When I was in New Zealand and lived in a car, I had to change my bed time habits somewhat as there was usually never Wi-fi – no more youtubing or facebooking as the last thing of the day. Instead I started reading, and my before-sleep books of choice were, for most of my time abroad, travel books by Bill Bryson. I so like his unique style – humour in a very down to earth manner. There’s nothing glossy or luxurious about his travels – he rents a car or goes by public transport, eats whatever is available and talks to the locals. I must admit I am very inspired by his style in my own writing.
I haven’t read all his books yet, but I probably will before long. Here are the ones I’ve covered so far:
Neither here nor there
He travels between the big cities of Europe by train and bus. It is also in part a memoir of the first time he took the trip around Europe with a childhood friend. Besides being funny I do find the chapters informative, and if I am going to a city featured in the book I will make sure to reread that chapter.
A Sunburned Country
Travels in Australia by car. This particular tale is coloured with many small pieces of info about Australia, like the tale of the prime minister that disappeared and much more on the history of Australia.
Notes from a Small Island
He decides to take a last trip around Britain before returning to live in the United States (he has lived in Britain for a decade). He is using public transportation, and will go to both the bigger and the very small cities – occasionally getting lost wandering the countryside.
A Walk in the Woods
He decides to walk the Appalachian Trail after spotting the trail in his backyard. Entirely unprepared and with a friend he hasn’t spoken to in forever who is in even worse shape than himself he sets off in Georgia with the intention of hiking the entire trail. This story has been made into a film (same title) that I also enjoyed very much. I do find these kinds of stories very inspirational – I would love to do a ‘long wander’ some time.
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
With base in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa he sets out in his car to cover his own country, little town by little town, in search of that elusive genuine, wholesome all-American town.
Looking forward to reading more of his books on his travels in America, and his African Diary. I think that one has to be hilarious – the more out of his element he is the funnier it tends to be.
Have you read any of Bill Bryson’s books? Any recommendations for inspirational travel books? Share below!