Travel in your mind with these inspirational, romantic, heart-breaking life-affirming memories from leading travel writers and experts. Discover why explorer Sarah Marquis buried herself in mounds of sand to avoid lightning strikes and Geraldine DeRuiter circled the globe while simultaneously getting lost in the best way possible. These inspiring female adventurers pushed themselves to the absolute limits both mentally and physically to chase their dream and learn more about themselves along the way. These five travel memoirs by women are perfect for trip planning or even just a bit of armchair travel. 

Almost French – Sarah Turnbull (2004)

travel memoirs by women almost french

If you harbor ambitions of throwing it all in and moving to the City of Love, in the name of love, this memoir by Australian journalist Sarah Turnball is a must. Turnbull moves to France after meeting and falling head over heels in love with a Frenchman and while their romance is woven throughout, Almost French is the story of a young resourceful woman trying to adjust to life in a foreign city on the other side of the world. Written in lighthearted postcards from Paris style, Turnbull muses on her struggles with the language, politics, finding work, and making friends. Even as she battles periods of homesickness it’s clear Turnball has fallen for Paris. Almost French provides unique insight into French culture from an outsider’s perspective, a perfect read for anyone planning a trip to Paris.

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All Over the Place: Adventures in Love, True Love and Petty Theft – Geraldine DeRuiter (2017)

all over the place

Be prepared to laugh and cry your way through this honest travel memoir by Geraldine DeRuiter. After being fired from her dream job as a copywriter, DeRuiter, left her life behind to travel the world while writing The Everywhereist, a blog that detailed her raw and hilarious accounts of life on the road. The blog later became her novel All Over the Place which recounts her adventures traveling, while gaining a newfound understanding and appreciation for her Russian father and Italian mother. All Over the Place serves as a reminder for every adventurous traveler that you don’t need to have it all figured out before booking that flight. You’ll get lost, make mistakes, eat things you don’t recognize, and ultimately end up right where you are meant to be.

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The Thing About Prague: How I Gave It All Up for a New Life in Europe’s Most Eccentric City – Rachael Weiss (2014)

the thing about prague travel memoirs by women

In the midst of a mid-life crisis, Rachael quits her high-paying job and leaves behind her apartment and cat in Sydney to move to Prague with grand plans to live out her dreams in her ancestral home. Things, however, do not go to plan. Frustrated by the tough language, residency and work permit issues, a deep sense of loneliness, and bureaucratic difficulties she leaves Prague and her plans for a new life behind. The Thing About Prague provides moments of pure comedy as Weiss fumbles through cultural differences as well as snippets into must-see places and experiences in beautiful Prague.

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Wild By Nature – Sarah Marquis

wild by nature travel memoirs by women

10,000 miles, six countries, and eight pairs of hiking books are just the start of the story for National Geographic Explorer and solo-hiker Sarah Marquis. If you liked Cheryl Strayed’s Wild then Wild By Nature will have you hooked. In the ultimate tale of perseverance, Marquis recounts the struggles of her hike from Siberia to Australia where she is forced to endure dehydration, dengue fever, and the terrifying fear of being followed by drug dealers and thieves on horseback for days on end. Wild By Nature is a straightforward, inspirational account of life as a female adventurer in extreme circumstances, the type of travel experience that is not for the fainthearted.

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Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules and a Life-Changing Journey Around the World by Kim Dinan (2017)

yellow envelope travel memoirs by women

Feeling dissatisfied with her life in Portland Oregon, The Yellow Envelope tells the story of Kim Dinan, who convinces her reluctant husband, Brian, to sell everything they own and set off on a journey around the world – friends send them off with a yellow envelope filled with 1000 dollars cash for their travels. This deeply personal quest of self-discovery and soul searching, in the same vein as Eat, Pray, Love, Yellow Envelope is written as a series of journal entries as Dinan pours her heart out about the strain constant travel has on their marriage, the gut-wrenching experiences of witnessing poverty and struggle and the joy of seeing the world.  It also showcases highlights from Nepal, Germany, Ecuador, and Peru through the deeply personal quest for self-discovery. 

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