Over my years of reviewing I have enjoyed travelling across the world with several authors, while most of us are re-thinking our holiday options, I thought I’d take another look at a selection of my favourite travelogues.
Salt Water and Spear Tips by Thor F. Jensen. Thor’s world-record circumnavigation of the island of New Guinea in a traditional sailing canoe. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
The Green Unknown: Travels in the Khasi Hills by Patrick Rogers. Patrick goes to Northeast Indian in search of the people who grow living bridges from the roots of trees. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Hit the road Jac!: Seven years, twenty countries, no plan by Jacqui Furneaux. On her fiftieth birthday Jacquie took off travelling the world on an Enfield motorbike. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
In Foreign Fields: How Not To Move To France by Susie Kelly. Susie and her husband hoped to find paradise in the French countryside. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
A Visit to Gansu Province for the Chinese New Year by Helen Wallimann. Helen visited rural China and the man-made cave dwellings known as yaodong. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Fifty Miles Wide by Julian Sayarer. Julian cycled through Israel and Palestine meeting people from both sides of a troubled region. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Among Friends: Travels in Cuba by Heather Murray. An interesting look at Cuba from the author’s multiple trips which began in 2009. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Immersed in West Africa: A Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau by Terry Lister. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Adventure by Chicken Bus by Janet Losole is the memoir of a family who spent three years backpacking through central America. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
Toubab Tales: The Joys and Trials of Expat Life in Africa by Rob Baker is set in Mali. Rob tours the country in search of its music and musical instruments. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
From A Wonky Path To An Open Road: A short book about a long journey join Janey de Nordwall, her cat and her 1970s VW campervan as they journey around Scotland. Read my review here or find it on Goodreads here.
From A Wonky Path To An Open Road is a travelogue and semi auto-biography of BAFTA award winning film producer Janey de Nordwall.
In 2019 Janey drove her 1970s VW campervan on a soul-searching six-week trip around Scotland. We join Janey on her journey and learn about how she came to the point where getting away from it all and recharging her emotional batteries became life-changing.
For most of us driving off over the horizon in a campervan is just a dream, so going on a virtual trip with Janey, particularly in 2020, was a lovely chance for escapism. Janey took an inspiring solo trip with just her cat for company; they stayed in campsites and even wild camped, took ferries to some of the islands, visited local breweries and distilleries and met plenty of generous and helpful people. I was very happy to read that her route took her on some of the less travelled roads, as these are ones that interest me most. Janey also took her bike along and I enjoyed her spontaneous, and very impressive, agreement to take part in a 100-mile charity cycle ride after her campervan was mistaken for a genuine race participant.
The front and back covers of this book open out into a delightful picture gallery of Janey’s journey, and I enjoyed this style as a way to include the photos. At the back there is also a list of Janey’s milestones, a map of her route and even a link to the Spotify soundtrack playlist which Janey created especially to accompany her on her trip. This book would make a lovely gift, not just for those considering solo travel.
In 2019, BAFTA-winning film producer, Janey de Nordwall packed her bags (and her cat), fired up her 1970s VW campervan and headed off from her London home to Scotland for a journey that would change her life. In this heart-warming, fresh and joyful book, Janey captures the lucid beauty of her surroundings, remembers the pivotal moments of her eventful life and reveals her most intimate thoughts.