Beginning his journey with in Somalia in September and ending with the Israeli-Hezbollah war in the summer of , Sites talks with the people on every side, including those caught in the cross fire. For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.
Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet-he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the story of Into the Wild. Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman. In , Salzman flew off to teach English in Changsha, China. He writes of bureaucrats, students and Cultural Revolution survivors, stripping none of their complexity and humanity.
Though he writes of history and of classical lore, this is mostly a personal tale.
Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene. His mind crowded with vivid images of Africa, Graham Greene set off in to discover Liberia, a remote and unfamiliar republic founded for released slaves. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by colonization.
Simon rode a motorcycle around the world in the seventies, when such a thing was unheard of. In four years he covered 78, miles through 45 countries, living with peasants and presidents, in prisons and palaces, through wars and revolutions. This book has inspired many to travel, including Ewan McGregor. But Kevin had promised his homesick Irish mother that he would explore the whole of the Old Country and bring back the sights and the stories to their home in Massachusetts.
Poring over a map of the world one afternoon, Ewan McGregor noticed that it was possible to ride all the way round the world, with just one short hop across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. So he picked up the phone and called his fellow actor-slash-biker friend Charley Boorman and told him it was time to hit the road. Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham.
Early in the 20th century, Bingham ventured into the wild and then unknown country of the Eastern Peruvian Andes—and in came upon the fabulous Inca city that made him famous: Machu Picchu.
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In the space of one short season he went on to discover two more lost cities, including Vitcos, where the last Incan Emperor was assassinated. Torre is terrified of deep water but decides to follow the man of her dreams and join him on his journey. Ranulph Fiennes has travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth.
He discovered the lost city of Ubar in Oman and attempted to walk solo and unsupported to the South Pole. He was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. Fiennes describes here in his own words his incredible journey through life. The book is a unique window into travel writing, with each chapter containing endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale.
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This city biography is written from the perspective of Bombay native, Suketu Mehta, who returns to his home city since renamed Mumbai after living in the US for 21 years. The book covers tensions between Hindus and Muslims gangs, the sex industry, and life in Bollywood. The story of an around-the-world bicycle trip taken by Barbara and Larry Savage, which took two years through 25 countries. Along the way, the cyclists encountered warm-hearted strangers, bicycle-hating drivers, rock-throwing Egyptians, over-protective Thai policemen, and great personal joys.
After losing his brother to cancer and a divorce that left him in charge of two children, environmental reporter Daniel Glick needed some rejuvenation.
He offers intimate reflection on life, fatherhood, change, and the fragile health of our planet. In Eric Hansen was shipwrecked on a desert island in the Red Sea. He tells of the seas that stranded him and of his efforts to retrieve his buried journals when he returned to Yemen ten years later. We have travel books and books about travelling for food, but how often do you stop to think about how much travel your food has done? Moveable Feasts tell the story of how food has been transported over the centuries, such as the ancient Romans shipping olive oil around the Mediterranean, and the Berlin airlift of To reach Lhasa, she used her fluency of Tibetan dialects and culture, disguised herself as a beggar with yak hair extensions and inked skin and tackled some of the roughest terrain in the World.
She was the first Western woman to have been received by any Dalai Lama. In the early seventies, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe—in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later, he decided to retrace his journey. The journey took seven months and covered about 3, miles. Born in St. Occupants by Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins has searched out the most desolate corners of the Earth and shows that the greatest statements can be made with the simplest of acts: to just bear witness, to be present.
The book pairs his photographs with writings that not only provide context but also lift them to the level of political commentary. Choosing to shun scamming, smuggling or fruit-picking in favor of creative and artistic means to earn his living he kept some cash in his pocket.
The Mongols of the 13th century, under the leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. The book, published in , recounts events of the seventeen years when she made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is about life on her coffee plantation, and a tribute to the people in her life there. It also provides a glimpse of African colonial life in the last decades of the British Empire.
Outposts by Simon Winchester. Helena are so remote that few people visit. Half of the adventure is getting there and the backstory of why these places are still British is interesting as well. The ancient Romans were responsible for many remarkable achievements but one of their lesser-known contributions was the creation of the tourist industry. The first people in history to enjoy safe and easy travel, Romans embarked on the original Grand Tour. Intrigued by the possibility of re-creating the tour, Perrottet, accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend, sets off to discover life as an ancient Roman.
Posing as a wandering dervish, Burton gained admittance to the holy Kaabah and to the tomb of the prophet at Medina and participated in all the rituals of the Hadj pilgrimage. A treasury of material on Arab life, beliefs, manners and morals. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks. The loser of the bet has to strip naked on Balham High Road and sing the Moldovan national anthem. Psychogeography by Will Self. Matt Goulding journeys through the noodle shops, tempura temples, and teahouses of Japan, navigating the intersection between food, history, and culture.
