February 11, 2016 | jonesw
Earn your Hit the Road badge while you travel the world with these real-life stories by women travelers.
"In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information. Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history - to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her prededecessors - two Norwegian men - each of whom employed either parasails or kites. Aston's journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement. Like Cheryl Strayed's Wild, Felicity Aston's Alone in Antarctica becomes an inspirational saga of one woman's battle through fear and loneliness as she honestly confronts both the physical challenges of her adventure, as well as her own human vulnerabilities. "--.
In Around the Bloc, Griest relates her experiences as a volunteer at a children’s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the office of the Chinese Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece in Beijing, and a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana. She falls in love with an ex-soldier who narrowly avoided radiation cleanup duties at Chernobyl, hangs out with Cuban hip-hop artists, and comes to difficult realizations about the meaning of democracy.
Like Jack Kerouac’s intrepid little sister, Ariel Gore spins the spirited story of a vulnerable drifter who takes refuge in the recesses of the human heart. With just a few pennies and her I Ching, a change of clothes and a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, a perceptive, searching Gore makes her way through the labyrinthine customs of Cold-War China, wanders bustling, electric Katmandu, and hunkers down in an icy London squat with a prostitute and a boyfriend on the dole. Yet it is in the calm, verdant landscape of rural Italy where, pregnant and penniless, nineteen-year-old Gore’s adventure truly begins. An illuminating glimpse into the boldly political Gore—creator of HipMama.com and Hip Mama magazine—this unflinching memoir offers a poignant exploration of the meaning of home, and surveys the frontiers of both land and heart.
This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.
Sojourns of the Soul differs from other inspirational travel books by providing a rare mix of in-depth wisdom and literary insights from the holistic view of one experienced female traveler. Dana Micucci gives a compelling account of her growing spiritual illumination through visits to some of the most sacred places on earth. Her lively, engaging narrative takes us to seven sites in all: the Australian outback, Angkor in Cambodia, the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, Lhasa in Tibet, Chichen Itza in the Yucatan; the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico, and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlustdocuments Elisabeth Eaves’s insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance. In the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she loses herself—literally—to an Australian tour guide; in Cairo, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart, only to discover the beginning of a pattern that will characterize her life over the long-term: while long-distance relationships work well for her, traditional relationships do not.
Cheryl Strayed recounts the impact of her mother's death on her life at age twenty-two and chronicles her experiences after she made the impulsive decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert all the way into Washington State.
"In many ways, I was an independent woman," writes Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Alice Steinbach. “For years I’d made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow.” But somehow she had become dependent in quite another way. “I had fallen into the habit of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me.” But who was she away from the people and things that defined her? In this exquisite book, Steinbach searches for the answer to this question in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world: Paris, where she finds a soul mate; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married. Beautifully illustrated with postcards from Steinbach’s journeys, this revealing and witty book transports you into a fascinating inner and outer journey, an unforgettable voyage of discovery.