If you are like me, resolutions for each New Year include hopes for the opportunity to hit the road and to explore the world. What better time to step back to consider what is important in life? Several recent studies now confirm what avid travelers already know; experiences like travel are more socially connecting, bringing a longer and more meaningful sense of satisfaction than material things. My goal is to figure out how to get to visit my brother-in-law in Helsinki, Finland this summer and to take the train from there to finally see the iconic architecture of St. Petersburg, Russia.
We here of course always look to books for travel inspiration. Here are some idea for motivation to help 2020 become a year of travel.
Our first recommendation is A Cook's Tour by the late celebrity chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain. His television shows are enjoyable, but the book provides a much more personal and insightful reminder into Bourdain's love for different cultures. amazing food, and the human condition.
New Year's resolutions ultimately aspire toward happiness, for ourselves and our loved ones. Eric Weiner explores what makes some cultures happy in The Geography of Bliss. The book at its core is a travelogue, with a nice little sprinkle of psychology and life lessons. Not too heavy, and occasionally funny.
Fans of travel writing know Don George, one of the world's most experienced travel writing editors and one of the most prominent supporters of the genre. The Way of Wanderlust is a brilliant collection of his own work. Funny and inspiring, this travel writing collection is a great way to kick off the year.
Those looking to fuel a spirit of adventure should try In Xanadu, the fiercely intelligent and ferocioiusly funny recount by William Dalrymple of his quest as a 22-year old to retrace Marco Polo's famed journey from Jerusalem to Xanadu, the summer palace of Kubla Khan.
Our final recommendation is to rejoice in one of the ultimate classic travel books, The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. A brilliant recap of his 1867 voyage to Europe and the Holy Land, and a book that any fan of travel literature should own.
With that, we will leave 2019 with a quote from Twain on New Year's resolutions; "Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual".
Happy reading -