His article on Hiroshima is a great taste of his writing on Japan. In Postcards from Europe, Rick Steves takes you on a private tour through the heart of Europe — introducing you to his local friends and sharing his favorite travel moments — from the Netherlands through Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, with a grand Parisian finale. Like many other small cities in China, Fuling is heading down the path of change and growth. Peter Hessler came to teach English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society.
Tim Cahill reports on the road trip to end all road trips: a journey that took him from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in a record-breaking twenty three and a half days. As a journalist stationed in the insular Arabian capital of Riyadh, Theroux sharply etches what it is like to be an American when speaking Arabic virtually brands one a spy and reading Saudi novels is a forbidden pleasure.
A colorful picture of a complex society teeming with contradictions. Sea and Sardinia by D. Sea and Sardinia is a travel book by the English writer D. It describes a brief excursion undertaken in January by Lawrence and Frieda, his wife aka Queen Bee, from Taormina in Sicily to the interior of Sardinia. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. The adventure classic about life in Tibet just before the Chinese Communist takeover. After fifteen years spent exploring China and its food, Fuchsia Dunlop finds herself in an English kitchen, deciding whether to eat a caterpillar she has accidentally cooked in some home-grown vegetables.
How can something she has eaten readily in China seem grotesque in England? Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture—and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them. The story of three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, it etches the limits of human reason and intelligence—perhaps even the limits of human life—when they touch the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.
The book takes the reader through China and Mongolia the first of 80 countries visited. The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. Peter Rudiak-Gould moved to Ujae, a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands, where he taught English at the island school.
The atoll is home to just people and can be walked around in an afternoon. It is apparent straight away that Ujae is not an idyllic tropical paradise island, yet Peter lasted a year and writes about his own personal life on the island intertwined with insights to the Marshall Islands. At the age of 48, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L. In she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces.
Sara Wheeler spent seven months in Antarctica, living with its scientists and dreamers. It is the coldest, windiest, driest place on earth, an icy desert of unearthly beauty and stubborn impenetrability. For centuries, Antarctica has captured the imagination of our greatest scientists and explorers, lingering in the spirit long after their return.
Terra Incognita is a classic of polar literature. Alain de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow. He also cites fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom.
The Carpet Wars by Christopher Kremmer. The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller. Colossus of Maroussi, a paean to Greece drawn out of a nine-month visit, stands as a seminal classic in travel literature. Transcending the social constraints of Victorian England, Gertrude Bell left the comforts of her privileged life for the unconventional world of the Middle East.
She travelled to Persia and became passionately drawn to the Arab people, the language, and their architecture. A skilled archeologist, historian, and linguist, Bell traveled the world and wrote compelling, perceptive accounts of her journeys. Stewart Lee Allen gives a brief history of coffee by visiting significant coffee destinations around the world.
Eric Weiner a self-confessed grump travels the world in search of happiness. From Bhutan with its Gross National Happiness index, to life in grim Moldova, Weiner looks for what makes a place happy. Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who plays it safe, so she surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited.
There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey. Most of the book is about the journey and not the destination, as he travels from London to Japan and back again over a period of four months in What emerges is a portrait of a country that possibly should never have been, and is in the process of insuring that it will never be again.
It was his best-selling work in his lifetime, and is one of the best-selling travel books of all time. Stuck in a job he no longer found fulfilling, Mike McIntyre felt his life was quickly passing him by. So one day he hit the road to trek across the USA with little more than the clothes on his back and without a single penny in his pocket. Harry Ritchie takes a trip around the vestiges of the British Empire—the last pink bits on the world map—belatedly attempting to answer the question asked by George V—How is the Empire?
In , British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. Corbett, Amanda Pressner. Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.
In The Lost Heart of Asia, acclaimed, bestselling travel writer Colin Thubron carries readers on an extraordinary journey through this little understood, rarely visited, yet increasingly important corner of the world. Indonesian Ferry Sinks. Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff. African Train Attacked by Mobs. Whenever he read the news, Carl Hoffman noticed those news bulletins, which seemed about as far from the idea of tourism as it was possible to get.
The drummer for the rock band Rush travels through villages and relates his story through photographs, journal entries, and tales of adventure, while addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. He finds himself embroiled with an absurd yet irresistible cast of characters. Lawrence Osborne explores the psychological underpinnings of tourism. Isabelle Eberhardt was born the illegitimate daughter of an aristocratic Russian emigree. Her journal chronicles her travels in the Sahara on horseback, disguised as an Arab man and having adopted Islam.
Part memoir, part travelogue, part love letter to the people who live and work on a magical street in Paris. Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris Bureau Chief of the New York Times, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street, offering an homage to street life and the pleasures of Parisian living. Spanning two thousand miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific coast, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America. Over the course of four months, Buck is accompanied by three mules, his brother, Nick, and a Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl, as they go about recreating this epic journey.
