“But I wanna gooooooooooo!” 11 year-old Celeste complained to Grandma Kris.
We were on a walk, and from her perspective probably killing many birds with one stone: 1.) getting her 5 foot, 140 pound grandkid to exercise and 2.) away from grandpa. Back then Gpa drove the getaway car to and from the donut shop, and was my partner in crime when eating bowls of Cheetos.
“You’re mother would be worried sick!”, she, the best worry-er in town, explained. She nicely broke the news that I would not go on an overpriced trip to Australia that summer. I struggled to get through one week of summer camp, let alone an international trip with a group of strangers.
I didn’t physically leave the United States until 10 years later, and during that time I mastered the art of traveling through books (I also took up running to make room for Cheetos). So as promised, your escape plan is below. And if you really do need a getaway car… I’ll call grandpa up. He will be the guy waiting in a HAZMAT suit.
Americanah: we are going to start off Twister-style here. Right foot goes on Nigeria, left on The States, and reach your right hand up to London. Now spin the wheel for Ngozi Adichie’s acute observations on what it’s like to move from Nigeria to the U.S. or U.K. in search of college and careers. This story gave me a book hangover–so much to think about and in need of more.
Istanbul: I never thought I could be moved by descriptions of furniture. But it happened, and I’m offering you this ticket to an earlier Istanbul. When my trip to Turkey fell prey to cancelation in 2016 I bawled in my mom’s car all the way from Minnesota to Missouri. I blame Pamuk for the ugly cry-face I carried across state lines. His memoir of the city earned its place in my suitcase for many years, until I finally gifted it (perhaps grudgingly) away to a friend.
Winnie The Pooh: “I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” Not one of us is too old to explore The One Hundred Acre Woods. So do yourself a favor and attend story time here before you sleep tonight.
At Home in the World: I have a great amount of respect for this book. She and her husband took their three kids on a world trip. So if you ever feel like “travel” is not for you because of the solo, young and privileged stereotype, pick up Oxenreider’s book. She tells us how to eat cheap in Hong Kong and the best way to react to your child vomiting on a crowded train.
Educated: friends, Westover was able to sum up the essence of my history degree in one book. It’s a no brainer why this woman has a bucket of awards from this memoir. So if you’ve ever wondered about growing up in a Mormon fundamentalist family, or how to find the willpower to get your ass to the Ivy Leagues, then you know what to do.
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: if the French dude near you on the plane isn’t asking, “Ca va?” while you laugh-cry your way through a book, then try again with this memoir. Newman, a writer for “That 70’s Show” and “How I Met Your Mother”, shares her off-season scandals and adventures had in South America, Europe, and New Zealand with the same zesty humor of our favorite T.V. shows. Needless to say, I burned through this book before I reached my destination.
FINAL STEP: go get these (e)books! You are welcome to order from my online shop. And don’t share amongst yourselves because I don’t want to be responsible for your coughs 😉
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