10 Inspiring Travel Books Written by Women

10 Inspiring Travel Books Written by Women

From personal memoirs to coming-of-age odysseys, these are our favourite women-written travel books to empower and inspire your travels

good travel book can transport you to the rolling lavender
fields of Tuscany, awaken you to the power of prayer in
India and inspire you to hike an off-grid trail
on the American west coast. Whether we’ve found you
lying on a hammock strung between palms or curled up on your sofa
with a cuppa to hand, read on to discover the travel reads written by women that will both sate
wanderlust and galvanise you for your next adventure.

The next chapter: 10 empowering travel books written by


Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria

by Noo Saro-Wiwa

Growing up, English-raised Noo Saro-Wiwa spent her summers in
Nigeria, a place she considered gritty and unglamorous – somewhere
that stripped her of all her usual home comforts and routine. When
her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was executed by the country’s
military dictatorship in November 1995, she closed the doors on any
thought of return. A decade later, however, the writer challenged
herself to rediscover her roots. Spanning the chaos of Lagos to the
tranquillity of the eastern mountains, Looking for Transwonderland
is an enthralling read, combining elements of travelogue with
meditations on corruption, identity and religion.



A Field Guide To Getting Lost

by Rebecca Solnit

An investigation into loss, A Field Guide To Getting Lost
explores the difficulties of navigating uncertainty. Historian,
activist, feminist and writer of more than 20 books, Solnit’s
exploration takes in everything from mapmaking to Renaissance
paintings and Alfred Hitchcock films. A philosopher at heart, the
author begins this dynamic collection of nine essays with a
quotation from one of her students: “How will you go about finding
that thing the nature of which is unknown to you?”


Islands of Abandonment

by Cal Flyn

Ever wondered what happens to abandoned places? Cal Flyn will
cure your curiosity in her Islands of Abandonment. Taking us on a
haunting adventure through ghost towns, exclusion zones, no man’s
lands and fortress isles, this fascinating book will enlighten you
as to what happens when neighbourhoods become silent and nature
takes its course. In doing so, the author does much to answer the
most pressing question of our times: can we reverse humankind’s
damage to nature?

Read now



by Jan Morris

Be it Las Vegas or Bombay, Athens or Aberdeen, leading
contemporary travel writer Jan Morris has a special power when it
comes to conveying the very essence of a place. In Journeys, she
gifts us a collection of passionate and evocative travel essays
that are both historically and politically astute. Read it and
you’ll be in no doubt as to why doyenne of travel writing Rebecca
West called Morris “the best descriptive writer of our times” and
the equally legendary Alistair Cooke christened her the “Flaubert
of the jet age”.

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

“It was a world I thought would both make me into the woman I
knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been,”
states Cheryl Strayed in the uplifting Wild. At the age of 26,
Strayed was convinced she’d lost everything. Her mother had
suddenly passed away from cancer and her marriage had fallen apart.
Thinking she had nothing to lose, she decided to walk 1,700km of
North America’s west coast – from the Mojave Desert to Washington
state – alone, and with no experience of hiking. Follow her on her
incredible journey, during which she pieces her life back

Read now


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything

by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray,
Love, which inspired the 2010 film of the same name, starring Julia
Roberts, we assume you’ve been living under a rock. Telling the
tale of her bitter divorce, the author invites us to join her in
the pursuit of happiness, as she sets out to nurture her own
interests – pleasure, devotion and balance. It is a path that sees
her falling head over heels for Italy’s culinary scene,
understanding the power of prayer in India and, finally, finding
peace in Indonesia, where she meets her soulmate.

Read now


The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country

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’

Read now


Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

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 that lay 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.

Read now


Travels with Myself and Another

by Martha Gellhorn

After a lifetime spent travelling, American powerhouse Martha
Gellhorn – who died in 1998 in London, at the age of 89 – mined her
“best horror journeys” for the purposes of this critically
acclaimed, 2002-published book. From a journey through rain-sodden,
war-torn China, to sailing in the Caribbean and visiting a
dissident writer in the Soviet Union, the stories contained in
these pages are both gripping and hilarious.

Read now


What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

by Kristin Newman

Your 20s and 30s come with an unspoken amount of pressure.
There’s securing and balancing a job, watching friends purchase
houses and others start families. Not ready to settle down, Kristin
Newman instead chose to travel the world, often alone, for months
at a time. In What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, she
introduces us to a colourful array of lovers – think Israeli
bartenders, Argentinian priests and Finnish poker players – and
equally entertaining landscapes. This one will have you running to
book your next flight.

Read now


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