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho. Paulo Coelho details his journey across Spain along the legendary road of San Tiago, which pilgrims have travelled since Middle Ages. His first book not only paved the way for the perennial travellers favourite The Alchemist , but it also fully expresses his humanist philosophy and the depth of his unique search for meaning. In Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through snow-covered mountains, hamlets destroyed by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations.
The Rings of Saturn by W. In August , W. Initially his tour was a carefree one. The Roads to Sata is his wry, witty, inimitable account of that prodigious trek. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron. In , the delightfully eccentric travel writer Robert Byron set out on a journey through the Middle East via Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Teheran to Oxiana, near the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Throughout, he kept a thoroughly captivating record of his encounters, discoveries, and frequent misadventures. When Richard Halliburton graduated from college, he chose adventure over a career, traveling the world with almost no money.
The Royal Road to Romance chronicles what happened as a result, from a breakthrough Matterhorn ascent to being jailed for taking forbidden pictures on Gibraltar. Published in , Halliburton wanted to be remembered as the most-traveled man who had ever lived. In , ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis—people who had reappeared years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realise that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti.
Maarten Troost. At the age of twenty-six, J. Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic.
He should have known better. The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski. From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. The Size of the World by Jeff Greenwald. By the time that travel writer Jeff Greenwald hit his late thirties, he had covered more ground than Magellan, Marco Polo, and Columbus combined.
But he also came to a sobering conclusion: airplanes had reduced his exotic explorations to a series of long commutes. So he set out to rediscover the mass, the gravity, and the size of the world. His mission: to circle the earth without leaving its surface. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. In , Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller visited the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare snow leopard.
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He charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty. Ibn Battutah was just 21 when he set out in from his native Tangier on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He did not return to Morocco for another 29 years, having visited more than 40 countries on the modern map, and getting as far north as the Volga, as far east as China, and as far south as Tanzania.
The Turk Who Loved Apples is about breaking free of the constraints of modern travel and letting the place itself guide you. The true story of a journey into the Amazon to track one of the last uncontacted tribes. The book chronicles her travels into Luristan, the mountainous terrain between Iraq and present-day Iran, often with only a single guide and on a shoestring budget. The Way of the World by Nicolas Bouvier. In , Nicolas Bouvier and his artist friend Thierry Vernet set out to make their way overland from their native Geneva to the Khyber Pass. They had a rattletrap Fiat and a little money, but above all they were equipped with the certainty that by hook or by crook they would reach their destination, and that there would be unanticipated adventures, curious companionship, and sudden illumination along the way.
Corinne Hofmann tells how she falls in love with an African warrior while on holiday in Kenya. After overcoming severe obstacles, she moves into a tiny hut with him and his mother, and spends four years in his Kenyan village. Slowly but surely, the dream starts to crumble, and she hatches a plan to return home with her daughter, a baby born of the seemingly indestructible love between a European woman and a Masai. The biography of four 19th century women who leave behind the west for Arabia.
Revolinski relates in candid style his encounters in a foreign culture, all told with an open mind and a sense of humor. An enjoyable read for anyone who has spent time in Turkey or who plans to do so. Over the next decade he built 55 schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. Sovich travels through Western Sahara, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, bringing their textures and flavors into vivid relief.
She writes about the Red Centre of Australia, aboriginal culture, and of her loveable and cranky camels. Travels in West Africa by Mary Kingsley.
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Until , Mary Kingsley led a secluded life in Victorian England. But at age 30, defying every convention of womanhood of the time, she left for West Africa to collect botanical specimens for a book left unfinished by her father at his death. The wild Cevennes region of France forms the backdrop for the pioneering travelogue Travels with a Donkey, written by a young Robert Louis Stevenson. Ever hopeful of encountering the adventure he yearned for and raising much needed finance at the start of his writing career, Stevenson embarked on the mile, 12 day trek and recorded his experiences in this journal.
In , Ibn Battutah set out from his native Tangier on pilgrimage to Mecca. By the time he returned nearly thirty years later, he had seen most of the known world. In September , John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, the pulse of its people.
To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante. Daniel Klein visits the Greek island Hydra to discover the secrets of ageing happily. Drawing on the inspiring lives of his Greek friends and philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein uncovers the simple pleasures that are available late in life, as well as the refined pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate.
After visiting Trieste for more than half a century, Jan Morris has come to see the city as a touchstone for her interests and preoccupations: cities, seas, empires. It has even come to reflect her own life in its loves, disillusionments, and memories. In a California Department of Public Health survey of asthma and allergies, researchers concluded that it was likely that many children in Imperial County — anywhere from 2 to 23 percent — had undiagnosed and untreated asthma. Merced County tops those for which the department has statistics. But the survey found that children in Imperial County visited emergency rooms for asthma at a rate nearly two times higher than the state average.
