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Armchair Travel Books to Help You Travel from Home

Travel Books We're Loving in 2020

From traveling the world (literally) to traveling the world… literary! Covid-19 has completely disrupted the world as we know it across all industries – travel being one of the most impacted. So many of us travelers have had to face difficult, heart wrenching choices to cancel flights and awaited adventures due to closed borders, risk of exposing vulnerable populations and overwhelming local health organizations. It’s a time unlike any other for our planet. But, there’s one thing that we’re turning to in these difficult times… travel books.

We’re the first to admit, we’re major book nerds over here at team Dame Traveler! On any given night you can find us curled up, sifting through photo books, literary novels and destination guides for travel inspiration. There really is something about having a library of stunning travel books to turn to in times when we’re not able to get out there and explore. Armchair exploration will be our guiding light during this time. Clear some space on your bookshelves… here is a roundup of our favorite travel books we’re curling up to while social distancing!

Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure

It’s been the ultimate goal of ours since the creation of Dame Traveler to have a book filled with the brave, courageous women in our community on bookshelves. And here it is! From backpackers in Peru to artists in Berlin to storytellers in Morocco, Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure” celebrates the diversity and bravery of women from around the world who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box. We can’t wait to see it on your bookshelves soon!

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020

The Travel Book

This is kind of like the keystone travel book in our eyes! Lonely Planet’s “The Travel Book” is a whirlwind trip around the world through every single country in the world. Yep! Every single one. It’s the ultimate introduction to the world of travel and one that we always end up referring to when we need any information on a given destination. Whether you need a book to learn about a specific culture or history, or you’re on the hunt for some photo inspiration for your next trip – this book has got it covered! It’s a tome that any and all travelers will love.

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020

London In Bloom

Escape to the charming streets of London-town amidst the spring blossoms in “London In Bloom.” The iconic charm of London’s architecture juxtaposed next to the blooming flowers of spring are the perfect escape we’re all craving right now. Inside each page you’ll find unique views of the city, lush, floral beauty, some of London’s best parks, gardens, florists and flower markets too. It’s like a spring-time walk through London through the lens of one of our favorite botanical photographers!

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020

Wonders of the World

A deep dive into the world’s most dazzling sights, both natural and human-made. Of course you’ll find an inside look at the iconic sights like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat and the Great Wall of China… but Lonely Planet’s “Wonders of the World” goes so much further. You’ll find less famous sights that are totally spectacular and less-explored (think tree bridges of Meghalaya, the Rijksmuseum, the Naqsh-e Jahan in Iran, untouched Buddhist temples in Java and so much more). Natural beauties, undeniably striking museums, itineraries and the resources and tools on how to discover them yourself. This book is one we’re always happy to re-read over and over again.

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020

Roaming America

National Park lovers will adore Renee Roaming’s beautifully curated love letter to the great outdoors. After a a seven-month journey to every national park in the USA, this collection highlights all 59 national parks, road trip itinerary tips, suggested itineraries, best-of recommendations, and more. “Roaming America” will be your go-to travel books to source inspiration and resources for your next great road trip through America.

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020

 

 


What travel books are you turning to while social distancing? We’d love to know your favorites!

Journal Travel Planning

A Book Lover’s Guide To The World

A book lover’s outlook is a special one. There are thousands of books set in locations around the world. All inspire a sense of wanderlust and wonder to those who read about their fascinating landscapes through their pages. It’s a very special thing when a place exactly inspires an author with a narrative. These places almost serve as a soul to these stories.

Today, we’re spotlighting some destinations that directly inspired some incredible literature. There are so many to cover, we’re sure to miss some of your favorites… so please be sure to comment with your favorite book and the destination that inspired it!

Edinburgh – “The Harry Potter Series”

It’s hard to imagine J.K. Rowling not creating the beloved Harry Potter series when you explore old Edinburgh. The city’s many castles atop steep hills, the eery and old graveyards, the cobble stoned streets! Be sure to explore Greyfrier’s Kirkyard to find some familiar names from the book series… more Edinburgh recs right here too)!

Paris – “Les Miserables”

The French Revolution’s relics are scattered throughout the City Of Light. “Les Miserables” author Victor Hugo lived in Paris for many years. In fact, visitors can see his home and the many places within the city where he wrote the worldwide read novel.

St. Petersburg – “Crime & Punishment”

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s psychological novels is one of the best ever written. However, not many people know that its inspiration stemmed from crimes he learned about while living in St. Petersburg. “Crime & Punishment” fans will find snippets and slivers of the story’s inspiration through the city’s alleys and details.

Missouri – “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer”

Mark Twain’s classic American novel takes direct inspiration from the surrounding areas of Missouri and the Mississippi River. The adventures of the young boys can be clearly imagined when exploring the area’s wildlife, caverns and caves.

Pamplona, Spain – “The Sun Also Rises”

Hemingway, an avid traveler, was extremely inspired by his time in Pamplona, Spain when writing his best selling novel. The city’s bull festivals are still celebrated to this day.

Stockholm – “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

Steig Larsson’s “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” highlighted a hidden, darker side to Stockholm. Larsson’s lived in Söder, where he lived for many, many years living locally and working as a journalist. His experiences in the city gave him great inspiration for the series settings and darker underbelly.

New York – “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

The American Novelist, Truman Capote was once the most well-known author of NYC. His lavish time in Brooklyn Heights inspired Holly Golighty’s storyline.

