Classic reads: travel

With the change of seasons everything slows down a little bit in Ibiza. During the summer months we’re lucky to have time to skim the Diario so it is a luxury to be able to sit down and enjoy a good book. To inspire your library, we’ll be sharing a few posts about classics in different genres. Here are five classic travel books to whet your wanderlust.

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck is most famous for his novels, like Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, but this non-fiction travelogue is charming. It is an account of a long road trip around the United States with his poodle, Charley, for company. The author’s gifts of observation and description make every scene come to life. It can’t help but make you yearn to pack the car, lock up the house and follow in his footsteps.

Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple

Dalrymple leads the reader on an insightful journey through India by telling the stories of nine unique characters. They include three brothers who are Buddhist monks, a Jain nun, a tantric expert, and an idol maker. By exploring the religious beliefs and practices of these individuals the author creates a complex and colourful tapestry of one of the world’s great nations.

My Life in France by Julia Child

Another writer who discovered that the best way to understand a place is to know its people was Julia Child, who is renowned for her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This lively autobiography recounts how a middle-aged American woman with no interest in cooking fell in love, married, moved to France with her diplomat husband, and, with great zest and affection, learned the intricacies of classical French cuisine. It is a story rich in the delights of food, life, and romance.

The Lonely Sea and the Sky by Sir Francis Chichester

Anyone who loves adventure will be rapt by the globe-trotting autobiography of Sir Chichester. Born in Britain in 1901, he emigrated to New Zealand as a youth and patched together a living as a shepherd, boxer and lumberjack, among other things. Then he discovered flying and became one of the great air explorers. Among his many achievements, Chichester was only the second person to ever fly solo from the UK to Australia. After conquering the sky, he turned to the sea and became a legend as a round-the-world sailor.

Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn

Gellhorn is best known as a war reporter. Her courage and passion for detail shine in her travel writing. This book recounts several “horror journey” because, as she says, bad trips are more interesting than a week on the beach. Her travel nightmares include getting dengue fever on a river excursion in Africa, a frozen week in the Soviet Union, and near-death experiences in 1930s China. Through it all, she never loses her sense of humour, or the curiosity only travel can satisfy.

What’s your favourite travel book? Share in the comments!

About Cila Warncke

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