I truly love travel writers. I love them for their advice, creativity, courage and undying desire for adventure. Thousands of people document their travels but no two eyes see one place EXACTLY the way the person before them, so those who share brutally honest accounts of their experience tend to be the most original and certainly the most entertaining.
For me, the good part about sitting still for a while is having the time to catchup on these writers. Here are some of my favorite beach reads.
1. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
The minute I starting reading reviews for this book I knew I would enjoy it, NOT because the reviews were positive, but because they were critical. David Sedaris continuously leaves me shocked, uneasy, confused and downright dumbfounded. I love him because you can't figure him out and frankly, he doesn't give a shit.
One of my favorite quotes (which was hard to narrow down) -
“I should be used to the way Americans dress when traveling, yet it still manages to amaze me. It’s as if the person next to you had been washing shoe polish off a pig, then suddenly threw down his sponge saying, “Fuck this. I’m going to Los Angeles!”
2. I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson moved back to the US after living in Britain for two decades. He always identified himself as an American but after returning to the homeland he realized how much of an alien he had actually become. I got a serious kick out of this book because you never realize how abnormal your 'normal' can be to someone from the outside. It lead me to appreciate some parts of culture (customs and traditions) and completely dislike others (pharmaceuticals and gun laws).
“Take a moment from time to time to remember that you are alive. I know this sounds a trifle obvious, but it is amazing how little time we take to remark upon this singular and gratifying fact. By the most astounding stroke of luck an infinitesimal portion of all the matter in the universe came together to create you and for the tiniest moment in the great span of eternity you have the incomparable privilege to exist.”
3. First Comes Love then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
For me, this book is a re-read because it's like watching a romantic comedy. Eve didn't think she was tough enough to survive the Peace Corps until she falls in love with her recruiter. This book is her account of her time in Ecuador, returning "the lost children" to their families, and her life beyond South America. Her dry-whit has been compared to Bill Bryson which may explain my love for both books.
4. Off Track Planet's Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy and Broke
This one doesn't need an explanation. In the Summer of 2009 a passionate group of travelers from a hostel in Brooklyn, New York created an online Travel magazine to inspire more young people to travel. The company has grown into a major publication and this is one of it's products.
The book is full of facts about random places to add to your bucket list. The best parts are the advice about traveling smart. I just bought this and I'm really enjoying it.
"Only the open-minded get to experience the world from many perspectives."
Be one of them.