Looking to be inspired to escape the daily grind? I got lost in all five of these books and felt like I was on the trip with them. When each book was over I had a feeling similar to the post vacation blues. I did not want these books to end because these people all took trips much longer and more adventurous than I would ever have the guts to do.
1. 360 Degrees Longitude by John Higham
One Family’s Journey Around the World
John Higham and his wife planned and saved for ten years for this trip. They left their high paying Silicon Valley jobs, rented their house, took their two kids out of school and traveled around the world for a year…part of it by tandem bicycle across Europe! What amazed me most about this family was the great attitude of the kids who were eight and eleven years old. Things did not always go to plan, and the trip was almost cut short, but this family stuck together and the kids learned an appreciation for other cultures in a way that cannot be taught in school.
2. An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof
A Caribbean Interlude
Two years on a boat in the Caribbean may sound like a dream, but it is a lot of work too! Ann Vanderhoof and her husband did just that, sailing from Toronto to Trinidad and back. This book is a great read to learn more about the real Caribbean away from the resorts. This couple embraced each island getting to know some of the residents and cooking with the local food. It was also fascinating to learn about the challenges of living on a boat. Things that we take for granted, like ice, fresh meat and hot daily showers are not always available, but those are not really the important things in life.
3. A Trip to the Beach by Melinda Blanchard & Robert Blanchard
Living on Island Time in the Caribbean
If you like the Travel Channel and the Food Network, you will like this book. The authors move from Vermont to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla to open and operate Blanchard’s Restaurant. Island time is in full swing down there and everything from getting supplies to the island to rebuilding after a hurricane are much more challenging than expected. There is no Home Depot or Whole Foods on Anguilla after all. The Blanchard’s employees become like family and they ease into the island life where you might spend a day just playing dominos or watching a boat race.
4. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner
Three friends, four continents, one unconventional detour around the world
Three New York city twenty-something women leave behind their jobs, apartments and boyfriends for a yearlong trip around the world. It is a little disjointed because each author writes various chapters, but overall it is a book that will inspire you to take a trip or regret that you did not take trip like this when you were younger, had less responsibilities and were willing to sleep in a hostel. The girls do not always get along, but that makes it all the more real.
5. The Motion of the Ocean by Janna Cawrse Esarey
1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife
Most people go on a honeymoon for a week or two. Janna and her new husband spend two years sailing across the Pacific. Yes, that Pacific…the BIG ocean. You do not need to be married or be a sailor to enjoy this book. The author’s humor is enough of a reason to read this book, but there is also adventure and the developing of a relationship along the way as she tries to answer the question of “how do you know if you have really found the One”.
6. Honeymoon with My Brother by Franz Wisner
Franz had it all. He was handsome, wealthy, had a great job and a beautiful fiancé. That is until she called off the engagement just days before the wedding and he was demoted at work. Luckily for Franz, his family and friends would not allow him to wallow in self-pity and his brother went with him on the non-refundable honeymoon to Costa Rica. The honeymoon turned into Franz and his brother quitting their jobs, selling all of their possessions and traveling the world for two years. They started the trip as brothers and ended the trip as best friends.
Warning: Reading these books may lead you to quit your job and take your own trip of a lifetime.