Birmingham, England – “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy”

Tolkien was a man who drew direct inspiration from nature, most of which he recalls fondly from his childhood. His notoriously detailed writings about flora and fauna has a direct correlation to where he grew up – Birmingham’s fields and mills.

Big Sur – “Big Sur”

Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur” was written during his meaningful time along the California coastline. The area’s inspiration is so present in his descriptive writing about the rugged beaches and stunning landscapes.

London – Shakespeare’s Work

No trip (for a Shakespeare fan) to London would be fulfilled with a trip to the Globe Theater.

The Swiss Alps – “Heidi”

The dramatic and lush Swiss Alps inspired Johanna Spyri’s picturesque setting of “Heidi.” It’s said that the book also inspired many travelers to experience its beauty for themselves too, boosting the area’s tourism by leaps and bounds after its release.

Tokyo – “Norwegian Wood”

Murakami’s masterpiece was directly inspired from his collegiate experience in Tokyo’s Waseda University. His time and love for the bustling city is evident through the pages of his many books, especially Norwegian Wood.


Be sure to check out our other book-inspired destination guides here on the blog!

Solo Travel

10 Books That Will Encourage Any Woman To Travel Solo

A trip alone, setting out into the wild world, eager and ready for all that might come, is not a newly desired experience for the modern woman. However, in the past decade solo female travel has become more widely celebrated (something we’re very fortunate and grateful for). But who do we have to thank for the mass population’s acceptance of adventuring women? Those that tell their stories from the road. Today, we’re sharing  ten of our favorite inspiring solo travel books written by women who dare to share their tales of discovery, acceptance and misadventure.

Made for any woman needing an extra push or a little inspiration for their own adventures alone, here are ten books that will encourage any woman to travel solo.

Dame Traveler: Live the Spirit of Adventure

Combining breathtaking collection of the unseen images of the women within the Dame Traveler community, empowering messages and planning tips for female travelers and secret recommendations – “Dame Traveler: Live The Spirit Of Adventure” is a coffee table photo book you’ll love to sift through to collect stories, inspiration and more. Each page is filled with some of the most thrilling, awe-inspiring photos made by women boldly traveling the world and sharing their stories. It’s a collection and celebration of the diversity and bravery of women who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box.

GET IT HERE

All Over The Place by Geraldine DeRuiter

Perfect for any woman who doesn’t identify herself as the type of person who could travel solo, Geraldine DeRuiter’s story of misadventure is told through the eyes of a non-stereotypical traveler. All Over The Place‘s candid take on transformative experiences traveling the world will warm any woman up to the idea of solo travel. Trust us, it’ll delight you just as much as it’ll inspire you.

GET IT HERE

Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart by Alice Walker

Described as a “modern take on the Odyssey,” Alice Walker’s book centers on the ever-difficult quest we all face in finding meaning in our lives. Along her journey to self-actualization (separate from her lover) in various parts of the world, Kate gains insight on the world around her through inner development of trust and courage.

GET IT HERE

Flâneuse: Women Walk The City In Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice & London by Lauren Elkin

Flâneuse: “a woman who is said to behave like the historical masculine figure of privilege who strides the capitals of the world with abandon.” Sounds right up our alley! Exploring the history of women artists, creators and writers who have found their inspiration through exploring the world’s most inspiring cities, Lauren Elkin’s book celebrates liberated and bold women of the past.

GET IT HERE

At Home In The World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering The Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

While backpacking the world with her husband and three children for nine months, Tsh Oxenreider’s story focuses on the meaning of home when in transit. Captivating, honest and raw, this novel will show you how travel truly shapes us and redefines home’s identity for any nomad in the world.

GET IT HERE

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s a cliche, but it’s a standard choice for a reason. If you haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s gem, consider this your call to action.

GET IT HERE

My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine by Kate Betts

This memoir is set in the ever-fashionable and stylish Paris in the 80’s, seen through the eyes of Kate Betts (former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor). Through Kate’s memoir, we’re reminded that the dream of living abroad and attaining glamorous professional roles comes through perseverance and hard work. Kate takes us readers on her journey through tedious jobs, fashion week, savoir faire, nightclubs and romantic lavender fields of Provence – through the eyes of a determined girlboss.

GET IT HERE

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Another one of those classic solo travel books you’ve heard about, and for good reason! Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her thousand mile hike through the west coast as a complete newby brings to light so much more than the beauty of nature. Wild shows us how transformative travel can be when our life plans seems to have shattered in front of us.

GET IT HERE

Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes

Frances Mayes buys and restores an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside. But what she discovers is so much more than frescoed walls. Under The Tuscan Sun lets readers in on the charming and vibrant markets and villages in the rural sections of Italy, celebrating the sweet and slow lifestyle it embraces and delighting the senses. It’s truly a love letter to Tuscany wrapped up in a story of self realization!

GET IT HERE

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Freidman

An unlikely friendship formed in Ireland by an American good girl and a free spirited Aussie drives Rachel Friedman’s memoir on a yearlong journey to three continents and an unrealized love for adventure. This tale of female friendship formed through life changing travel will teach you, more than anything, that living for the moment unlocks inner joy.

GET IT HERE

A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit’s novel lets us readers see the lives lead by bold and adventurous leaders through a series of memoirs. Inventive, challenging and damn inspiring, A Field Guide To Getting Lost gets right into the soul of what travel truly means – from what being lost feels like, to wanderlust to loss and more. If you want to dig deep, this is your book!

GET IT HERE

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