“After living in Australia for almost eight years and never venturing outside of Perth, I decided I wanted to explore more of this beautiful continent and booked a trip to Sydney in my last university holidays. By chance, I happened to grab my second-hand copy of Looking for Alibrandi, by Melinda Marchetta as reading material for the flight.
What luck to be reading a book set in Sydney while travelling around Sydney! Looking for Alibrandi depicts the struggle for identity of a teenage Italian-Australian living in Sydney. The novel has a unique perspective for the traveller as it is written with the familiarity of the native Australian, as well as with the cultural observations of the outsider.
Mark Harrison admits to being an avid reader of all things travel related and gives us a few great book recommendations (particularly in relation to Italy, his all-time favourite travel destination)…
(1) Vroom with a View and Vroom by the Sea, by Australian Peter Moore, are terrific books in regard to uncovering some of Italy’s jewels. Written with a great dose of humour and a passion for travelling through Italy by Vesper, Peter entices the traveller to see Italy from a different perspective. Both books are ‘easy reading’ and not too large to carry in a backpack.
(2) When in Rome and See Naples and Die by transplanted Australian, Penelope Green, are also easy to carry in the backpack and offer a first-hand insight into two of Italia’s greatest cities. Penelope also writes about some of her own struggles to live in a foreign country.
Maybe this is not a book that inspired me to travel, but it is definitely a book that inspired me to read in English! I am a native German speaker (Swiss) and was on my first long (3 months) trip to Australia. I did bring some German books to read, but they did not last long.
As it is (or was then in 1990) nearly impossible to find German books in Australia, I had to start reading English. The first book I graped in a backpackers was called Queenie by Michael Korda and it was BIG – 650 pages! I had no idea what it was about, but I was in desperate need of reading, so I started it. The book was so exciting, I didn’t want to stop reading, I nearly stopped travelling to finish the book!
When travelling to Tibet, My Journey to Lhasa was a book Intrepid’s Anastasia Kozak simply had to take with her and following in the author’s footsteps was an adventure of the mind, body and spirit…
“Alexandra David-Nell’s bio makes impressive reading: a French traveller, writer, and mystic who was fluent in Sanscrit, Tibetan, and Buddhist philosophy. She was the first western woman to ever enter the forbidden city of Lhasa and receive an audience with the Dalai Lama. Disguised as a Tibetan pilgrim, she walked for four months in the middle of winter, oftentimes sleeping outdoors without even the protection of a tent and subsisting on the simple Tibetan staples of “tsampa”, barley flour, and yak butter tea. I brought her sensational account, My Journey to Lhasa, to read on my own adventure in Tibet, visiting famous monasteries from Lhasa to Kathmandu.
If your idea of good holiday reading is picking up a book that you can’t put down, then you might want to grab this recommendation from Express reader Penny Nikotin with two hands – The Year We Seized The day, by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles…
“Ever dreamed of undertaking a pilgrimage from the comfort of your own lounge chair? Well here’s your chance, as two Aussies embark on an epic 1000km (620 mile) journey by foot across the roof of Spain. The Camino Trail sees the authors pushed to their physical and emotional limits, burning hiking boot rubber and boasting oozing blisters to rival volcanic lava pools.