At Home in the World (& other travel books)

Hi Reading friends– Just finished At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider.  And I could happily pick it up and read it through all over again right now!  It made me think of other travel books I’ve loved.  If you’ve got the travel bug– maybe you’d love them too.

But be careful.  Now I’m itching to plan up a big trip.  (I did google “cheap flights to London!!”–$340 round trip from L.A. Air Canada!!)   Do you have summer travel plans??  Suggestions??!

Tsh and Kyle Oxenreider did something I secretly (or maybe not so secretly since I’m writing it here!), wish we could do.  They sold their house packed 5 backpacks for themselves and their three smallish kids and began a trek around the world that took 9 months.  Starting in China with jet lag and a language barrier, settling 6 weeks in Thailand, and moving on to sojourns in Australia, Kenya, Ethiopia, France, Kosovo, England and points in between.   They stayed with friends along the way and met a colorful new band of people as they traveled. Tsh is contemplative and practical.  She muses about the place called home and their place in the world.  Loved it!

In A Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell and her husband find themselves transported from the bustle to London to small town Billund, Denmark when he takes a job working for Lego.  Having heard repeated statistics touting Denmark as the happiest country on earth, Helen spends 12 months uncovering the habits and preferences of Danish people with style and humor.  She interviews Danes around the country on the topics of education, work culture, taxes, health care, food, interior design in her attempt to find out why they could be so happy.  She immediately is taken with their pastries and slowly comes to understand the quirks of their culture.  Just a fun book, and a real look at fascinating country.

It’s been a while since I read The Geography of Bliss.  But it left an impression.  Eric Weiner wanted to find where the happiest people on earth were found– So he set out to The Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, Great Britain, India and finally back to the U.S.A. , interviewing people from all walks of life and positions in the country to determine how much happiness could be found in these places.  He depended on psychology, science, history and humor in his search and the result is vastly entertaining and an enlightening look into the lives of people around the world.

A friend sent us a copy of Heidi’s Alp the years we lived in Spain, and would travel in our tired old van around the continent with 4 kids in tow.  This is the story of a family from Oxford who loaded their 4 daughters in a camper van and traveled through Europe tracking down the origins of well known fairy tales, from Cinderella in France and Pinocchio in Italy, to The Little Mermaid in Denmark and the tales of the Brothers Grimm in Germany.  Along the way they also were acquainted with new foods, cultural sights and curious customs.  She also includes a lot of just rollicking fun with the girls as they go– and subscribes to Hans Christian Andersen’s thought, “To travel is to live.”  (Used copies still available on Amazon)

This is another family off to see the world!  Author David Cohen, wife and three kids (2, 5 & 7) sell their house and set off.  They hike up a Costa Rican volcano, view Burgundy from a canal boat, meet lions on an African safari and trek across the desert lands of Australia.  The style is less reflective and more just an amazing travelogue of the high highs and low lows of traveling around the world as a family.  I especially liked his final chapter on what he would do differently, were he to start over again.  A satisfying armchair travel book!

15 thoughts on “At Home in the World (& other travel books)

    • Hi Suzanne — of course Italy– the history! the food! the warm weather… I’d pretty much go anywhere if someone gave me a place ticket!! But I do have a list!!! Take care Suzanne… xox

  1. What fun! I may be hitting the Sittig lending library to get my hands on a few of these. Reading and traveling are two of my favorite pastimes, along with photography. Now if you could find a book about traveling with the Dodgers as their photographer, I’d love to *write* that one!

    • I’m with you Brad– on all except maybe the Dodgers– I’d just about love to travel anywhere! Do you have any vacations planned?? We’re just off to Wisconsin for Laurel’s wedding this summer– but I am itching to travel to points beyond! Hugs to all at your house…

  2. Rhonda, these are great! I haven’t been reading books as much as I used to, and I have to say that I miss it! I’ve taken note of some of the books you’ve recommended here, and on other previous posts, and will be looking them up at my local library. I’m really looking forward to reading some of these! Thank you for sharing your valuable insights! 😊 Xoxo

    • Hey Daisy– I’m with you– the library is my favorite hang out– all those books for free! I’ve been able to read more since I’m not working and really am thankful for it. I’m wondering how you are by now– have to email next! xox

  3. Hi Rhonda – oh, you and I have the same secret wish although I would like to do it in an RV all around the country. My hubs is not convinced it would be fun and perhaps he’s right bec I don’t like to drive for long stretches. Ordered the Danish book from the library — intrigued to read this one since we traveled all through Denmark last summer. – Kat

    • Fun! Do you know people there?? Have family in Denmark? I really liked her smart clever writing style. Let me know (photos!!) when you take that trip. I’m hoping for travels ahead… xox

    • I have that list too Marcia– it gets longer all the time! Reading The Sympathizer right now for our Lit Group– but it’s a little grim for me. You have some summer reading lined up?? xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s