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International Women’s Day: Top 5 travelogues by female writers

There is no better companion on the road than a good book. Do you agree? While the most well-known travelogues are penned by famous men, there are, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, some written by females writers which should be on every traveller’s must-read list.

Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for Women who are Changing the World (Holly Morris)adventure-book

Following the explosive documentary series, Holly Morris put her round-the-world adventure on paper. The Adventure Diva follows the footsteps of unconventional women doing extraordinary things in their local communities. While the films focus more on the women themselves, the book gives insight into Holly’s journey illegally through Cuba and then on to New Zealand, India and Iran. Guaranteed to inspire women with a wanderlust to travel.

Flights to Cuba

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure (Sarah MacDonald)

Holy Cow

Sarah MacDonald’s whirlwind experiences are a must-read for backpackers thinking of heading east. Sarah first travels to India in her 20s and vows that she’ll never return. After several years have passed and her boyfriend takes a job there, she decides to join him. Rather than let India get the best of her she takes on the culture, experience and challenges with humour and an open mind.

Flights to India

Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Eat Pray Love

Now an international best-seller and a hit film, Eat, Pray, Love follows the footsteps of a headstrong writer from New York City as she takes on an epic journey to recover from her recent divorce. She learns to indulge in Italy, consequently expanding her waist size to accommodate the pasta and gelato. She learns to slow down, to meditate in India while at an ashram. Finally in Bali she learns to love again, falling for a Brazilian.

Flights to Italy

Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey (Alison Wearing)

Honeymoon in Purdah

You can imagine what kind of story unfolds when the premise of a book is something like this: a curious American traveller wants to go to Iran on her own, the last place on earth she should. Instead she takes her gay and very fussy room-mate with her, fakes their wedding certificate and conjures up a story that they’re on their honeymoon. She dons the traditional women’s garment (full-body covering) required by law and undertakes a five-month hiatus to discover Iran. Inevitably, this book is a concept-breaker.

Flights to Iran

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at large in the world (Rita Golden Gelman)

Tales of a Female Nomad

What does a woman do when she’s fifty, newly single and has a lot of time on her hands? She takes the world by storm and becomes a permanent nomad. She heads to Mexico for a “break” and never looks back. The book follows her fifteen year journey, and focuses on her time spend in Indonesia where she nestled down for eight years. This book isn’t about places but rather about the people in those places.

Flights to Mexico

Which travel memoirs are on your bookshelf? What’s your favourite book to take on the road with you?

Check out Travel companions: The best books to take on the road as well!

Imgs: Amazon.com

1 comment

  • Shannon Crow Reply

    I have read a few of the books from your list. The most touching, for me, was Alison’s – Honeymoon in Purdha. I have also seen her perform her writing, making it come to life in such an astounding way. This book is a permanent fixture on my shelf, which isn’t the case for a lot of fiction as I tend to read them and then pass them along. My partner often says the phrase “I am not a library”, so to keep a book means a lot in my world. It means I would read it again. This is one of those few books.

    I love the story of the people that Alison shares. She gives a wonderful insight into a culture that I have never visited.