Over the past month, I’ve been enjoying these four books – all travel related, and all with what it takes to make you want to get up and get outside. They cover the four corners of the earth, and what better destination is there than “all of it.”


Snowbirds: How A Road Trip in a Vintage RV Put Love and Adventure Back in a Marriage

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Snowbirds, a Memoir – by Jo Ann Bender

Looking to try a new way of traveling, Jo Ann and her husband purchased a sub-$10,000, Class-A RV motorhome and set about fixing it up for their first RV adventure, a snowbird trip from Spokane to the Texas border. Repairs became an expected occurrence, but didn’t kill their enthusiasm.

Jo Ann records their daily adventures in an easy to read, enjoyable manner. Caution seniors, this might just give you the bug to go RV shopping.

My favorite quote from the book…”We believe the final chapters of life are simply a repeat of adolescence, another chance to put together the puzzle of life….so why not a Snowbird trip in an RV?”

146 pages

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day:  Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter by Matt Kepnes

Better known in the blogosphere as Nomadic Matt, he’s as qualified as most to discuss the ins and outs of making your money last while you take extended trips around the globe.  Even those without round-the-world aspirations will find this book inspirational and informative.  Travel tips come every couple pages and you’ll save well more than the cost of the book by using any one of them.

This book has been revised, updated and expanded since his original 2013 edition. Just released in January 2015, you’re getting the latest, greatest set of tips to help you understand the travel industry and how to make it work for you.

Expect his expert advice on everything from picking the best backpack to selecting the proper credit cards to carry.  In the second part of the book, he gets into specific recommendations for each region of the world.

Be aware, his $50/day is based on travel all around the world – some expensive destinations, some inexpensive destinations.  If you plan to spend an entire vacation in Europe or Australia, all bets are off. You probably aren’t going to do that on $50/day.

317 pages

Inside Tracks: Alone across the Outbackby Rick Smolan

This book is a first – a smartphone-enabled coffee table book recounting an historic 2,700 mile trek across Australia’s outback by camel.  And not by a skilled band of camel jockeys – no – by a single 27-year-old woman named Robyn Davidson. Accompanied by her dog, and four camels, Robyn persevered for nine months before finally reaching the shores of the Pacific.

Chronicled by National Geographic Magazine, Rick Smolan’s full page photos paint a wonderful history of her journey and the second half of the book recounts the making of Tracks, the movie starring Mia Wasikowska as Robyn.  On pages with a special smartphone logo, you can snap a picture of that page and a multimedia presentation of how that scene was filmed in the movie.

Definitely a powerful story with powerful images by Smolan.  Worth a look.

My favorite quote from Robyn, “The two most important things that I learned from the trip were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.”

224 pages

Playa del Carmen, Tulum & the Riviera Maya: A great destination by Joshua Eden Hinsdale

This is the fourth edition of the Explorer’s Guides to Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Riviera Maya. A great reference book, it lists all the “must do” activities and “must see” sights, but also includes the uber-practical lists like “peso pinching activities” and where to dine for “less than $15 per day.”

Playa del Carmen is approximately half way between Cancun and Tulum, so the book is divided into sights north and sights south of this point. Additional details cover the Mayan ruins, fishing, golfing and snorkeling.

The book is also loaded with practical references:  list of common Spanish phrases, ferry times, types of fish and most important, types of beer.

256 pages




Also published on Medium.