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6 Female Travel Authors That Went to North America: Inspiring!

Emma Dovener itcherTravel writers are not just contributors to guide books who preach at you what you should or should not be doing during your vacation; they are adventurers, discoverers and buccaneers, some of whom risked everything to experience the other side of the world. Modern travel writers are taking their cues from the likes of Nellie Bly and Amelia Earhart: women who, throughout the ages, have proved that they have what it takes to discover material about the world that we wouldn’t know otherwise. ~ Emma Dovener

Reading about Somebody Else’s Journey before Starting Your Own

Or even instead of starting your own – as this article from Huffington Post suggests: travel writing can be a way of going on wild and adventurous journeys without ever having to do it yourself. For lack of time, money or anything else that gets in your way, taking yourself off on a journey through literature is second best to actually seeing it for yourself.

Alternatively, reading a travel book is your inspiration, it’s your muse, and it spurs you on, because according to this travel writer, the best travel books don’t just make you want to be a tourist, they make you want to travel. And then travel some more.

Travel writing is the true experience of some amazing women, and if done correctly, it will make you want to follow directly in their footsteps.


Check out Here 6 Great Female Travel Authors That Went to North America…

Marianne C. Bohr

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A relatively unknown female travel writer, Marianne C. Bohr began as a travel blogger and worked in publishing.

Her first book, ‘Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries’ was published by She Writes Press in September 2015. She lives with her husband in Washington DC and has two grown children who both follow her own advice and travel at every given opportunity.

Book Recommendation: ‘Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries’ (2015)

“Her memoir is not just a travelogue, but also an inspirational guide to all with a repressed desire to quit their jobs to go on a similar journey.” – Judy Rothman, Harper Collins.

‘Gap Year Girl’ (2015) is Marianne C. Bohr’s first book, a travel journal and memoir of her travels across the world. Recounting the tales of how she, together with her husband of several decades, left their cares behind in the USA and retraced their steps from years earlier. The journey takes you along the path of revisiting forgotten places, rediscovering old favourites and discovering what had changed in their absence.

Together, Bohr and her husband describe what it is like to satisfy your wanderlust when you’ve sold all of your possessions and left your grown up children behind while you experience the backpacking lifestyle in your fifth decade.

Enthralling, uplifting and un-put-down-able, if you didn’t already have itchy feet, then you will do soon.

Margaret Eby

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Margaret Eby is a journalist by trade, who predominantly writes about books, movies and other cultural life influences.

She has written for publications including The New York Times, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and currently works for HelloGiggles as the features and essays editor. She began writing books with her first, ‘Rock and Roll Baby Names’, which was published by Gotham Books in April 2012.

Her second book took a slightly different stance, and ‘South Toward Home: Travels in Southern Literature’ was published in September 2015 by Norton, making her name as a North American travel author.

Book Recommendation: South Toward Home: Travels in Southern Literature’ (2015)

“I, too, had gone to New York City as a wide-eyes Alabama girl, hoping to write something true about the South… its fiery strangeness and treasures and tangled past.” – Margaret Eby

From Georgia to Mississippi and Alabama to New Mexico, Margaret Eby’s second book takes you on a literature journey around the Southern States. Eby is a southerner herself, and in this book takes it upon herself to visit some of the places where authors such as William Faulkner and Harper Lee lived in and wrote about.

The stories that she writes inform the reader of how the places in which these authors lives affected their novels and transformed the places into literature that lives on throughout time.

Eby uses true biographical history together with an observed truth of the places that she visits to paint a real picture of how the literary South has contributed to literature as we know it today.

Sarah Alderson

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Sarah Alderson is the author of several young adult novels and screenplays including ‘Haunting Lila’, ‘Losing Lila’, ‘Fated’ and ‘Conspiracy Girl’.

She also writes adult fiction for Pan and Macmillan under the pen name of ‘Mila Gray’, and published her first novel, ‘Come Back to Me’, in June 2014. Her first travel book; ‘Can We Live here?’ was published in August 2015.

Book Recommendation: Can We Live Here?’ (2015)

“Can We Live Here? If I don’t become roadkill in the next few days, I’ll let you know my thoughts.” – Can We Live Here?

In 2009, female travel writer Sarah Alderson and husband John both quit their full-time, highly stressed jobs in London and headed off around the world with Alula, their three-year-old daughter. The aim of the trip was to find a new home, and after eight months of travelling through North America, Oceania and India, they eventually settled in Bali where they lived in bliss for five years.

After they returned to London to achieve further career goals, Alderson decided to write the story of their journey around the world, asking the question in every place where they found themselves: “Can we live here?”

This travel memoir is unforgettable, both for the author and the reader, leaving you laughing, crying and inspired to set off on your own travels. The idea of quitting your job and following your dream is often too far-fetched for some people, but perhaps Sarah Alderson can help you to change that.

Taking you into their lives, setting you up ready for their travels, and showing you their experiences, this couple couldn’t be more inclusive if they tried.


Three Honourable Mentions: Journals and Letters from Across the World…

Isabella L. Bird & Daniel J. Boorstin – ‘A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains (1879)

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While perhaps not a travel novel, this book is a collection of letters written by Isabella Bird, the daughter of a clergyman who left home by herself in 1872 in order to explore the Antipodes in search of health. What followed what a life of adventure travel, one that was entirely unanticipated for a woman in the 19th century.

The letters recount tales of grizzly bears, rattlesnakes and wolves, riding a horse through the American Wild West and encounters with pioneer settlers and miners.

An inspiring and emphatic story that will transplant you to the life of a single woman traveller in the 19th century, to say the least.


Nellie Bly – ‘Around the World in 72 Days (1890)

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Nellie Bly should be a household name, after all she was the woman who attempted to beat Jules Verne’s fictional account of Phileas Fogg. A stunt journalist for the New York World, ‘Around the World in 72 Days’ is a collection of Bly’s articles recounting her journey in 1889, where she even stopped in France to meet Verne along her travels.

Her writing paints colourful pictures of her journey that will only make you want to follow in her footsteps.

A tough, adventurous woman travel writer who was out of place in a Victorian world, Bly visited every country there is to talk about, and told her stories with humour, spirit and charm.


Amelia Earhart – ‘Last Flight (1937)

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OK, so Amelia Earhart can’t possibly have written a book about her last flight, quite simply because she never returned from it, which is why this is certainly the wildcard option. In 1937, Earhart embarked upon her ill-fated last flight around the world and this book includes diary entries, letters and dispatches from that trip which will help you to piece together her last adventure and how her story culminated in mystery.

The journey that Earhart took remains one of the most moving adventure stories of all time, and the mystery surrounding her ultimate demise is still heart-wrenching, as is the incomplete ending to her story.

Don’t read this for a happy ending, read it for a story that will transport you back to the time in which it took place and leave you pondering the result forever.


Let Yourself Be Transported to One of the Most Diverse Continents in the World

Whether you already have the travel bug and you’re looking for more inspiration, or you want to sit on your sofa and allow yourself to be transported across oceans, up mountains and through archipelagos, a good travel book will cure your itchy feet – at least for now!

Are there any travel writers that you enjoy reading?

Have you found any female travel writers about North America that you want to add to our list?

Let us know in the comments!

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