When you scroll through Our Crossings travel blog you’ll see for yourself that some of the blog posts are pretty much straightforward mini-guides and that some of them stand out a little bit more and are probably way too long.
The genuine reason behind the extended ones; instead of writing been there done that type of articles our desire is for you to get the real feel of the place. The best way to do it is by describing the surroundings, colours and smells.
By using the words, we can paint the pictures and characterise the colour of the ocean on a rainy day. We can illustrate the sweet smell of flowers lingering in the summer air, and we can bring you closer to the beauty of a life of travel.
I am aware that on more than one occasion, this might include an irrefutable dose of nostalgia mixed with way too many descriptive adjectives in one sentence.
For that, I can offer you a straightforward explanation – journaling about our adventures brings us so much joyfulness we can’t help but let it all out and second, my neverending love of words.
While I would never go as far as to define myself as a logophile the very idea of how so many quirky and unusual words with so many incredible definitions and pronunciations can create beautiful sentences full of wisdom and full of sentiments just inspire me to cultivate my love of words. Why?
Because, as I learned very early in my childhood – words matter. Words can take you on a journey. Words are so powerful, they can change your world and unleash your powers.
They can move you to the point where you can find and create passion, joy and purpose in your own life.
Six Fantastic Travel & Adventure Books to Take Your Mind Off Things
Sometimes, when I feel stuck for words or motivation, I look no further than finding inspiration in people whose personal journeys invigorate me. Some of them still walk among us on this planet, some of them are long gone.
That’s why I love to read. And I suggest you do the same. Read everything! Read inspiring mountain books, autobiographies and blogs, join forums and browse through quotes. Read classics, new authors, adventure books and flip through the pages of magazines.
Below is a list of the latest books I’ve read (most of them travel-related, of course) from very inspiring personalities and amazing books I have gathered over the years and love to re-read once in a while. Give it a go and be inspired!
#1. Seven Summits by Dick Bass and Frank Wells
I love books about mountain climbers and that’s why I was excited when my neighbour lent Seven Summits to me.
The book focuses on two wealthy businessmen who are travelling the world with an aim to climb the highest summits of all seven earthly continents. While the book captured the determination needed to perform such immense tasks, at times it felt like Dick Bass bought his way to the highest peaks of the world.
See, they were no ordinary folk, like me and you. Dick was an entrepreneur who owned a Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort in Utah, and Frank was Warner Bros film studio boss. Although, they both have nothing to do with climbing they decide to be the first man ever to climb the Seven Summits.
They started with learning the basics with guides on Mount Rainier and then paid the world-class climbers to accompany them to more challenging peaks. In the end, despite being middle-aged, novice climbers, one of them actually manages to summit each and every one of the seven mountains in question. Their climbing accounts are published in the book called Seven Summits.
#2. Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey in Search of the Chinook by by Adam Weymouth
As someone who’s passionate about travelling, I am naturally drawn to literature that can instantly transport me to a different country and that’s why I was pulled into Kings of the Yukon from page one. It tells a remarkable story of freelance journalist Adam Weymouth who paddles 2000 miles down the Yukon River from Canada’s Yukon Territory, through Alaska. The author makes the trip mostly by canoe and stops along the way at various villages to talk to indigenous people.
The book is more than just a travel log; Adam spends four months on the river researching and studying the migration patterns of the king salmon. While it is depressing to find out that the Plight of the Kings in Alaska, also known as the Chinook in Canada is on the decline, the book is worth the read.
What struck me most about Adam’s a tale of adventure – how beautifully written it was. He paints a stellar portrait of the remote north and native people he meets along the way and effortlessly transports his readers to the most beautiful region of North America.
#3. The Call of the Wild & White Fang by Jack London
The Call of the Wild and White Fang are world-famous animals stories that are set in Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. White Fang is a novel by American author Jack London. The story takes readers to Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, Canada.
The Call of the Wild is a story about Buck who’s stolen from the Californian estate and is shipped to Alaska to work as a sledge dog.
“To have a full stomach, to daze lazily in the sunshine-such things were remuneration in full for his adors and toils, while his ardors and toils were in themselves self-remunerative. They were expressions of life, and life is always happy when it is expressing itself.”
#4. Chasing Waves by Amy Waeschle
As someone who’s new to surfing, I was eager to read Amy’s book that was gifted to me by my husband. Like any other sport, surfing has its own language and with the help of the book I had a chance to learn new terms and phrases used in surfing like ‘kook’ which now I know means ‘any surfer who endangers or impedes other surfers’ or ‘boggins’ meaning when a surfer’s weight is too far back, and the surfboard nose lifts up.
Amy, an author, professional editor, and wilderness medicine instructor for the Wilderness Medicine Institute does an amazing job describing her journey and portraying what it means to learn surfing. The book is more like a collection of short stories from different surfing trips. Her description of waves and wave riding kept the pages turning as I followed her from Costa Rica to Fiji and from Vancouver Island to Baja.
#5. Everest Calling by Lorna Siggins
I am very far from being an expert in mountain climbing, but I love a good mountain adventure book. I loved this book for many reasons, the first being the setting; reading a story set in the Himalayan mountains located between Nepal and Tibet is always a feast for your senses. And second – it was an account of the very first Irish victory on reaching the top of Everest.
The first Irish ascent of Mount Everest took place on May 27 in 1993 and the first Irish person to reach the summit following the route used by Mallory and Irvine in 1924 was Dawson Stelfox. Everest Calling: The Irish Journey is a book about self-reliance, resilience, challenge and camaraderie.
I was reminded yet again about the hardships that mountaineers go through to reach a summit and the Irish Times journalist Lorna Siggins does a great job describing it.
Overall, I read this book in less than a week and can highly recommend it. Mountaineering enthusiasts will enjoy this book, as well as those who love a good adventure story.
#6. The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
I have read most of Coelho’s work from Eleven Minutes to Veronica has to Die and that’s why I couldn’t wait to read The Pilgrimage. This was my seventh Paulo Coelho book and it’s clear that he has such a unique writing style.
It was during the visit to Spain that Coelho changed his life by walking more than 500 miles on the road to Santiago de Compostela. The walk inspired him to write his very first book The Pilgrimage. The book is a recollection of his experiences while on the pilgrimage across Northern Spain.
Although the book is non-fiction, encountering paragraphs about a possessed dog, a demon in the guise of a gipsy or a guide whose advice is often enigmatic, makes you think you are reading fiction. The book also includes eleven ritual exercises that each Pilgrim must practice which gives you an awful lot to think about religion and our place in this world.
“The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the good fight.”
#7. Travel magazines
There’s a new breed of premium quality travel magazines delivering captivating stories of various adventures taking place throughout the world. These stories are told by people who undertake them. Knowing that the adventures are accompanied by stunning photographs, I decided to treat myself on Birthday and ordered a few magazines to keep me sane during the long winter evenings.
If you are looking to move past the clichés that dominate most travel magazines today, and if you are passionate about travelling and great visuals then check out magazines like Cereal, Another Escape, Renegade, Boat and Sidetracked.
Yes, there are a few glossy ads for overpriced skincare products and travel-related gear, but they are good to get lost in when you’ve had enough of the doom and gloom of the COVID.
I picked up the Suitcase travel magazines adventure issue and was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of unique articles. I enjoyed reading about tribal legends on the protected plains of Zambia’s Liuwa Plain National Park and feasting my eyes on incredible photographs from Bhutan.
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Now, over to you!
What’s your favourite adventure and travel book?
Let us know in the comments below!