Travel the world despite the Omicron by reading these 10 books


Two years into the epidemic and COVID-19, and variants of Delta and Omicron, continue to ban leisure travel for many, at least in the traditional sense. What do travelers do by constantly opening and closing borders? Despite travel bans and self-isolation, there is still a way to feed our wandering and explore the world beyond our living room. And you don’t have to leave home to enjoy the journey.

We’re talking about travel stories, books that transcend time and space, and bring the reader a real sense of travel. Tag in with fellow travelers or spend time with ex-pats, explaining their own experiences of visiting and living in popular tourist spots and places.

We have completed a selection of travel books that are guaranteed to transport you from the safety of your home to another world.

“Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar,By Paul Theroux

This travel writer’s work spans the globe and for decades. In this book, Theroux recreates his 25,000-mile journey, stopping at some of the places he originally described in his classic, “The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia,” including Turkey, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Siberia.

Theroux’s other travel books include “Riding the Iron Rooster” by circling China, “The Old Patagonian Express” through America and “Dark Star Safari” in Africa.

“Places in between” By Rory Stewart

A British diplomat and politician, Stewart describes his almost one-man walk in north-central Afghanistan in 2002. (He also adopted a traveling companion, his dog, a retired fighting mastiff named Babur.)

Stewart wrote the travelogue “The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland”, describing his 89-year-old father’s journey across the borders of England and Scotland.

By Bill Bryson

“In a sun-burned country.” By Bill Bryson

In this travel story, Bryson explores Australia by rail and car. Through conversations with Australians, the author goes beyond the tourist route, writing about the culture and history of the country.

Bryson’s other travel books include “Notes from a Small Island,” “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trial” and “Bill Bryson’s African Diary” with a look at Great Britain.

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“Turning Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time” By Mark Adams

The writer describes the attempt to recreate the 1911 Peruvian expedition of Hiram Bingham III, the American explorer who traveled to the Andes to search for the lost city of the Incas.

Adams wrote “Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, The Last Great American Frontier.”

By Peter on him

“A Year in Provence” By Peter on him

British authors write about the experience of moving their wife and two big dogs to a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in Luberan, southern France. Readers are transported to Provencal life, which includes goat racing, regional cuisine and slowness.

His other travel books on food-focused “French Lessons” and “Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France.”

“Blue latitudes: boldly going where Captain Cook went before” By Tony Horwitz

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, 18th century British explorer Captain James Cook, went to sea to recapitulate his voyage. Horwitz brings Cook’s journey to life by signing on as a crew working on a replica of Cook’s ship.

Horwitz’s other travel books include “A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World” and “One for the Road: An Outback Adventure.”

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“Eat Pray Love: A Woman’s Search for Everything in Italy, India and Indonesia” By Elizabeth Gilbert

A major life change led 30-something authors to embark on this epic year-long quest that involves a little continent-hopping. Gilbert’s autobiography focuses on the elements of pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and the balance between the worldly and the divine in Bali.

Although not known as a Gilbert travel writer, his book “Big Magic” is a manual that sends readers on a creative journey.

By Francis Mayes

“Under the Tuscan Sun” By Francis Mays)

A food and travel writer, Mayes takes readers and her husband to Italy after buying and restoring an abandoned villa called Bramasol in the Tuscan countryside.

Mays’ other books include “A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passenger Traveler”, which describes her travels to places like Spain, Britain, Greece and North Africa, and “See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy.”

“In Xanadu: A Quest,” By William Dalrymple

Historians trace Marco Polo 700’s journey from the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem to Xanadu, Kubla Khan’s summer palace across Asia.

In addition to the histories, Dalrymple has also written a tour book, “City of Jins: A Year in Delhi,” which explores the city’s centuries of history.

By Jason Wilson and Robert McFarlane

“Best American Travel Writing 2020” By Jason Wilson and Robert McFarlane

Series Editor Wilson and Guest Editor MacFarlane compile a list of 2019 best travel writing essays.

Other editions up to the year 2000 have been guest-edited by travel writing giants such as Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux, Frans Mays, Anthony Bourdain, Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strade.

Share your own favorite travel writing recommendations with @USATODAYTravel and @USATODAYBooks, the hashtag #armchairtraveler.

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