Log in

P e a c e   a n d   U n d e r s t a n d i n g
T h r o u g h   T r a v e l  &   H o s t i n g

Log in

What to Read on the Road

July 03, 2023 12:21 PM | Deirdre Marlowe (Administrator)

photo of young woman buried by booksby Deirdre Marlowe

We’ve had articles about what and how to pack. What about what you might consider packing to read – and yes, you can do it all on your phone, but I find it more difficult than it should be to read on my phone, and packing a kindle or tablet begs the power question, especially if you will be roughing it. Guidebook(s) – I prefer Dorling Kindersley, probably because of the photographs and walking tours, and flashmap(s), Fodor makes some good ones – check. And you can always visit, should always visit, shops withB signs in out of the way places that read “We have English Book for You,” but what about choosing a book to pack? 

Many years ago, B.K. (Before Kids), my husband and I went on a six-month pushbike ride skirting the western rim of the Pacific. The first country we visited was New Zealand. My husband, a touring expert since he’d already biked across the U.S.A., was in charge of planning our rides. He chose a route along a river in the Parapara Mountains figuring it would be flat. It wasn’t. Anyway. I was reading Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle 

One morning, in our haste to hit the road, I left it where we’d camped and did not realize it until several hours later. I insisted we go back. I insisted that he, the experiencedcyclist in better shape, go back. He was having none of it. Our words escalated. Finally, I’d had enough and stuck out my thumb. As we drove up into the Paraparas, the driver asked what I’d forgotten. I regaled him with tales from Darwin’s book. He allowed as how the added weight of the book might be worth it. And then he told me he was running a bit ahead and would take me back down to where he’d picked me up! Ah, the power of the written word!

 Here are some of the books I’ve taken on my travels in no particular order.  

  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Jung Chang – three generations in China 
  • Shogun, James Clavell – Japan in the 17th century 
  • Tracks, Robyn Davidson – crossing Australia on camelback 
  • Tales of a Female Nomad, Rita G. Gelman – Going global solo 
  • The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevera – from Brasil to Peru by motorcycle 
  • Tales of a Traveler and Tales of the Alhambra, Washington Irving – fictional and real journeys 
  • Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon – the backroads of the USA 
  • Around Africa on My Bicycle, Riaan Manser – as the title says 
  • West with the Night, Beryl Markham – memoir of a woman bush pilot growing up in Kenya 
  • Iberia, James Michener – falling in love with Spain – the place, its history and people 
  • Out of Istanbul: A Journey of Discovery along the Silk Road – as the title states 
  • Best European City Walks and Museums and Mona Winks, Rick Steves – the former as the title states, the latter European museums in more detail 
  • Travels with Charlie, John Steinbeck – a writer, his dog and his truck travel the USA 
  • The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain – Americans travel the world in the 19th century 
  • The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf – Humboldt's travels in South America 

We would love to hear about books you have taken on your journeys. 


Share This Post

Spread the word about Servas.

View More Stories

1887 Whitney Mesa Dr., #1250,

Henderson, NV 89014

Contact Us

© Copyright


Support US Servas!
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software