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Popular Travel Memoirs You Have Surely Never Heard Of!

Most of us have quite a little time each year, saved from our busy schedules and allotted by our employers, to travel the world. Picking up an amazing travel memoir about someone else’s experience in a foreign country is one of the most cheapest and effective ways for travelers-to-be to escape on a more regular basis than their annual holiday. But how far the craving to travel actually gets cured with Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey of self discovery through Italy, India and Indonesia in Eat, Pray and Love? Lived the dream of moving to Paris and marrying a Frenchman with Sarah Turnbull in Almost French? Learnt The Art of Travel with Alain de Botton?

Suddenly all of the possible routes seem to lead to the same destination. The foreigners roam in the streets of the country and seem to find love, their self or wealth. Don’t get me wrong — some of those books are great! But the trip is not the only adventure one comes across. This article is written based on my own struggle to find recommendations for compelling travel memoirs, beyond the ones that everyone talks about.

1. Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald 

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After a less than impressive first encounter with India in her twenties, journalist Sarah MacDonald vowed never to return. But, willing to do anything for love, MacDonald relocates to India in her thirties to be with her journalist boyfriend, who is stationed there. After a health scare, MacDonald is suddenly faced with her own mortality. This causes her to embark on a journey of spiritual discovery. “I must find peace in the only place possible in India, within…” she realizes. MacDonald travels the country encountering and interviewing people from all different cultures and religions. She recounts her experiences and reflections in the book Holy Cow.

2. Once Upon a Time in Beirut by Catherine Taylor

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People often say that the first year of marriage is hard work. That must be a bit of an understatement for Catherine Taylor and her husband, who moved to Beirut to work as foreign correspondents in their first year of married life in 1991. The Australian is surprised by how quickly she falls in love with her new home, which is often dubbed “the Paris of the Middle East.” Its culture and vibrancy contrasts with her preconceptions about what life in the once-war-torn city would be like. Taylor explores Beirut’s culture as she meets and makes friends with its people. As a foreign correspondent, she travels the region with her work and covers the war in Iraq and the conflict on the West Bank.

3. Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

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A cherry blossom chaser, Will Ferguson hitchhikes 1,800 miles along the “Cherry Blossom Front” of Japan. While taking the passenger seat to countless Japanese citizens, Ferguson is forced to see the country through their eyes. This satirical book will appeal to those sick of experiences driven by guide books and clichés, who are instead interested in a more dynamic look at Japan.