The reasons for these disturbing statistics are not fully understood and have prompted an ambitious new wave of research on this issue. Four out of every 5 Imperial County residents are Latino. In that sense, the environment literally gets under their skin. Delarie Juarez, 7, who has asthma, is hooked up to a nebulizer because she was wheezing.
In a Department of Public Health survey of asthma and allergies along the Imperial County border, 1 in 5 children had been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life. More significantly, though, a large number of children who never had been diagnosed reported asthmatic symptoms. Researchers concluded that it was likely that many children in Imperial County — anywhere from 2 to 23 percent — had undiagnosed and untreated asthma. Poor air quality and a lack of access to primary care are two likely reasons, he said. At the same time, many health care providers are not well-versed in comprehensive asthma treatment, she said.
And there is only one doctor for every 4, patients in Imperial County, according to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a ratio that is three times worse than the state average. Thus, the annual memorial walk held in El Centro in honor of Marie Dugan, the year-old who died of asthma, always has a bittersweet edge.
It is an event that should not be necessary. The industrialization spurred by the maquiladora program and NAFTA, which allowed foreign companies to set up shop in Mexico, drove millions of migrants from rural Mexico to cities along the U.
As the city boomed with the influx of U. There are many culprits: petroleum facilities, paper manufacturers and power plants, including those built by U. Cars drive along a dusty road in Heber, Calif. On weekends, dense plumes of smoke from agricultural burning dissipate over the Mexicali Valley, virtually unregulated as they catch the wind.
Then there is the illegal burning believed to occur at night, including of tires, which release benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and a host of other toxins. The Reveal study, which analyzed particle concentrations, wind patterns and other data in the county for , found that cross-border traffic plays a major role, with diesel and gas vehicle exhaust — likely from idling vehicles — being the biggest offender, followed by industrial sources from Mexicali. The levels increase significantly when wind blows from the south or southeast, its most common direction.
Environmental health professor Zohir Chowdhury of San Diego State University and his colleagues found that desert and road dust and agricultural burning also can be virulent sources of pollution. Now, it is the third-busiest land port in California: a traffic chokehold in which some 22, northbound vehicles come to a standstill on Mexicali streets each day. Most crossers are residents of Mexico, with many driving antiquated vehicles that lack catalytic converters.
Since Sept. Then there is the queue of 12, or so pedestrians a day who face triple-digit heat without proper shade during the summertime. An alternative port of entry opened about 7 miles east of downtown in to handle some 18, trucks a day. It is already at capacity, Baza said. Cars wait to cross into the United States from Mexicali, Mexico. Northbound commuters typically wait between 45 minutes and two hours to cross. It follows on the heels of a major overhaul at the San Ysidro port of entry, which processes , daily commuters from Tijuana to San Diego.
The new crossing has 46 northbound vehicle inspection booths, which has slashed wait times to as little as 15 minutes from as long as four hours. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in Eventually, the port would expand from 10 to 16 northbound lanes and will redirect traffic to reduce backups. Equally important, it will include drinking fountains and shade canopies for pedestrians and automobiles. Unlike the existing port, it will be equipped with license-plate readers, radiation detectors, X-ray equipment and other technology to speed up inspections.
It is also a public health nightmare. In the small Imperial Valley city of Holtville, where photographer Dorothea Lange documented Mexican pea pickers and field labor camps during the Great Depression, community health workers Graciela Ruiz and Lourdes Salazar serve as ground troops against an elusive enemy. Although Villa is a diligent housekeeper, the family cannot afford to replace the worn wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room, which can harbor dust and residue from the pesticides her husband sprays in the fields. In a decrepit mobile home park around the corner from a withered grass soccer field, Ruiz and Salazar recently met with a mother who barely scraped by selling used goods at a local flea market, her severely asthmatic son constantly in and out of the hospital.
Mold infused the walls of the family trailer, the broken windows stuffed with towels or boarded up with plywood. The floors were uneven and squishy with moisture. Outside, the battered metal looked as though it were hanging on for dear life. Eventually, Ruiz and Salazar persuaded a city official and the park manager to move the family to a different trailer.
Still, what they had seen was hard to shake. Guadalupe X. She remembers the constant ER visits, the hope that the disease would magically go away. Comite Civico also is collaborating with Dr. Khan also has a grant from the Vesper Society, a faith-based organization, to improve pediatric asthma care.
She would like to better understand the dynamics of denial. If the reasons were better grasped and the air quality improved, Khan believes she could do more for her patients. Clarification: This story has been updated to specify the program that is partnering with Comite Civico del Valle on its air monitor project.
Reporter Bernice Yeung contributed to this story. Patricia Leigh Brown can be reached at pattinyt gmail. Thanks for your interest in republishing this story.
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