Travel Reading

Two Trees Make a Forest, by Jessica J. Lee

After unearthing a hidden memoir of her grandfather’s life, Jessica J. Lee was determined to learn more about her family’s history. So she journeyed to Taiwan in search of answers. Taiwan is an island of extremes: from towering mountains to dense rainforests and barren escarpments. But its political history is also fraught with obstacles, mystery and tension.
Seeking to piece together her family’s past, as they moved from China to Taiwan, and then further on to Canada, Jessica not only has to navigate the tumultuous terrain of Taiwan, but also the treacherous and uncertain world of memory and language. Read More »

Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure, by Monisha Rajesh

When British journalist Monisha Rajesh announced her plan to travel around the globe on 80 trains, it seemed like a crazy idea. But with much organisation and planning, it wasn’t long before she had plotted a journey of 45,000 miles, nearly twice the circumference of the world. This route would take her on some of the most famous and infamous trains in the world.
From the vastness of the Trans-Mongolian railway to the cloud-skimming heights of the Qinghai-Tibet railway and the luxurious Simplon Orient Express. With many other less salubrious and diverse trains as well. With just a backpack and her fiancé Jem in tow, Monisha spent seven months hopping on and off trains and meeting some truly remarkable characters along the way. Read More »

Travel to … British Columbia, Canada

As I am about to embark on an exciting new adventure, it is time for some more bookish wanderings. Next month, my partner and I are heading to British Columbia, more specifically to the Silver Star Mountain Resort, to start new jobs and a new chapter for us. I have been dreaming of going to Canada for years, so I am really excited. But I know very little about the part of the world which I will soon call home. Read More »

Miss Benson’s Beetle, by Rachel Joyce

Margery Benson is a middle-aged spinster, with no living family, working a dead-end job teaching ungrateful children about domestic science in the aftermath of WWII. In a blinding moment of clarity, she quits her job and decides to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. She will journey to New Caledonia, on the other side of the world, in search of a rare golden beetle that may or may not exist.
But she cannot hope to do all of this alone. She will need an assistant for her expedition! Enid Pretty is probably the last person Margery would want accompanying her, but she is her only option. In her vibrant pink travelling suit, Enid could not be more different from dowdy and dumpy Miss Benson, and the two women do not exactly hit it off. But when faced with circumstances neither of them could have imagined, both women discover untapped strengths within themselves and a very unlikely friendship. Read More »

Bombs and Bougainvillea: An Expat in Jerusalem, by L. E. Decker

Linda and her family were no strangers to moving to unusual places. As expats living in places such as Dubai and Jordan, they faced a good number of obstacles and difficult situations. But one of their more challenging postings turned out to be Jerusalem. Moving your family into a very unsettled part of the world must have been a daunting task. Getting used to the checkpoints and constant military presence, whilst at the same time getting to grips with the multitude of Jewish holidays and traditions must have been exhausting. Imagine having to have an emergency exit plan in case the political situation turned bad! Read More »

The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn

In the course of one terrible week, Raynor and her husband Moth lost their family home, their business and received a devastating diagnosis. With their world in turmoil and nowhere to turn, they made a rather drastic decision: to walk to 630-mile-long South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, wild camping along the way and subsisting on about £48 a week. The path would test them in every way imaginable, but it would also allow them to face the very hard truths of their new present and to come to terms with it. Read More »

Step By Step, by Simon Reeve

I love the subtitle of this book!! So many people would talk about their life in journeys, but I just love the idea of exploring the life in your journeys. That is usually what I remember from my travels, that day we got ridiculously lost and ended up in some random place, or the time we almost got stuck in a National Park in remote Namibia because of the bad roads, or the people I meet along the way. Those things make much more lasting memories than the famous landmarks and must-see attractions. Read More »

Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda, by Rosamond Halsey Carr

In 1949, Rosamond journeyed with her new husband from her relatively normal life in New York City to the remote and wild Belgian Congo (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo). On arrival, everything was new and difficult and exciting, but her dream of wedded bliss in an area of natural splendour never really materialised. When the marriage fell apart, Rosamond bravely decided to stay in Africa, a place which had now captured her heart and became the manager of a flower plantation in neighbouring Rwanda. Read More »