Reading before bed is a great way to unwind for better sleep. This month's reading recos take you on a virtual journey.
It's been more than a decade since "Eat, Pray, Love" moved legions of American women to leave their cares behind and embark on an introspective solo travel adventure. The trend shows no signs of slowing down, with women-only travel companies and vacations making it easier than ever to go it alone.
These five authors are today's Elizabeth Gilbert, charting their own course in the great wide world and sharing the inspiring details of their wanderings. To take a virtual journey, read their memoirs.
- Traveling with Ghosts Sometimes when you lose someone you love, a solo journey helps you to find yourself, and your bearings, again. That was the case with Cheryl Strayed in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. And that's the case with Shannon Leone Fowler, a marine biologist who suddenly lost herfiancé, Sean, when a box jellyfish, the most venomous in the world, latched onto his leg during a backpacking trip in Thailand. To honor their mutual love of travel, Fowler journeyed to places of loss and remembrance, including Auschwitz, Israel, and war-torn Bosnia, ending in Barcelona, where she and Sean first met. At times heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting.
- What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding Sitcom writer, Kristin Newman, tackled travel from Argentina, to Iceland, to Russia and points in between, with the same hilarity she brought to script writing on shows such as "How I Met Your Mother." While gal pals chose the marriage-and-kids route, Newman took a different path in her mid-thirties, spending time each year exploring the world, and the men, it has to offer. The result is equal parts wanderlust, lust and laugh-out-loud escapism.
- Love With a Chance of Drowning "Fearful Adventurer" is how Torre DeRoche describes herself. But in her mid-twenties this Australian, terrified of deep water, decided to sail into the sunset with her newfound love, a handsome Argentinian. For awhile it was smooth sailing to lush South Pacific islands. And then disaster struck: The boat's engine and steering failed and started taking on water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With humor and poignant, if not neurotic, self-analysis, DeRoche chronicles her tale of survival at sea and in love.
- All Over the Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft Not exactly a solo adventure, but with Geraldine DeRuiter's terrible sense of direction, it might as well be. After getting laid off from a copywriting job she loved, DeRuiter began tagging along on her husband's business trips. With self-deprecating, razor-sharp wit, she spent the next seven years chronicling their escapades and her adventures in getting lost in cities, hotels, airport terminals and elsewhere, in an award-winning blog, The Everywhereist. Ultimately, though, the resulting book is about finding that love is your true north, no matter where you are.
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