My latest travel reads © Emma Sparks
It’s a common complaint in the travel industry: most high-profile travellers in the news, on television and gracing the spines of travel books are middle-aged white men. No surprises there. These khaki-clad posh blokes have their place – I have widely advertised my crush on Michael Palin (arguably old-aged at 75 but who can blame me? What a silver fox), but he’s hardly a realistic model for my career aspirations. You know, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and all that.
So I decided to dedicate some of my reading time this year to young, female, first-time authors of the globetrotting variety*. Their stories are about personal development as much as they are about travel, each depicting what it is to be an independent woman on the road in different ways.
Departures: A Guide to Letting Go, One Adventure at a Time © Emma Sparks
I’ve been girl-crushing on Anna Hart (ex-travel editor for Stylist) for a while on social media so her new book Departures was first on my list. Her memoir covers topics such as heartbreak, mental health and a near-death experience – as well as providing insight into her career development. Anna’s personality and humour shines through in her writing; she’s honest and relatable – and perfectly captures the spirit of what it is to be an itchy-footed, insatiable traveller.
Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaDotHart
Miss Adventures: A Tale of Ignoring Life Advice While Backpacking Around South America © Emma Sparks
I stumbled upon Amy Baker via the Traverse community and instantly added her debut to my reading list. While I found her writing style a little wordy, I soon settled into it, and enjoyed reading about Amy’s South American escapades. Her humour stands out in my memory, and I laughed out loud on multiple occasions – which is a rarity usually reserved for Bill Bryson.
The book is well structured into bite-sized chapters and I love the approach she takes, testing out expert and not-so-expert advice – in the end, reaching her own conclusions.
Follow Amy on Twitter @amybakerwrites
How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker © Emma Sparks
Lauren and her blog Never Ending Footsteps have been on my radar for years. She managed to make long-term travel blogging a sustainable lifestyle, without succumbing to the sell-your-soul press trip treadmill many bloggers rely on to see the world. The book focuses on Lauren’s travel mishaps and unfortunate episodes, while providing insight into the mind of one very anxious lady. At first I struggled to sympathise with some of her worries - until I remembered that I once feared unfamiliar foods too (including eggs). Her story is proof that the benefits of travel always outweigh the negatives.
Follow Lauren on Twitter at @NEFootsteps
*It has not passed me by that this list is not racially diverse. I would love your travel lit recommendations to help amend this! Tweet me @Emma_Sparks.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links – so if you decide to purchase any of my recommendations, I’ll get a teensy commission, at no extra cost to you!