer (even if it’s glamping in the backyard) we wish you an amazing adventure!  Hey before you go anywhere you have to check out the Vacation Well Sale going on this week and save up to 50% off on pretty things to bring along on your next get-away and we’ll see you in the next blog! 

    Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at