All Over the Place
By Geraldine DeRuiter
Most travel memoirs involve a button-nosed protagonist nursing a broken heart who, rather than tearfully watching The Princess Bride while eating an entire 5-gallon vat of ice cream directly out of the container (like a normal person), instead decides to travel the world, inevitably falling for some chiseled stranger with bulging pectoral muscles and a disdain for wearing clothing above the waist.This is not that kind of book.Geraldine met the love of her life long before this story began, on a bus in Seattle surrounded by drunk college kids. She gets lost constantly, wherever she goes. And her nose would never, ever be considered "button-like."Hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the five-year period that kicked off when Geraldine got laid off from a job she loved and took off to travel the world. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she understands her Russian father now better than ever before. She learned that at least half of what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned about unemployment and brain tumors and lost luggage and lost opportunities and just getting lost, in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love. How that person can help you make sense of things, and can, by some sort of alchemy, make foreign cities and far-off places feel like home. In All Over the Place, Geraldine imparts the insight she gained while being far from home-wry, surprising, but always sincere, advice about marriage, family, health, and happiness that come from getting lost and finding the unexpected.
Andy Steves' Europe
By Andy Steves
Pick a Weekend, Pick a City, and Go!This book picks up where crowdsourcing leaves off, covering the flashpacker skills you need for spur-of-the-moment trips to Europe's top destinations. Follow three-day plans to explore each city. Learn which cities match your interests and which can be easily combined for a longer trip, including itineraries for Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Venice. See iconic sights. Check the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, and the Colosseum off your bucket list,and use Andy's tips to save time and skip lines. Hit the local hot spots. Chill at Amsterdam's coffee shops, study mixology at London's speakeasies, and bust moves at Barcelona's beach clubs. Enjoy the best,and cheapest,local cuisine. Graze at crêperies in Paris, pubs in Dublin, and aperitivo in Rome. Become a temporary local. Adapt to the culture to enjoy authentic, unforgettable experiences. Master digital travel. Discover how tools like AirBnB and Uber can help you make the most of your money in Europe. Connect with other travellers. Head to the most popular hostels for a ready-made, real-life social network.Whether you're looking to study abroad or just explore Europe without breaking the bank, Andy Steves Europe is the guide for you.
And Did Those Feet
By Charlie Connelly
The landscape of the British Isles is filled with history, much of which we miss as it flashes past the car window. Do we even realise that we're following the same path as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, or that we're driving past the exact spot where King Harold was killed, shot through the eye with an arrow? As a lover of both history and the British countryside, Charlie Connelly decided to rectify this, and set out on a series of walks that recreate famous historical journeys. En route he retells the story of the original trip while discovering who and what now inhabit these iconic routes. Walking in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Charlie journeys alongside Boudicca's ghost in Norfolk, relives Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight to Skye disguised as Flora MacDonald's maid and takes the same 32-mile round trip as the starving Louisburgh famine walkers. He suffers broken toes, becomes trapped in the Scottish Parliament and encounters dead poets and a surprisingly high number of mad old women in woolly hats. Told with Charlie's customary charm and wit, And Did Those Feet will reveal the historical secrets hidden in the much-loved coastal, country and urban landscapes of Britain.
Another Long Day On The Piste
By Will Randall
Writer, adventurer, ex-teacher and veteran of umpteen travel disasters, Will Randall has fallen off donkeys in Spain and out of canoes in the Solomon Islands, but none of this has prepared him for a disastrous season as a ski-bum with a posse of raucous, hard-drinking ex-students.Dismally unfashionable and hopeless at skiing, Randal finds that his stay in the charming Alpine backwater of mont St Bernard brings a whole host of new opportunities for domestic catastrophe, romantic rejection and public humiliation, including a stint as a chalet girl and an encounter with a Russian oligarch and his hair-raising entourage.Wry, self-deprecating and deliriously funny, ANOTHER LONG DAY ON THE PISTE is a rollercoaster of a travel adventure and essential apres-ski reading.
Adrift In Caledonia
By Nick Thorpe
One clear morning in May, Nick Thorpe left his Edinburgh flat, ducked off the commuter route and hitched a ride aboard a little white canal boat, heading west towards the sea. It was the first mutinous step in a delightful boat-hopping odyssey that would take him 2500 miles through Scotland's canals, lochs and coastal waters, from the industrial Clyde to the scattered islands of Viking Shetland. Writing with characteristic humour and candour, the award-winning author of EIGHT MEN AND A DUCK plots a curiously existential voyage, inspired by those who have left the warm hearth for the promise of a stretched horizon. Whether rowing a coracle with a chapter of monks, scanning for the elusive Nessie, hitting the rocks with Captain Calamity or clinging to the rigging of a tall ship, Thorpe weaves a narrative that is by turns funny and poignant - a nautical pilgrimage for any who have ever been tempted to try a new path just to see where it might take them. Part travelogue, part memoir, ADRIFT IN CALEDONIA is a unique and affectionate portrait of a sea-fringed nation - and of the drifter's quest to belong.
By Matthew Polly
Matthew Polly was your typical 98-pound weakling with sand kicked in his face - until he decided to learn to kick back. Dropping out of university, he travelled to China to study at the granddaddy of all Chinese martial arts monasteries: the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of both Zen Buddhism and kungfu. But, as Confucius might have said, path to becoming kung fu master very difficult. For one thing, no one knew where exactly the Shaolin Temple was. And asking for directions proved problematic - after three years spent learning Mandarin in college, Matthew couldn't understand a word outside the classroom. He finally found the Shaolin village hidden away between five mountain peaks. But the hard part was yet to come. The Chinese term for tough training is chi ku (eating bitter) - and Matthew quickly leaned to appreciate the phrase. By the end of the second day of training his knees were in agony and he was walking like the dead - and that was just the induction.American Shaolin is the hilarious story of Matthew's remarkable two-year travel odyssey - a tale of gruelling training, forbidden romance and an eye-watering insight into the art of 'iron-crotch' kungfu.
Atlas of the Human Heart
By Ariel Gore
Like Jack Kerouac's intrepid little sister, Ariel Gore spins the spirited story of a vulnerable drifter who takes refuge in the recesses of the human heart. With just a few pennies and her I Ching, a change of clothes and a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, a perceptive, searching Gore makes her way through the labyrinthine customs of Cold-War China, wanders bustling, electric Katmandu, and hunkers down in an icy London squat with a prostitute and a boyfriend on the dole. Yet it is in the calm, verdant landscape of rural Italy where, pregnant and penniless, nineteen-year-old Gore's adventure truly begins. An illuminating glimpse into the boldly political Gore,creator of HipMama.com and Hip Mama magazine,this unflinching memoir offers a poignant exploration of the meaning of home, and surveys the frontiers of both land and heart.
By Martin Fletcher
After seven years as Washington correspondent of THE TIMES, Martin Fletcher set off to explore the great American 'boondocks' - the raw and untamed land that exists far from the famous cities and national parks. His extraordinary journey takes him to places no tourist would ever visit, to amazing communities outsiders have never heard of, to the quintessential America. He encounters snake-handlers, moonshiners, creationists, outlaws, polygamists, white supremacists and communities preparing for Armageddon. He goes bear hunting in West Virginia, fur trapping in Louisiana, diamond digging in Arkansas and gold prospecting in Nevada. From the eccentric but friendly to the frankly unhinged, the inhabitants of backwater America and their preoccupations, prejudices and traditions are brought vividly to life.'Fletcher is not only capable of excellent penmanship, but is also able to view the country and its people as both outsider and insider, and does so without being judgmental. I found his warm and subtly humorous style very appealing, and I highly recommend this book' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY