5 Best Travel Memoirs to Read for Backpackers

Are you looking for something that could inspire you to see the world? With incredible photographs, useful travel guides, videos, and fascinating travel stories, there are many travelers out there who are supposed to inspire you to make your dreams come true. In search of hidden discoveries, often they embark on an unexpected adventure. They don’t notice where to stop their trip until satisfaction comes around.

Two backpackers looking at the beautiful surroundings. Photo Credit: Wrangell-St. Elias National at Flickr.

If you want to be an explorer who intends to discover the world should read some inspiring travel memoirs written by some of the very popular adventurers. I have found 5 classic travel memoirs that I believe will make you want to see the world. The true stories you will be reading in these books are fascinating, filled with humor, and a lot to learn from.

1) A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Photo Credit: Amazon.com.

A Walk in the Woods” is a classic memoir written by Bill Bryson. In this travel memoir, he travels the Appalachian Trail with one of his friends called Stephen Katz. The trail is said to be one of the best scenic and longest hiking trains in the world, ranging from Georgia to Maine in the USA. During the expedition, he encounters some wild animals like bears, breathtaking landscape, rugged terrain, and ever-changing weather.

You would definitely love to read the stories that Bryson tells along the way. They are amazingly hilarious, and humorous with historical backgrounds of the trail. Bryson is a person with a wonderful character. He travels the world and writes fascinating travel stories to inspire others who have the same passion he possesses. And he is the best at what he does.

The author’s another great memoir “In a Sunburned Country” did inspire me to read this charming book. When I was reading this, I felt almost as if I were there with them.  Anyway, it is a well written and very entertaining travel memoir.

2) The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca

The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca” is a significantly wonderful travel book and very enjoyable to read, with interesting insight about the life of Moroccan and their culture. It is the story of the author (Tahir Shah) family’s moves from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca. The fascinating tales of this memoir really inspires you to travel the places you have never been to before.

Tahir Shah’s first year living in Morocco with his family goes through difficult moments though his feelings for the country remain the same. As a westerner you may find it difficult to cope with the situations he encounters during the time he lives in Casablanca. Shah is a good travel writer and reading this I can see why. In this thrilling book, Shah’s incredible writing style will make you laugh at the same time you will be learning about a lot of things that are completely different to the culture you belong to.

Do you have a dream about visiting the city in future? Please collect this book, and then read it thoroughly before you embark on a trip to Morocco.

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

This is one of those types of memoirs that deserve to be one of the best. Yes it is a great memoir indeed! “Tales of a Female Nomad” tells you about the author’s (Rita Golden Gelman) experiences backpacking in different countries such as Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua, Israel, the Galapagos Islands, and Indonesia. She takes the readers on a journey showcasing the moments she experiences.

In 1986, at the age of 48, and on the verge of divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L.A. to follow her dream of interacting with people in cultures all over the world. Her first destination was in Mexico where she stayed in Zapotec village. Once she made her way to abroad as a nomad, she never looked back for the life she left in L.A. It is very important to inform you that she basically travels to live in other cultures. I think that inspired her to travel not only Mexico but other countries as well.

If you want to re-discover yourself through travel, I think you will have to encounter some challenges. Always keep in mind that when you are to travel to any country around the world, you have to have the ability to interact with locals and adapt the environment they live in. Surprisingly Rita knows it! Read her fascinating stories and hopefully they would give you courage to travel the world.

4) Arabian Sands

Wilfred Thesiger, a well known British explorer, travel writer, and the author of Arabia Sands had a wonderful character that I found reading this incredible book. The world is vast with many isolated places all over it. Empty Quarter is one of the isolated places on earth that many people don’t even imagine to travel because of the extreme weather condition it has.

Arabia Sands” is a classic memoir that takes the readers on a journey through the Empty Quarter of Arabia with interesting insight about the Bedu culture and their lifestyle in extreme environments.

They might be very tough but they are incredibly principled! For readers, it will be really surprising to see how Wilfred copes with all the things he encounters while crossing the Empty Quarter.

With adventure, excitement, and smooth narrative this travel book has become one of classics that every explorer should collect and find some inspirations.

5) The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure

I have to admit that Rachel Friedman, the author of this book, is a talented writer who did embark on a trip to Ireland right after her college graduation. “The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost” is an insightful memoir about her journey to an unexpected adventure where she visits Ireland, Australia and South America.

You can find her sense of humor when reading the stories she shares in this great travel memoir. I think it is a wonderfully entertaining book to read this summer!

If you are thinking to be a solo traveler or wish to see the world with someone in the future, this is a must read for you. It would surly inspire you to take a life changing decision. Your very first trip could be challenging but you can find some inspiration reading Rachel’s inspiring tales in this book. This is a highly recommended travel book for female backpackers.

Have you read any of these memoirs? Kindly share your reading experience.

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