Tag Archives: Distant Lands

Not Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries

Not Afraid of the FALLNot Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries by Kyle James

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After purchasing one-way flights from New York City to Paris, Kyle James and his girlfriend Ashley quit their day jobs, planned futures, and daily paradigms to see as much of the world as they could. In 114 days, they trekked across 15 countries and 38 cities with nothing but their backpacks, their smartphones, and each other. Not Afraid of the Fall is the unvarnished story of their off-the-cuff journey: from cliff-jumping off Croatia’s untouched coasts, to bathing with rescued elephants in Thailand; from crashing mopeds on gravelly mountain roads in Santorini, to hitchhiking with strangers in rental cars in Hungary.

Part travel memoir, part love letter to those staring at the walls of a corporate cubicle, Not Afraid of the Fall is an inspiring book that captures the sweet mysteries of life on the road and an empowering narrative for anyone who has ever uttered the words “maybe next year.”

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By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail

By the Smoke & the SmellBy the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail by Thad Volger

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In By the Smoke & the Smell, spirits expert Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal.  From the mountains of Mexico and the forbidden distilleries of Havana, to the wilds of Scotland and the pastoral corners of France and beyond, this adventure will change how you think about your drink.

Thad Vogler, owner of San Francisco’s acclaimed Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, is one of the most important people in the beverage industry today. He’s a man on a mission to bring “grower spirits”—spirits with provenance, made in the traditional way by individuals rather than by mass conglomerates—to the public eye, before they disappear completely.

We care so much about the food we eat: how it is made, by whom, and where. Yet we are far less careful about the spirits we drink, often allowing the biggest brands with the most marketing dollars to control the narrative. In By the Smoke and the Smell, Vogler is here to set the record straight. This remarkable memoir is the first book to ask the tough questions about the booze industry: where our spirits come from, who makes them, and at what cost.

By the Smoke and the Smell is also a celebration of the people and places behind the most singular, life-changing spirits on earth. Vogler takes us to Normandy, where we drink calvados with lovable Vikings; to Cuba, a country where Vogler lived for a time, and that has so much more to offer than cigars, classic cars, and mojitos; to the jagged cliffs and crystal-clear lochs of Scotland; to Northern Ireland, Oaxaca, Armagnac, Cognac, Kentucky, and California. Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, Vogler’s memoir will open your eyes to the rich world of traditional, small-scale distilling—and in the process, it will completely change the way you think about and buy spirits.

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Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style

WANDERFULWanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style by And Eton

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A girl with a love for off-the-beaten-path destinations, fashion maven Andi Eaton found herself putting aside theLonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler guides and, instead, looking to bohemians and artists for travel and style inspiration: What do the flower children wear on their excur­sions? Where are the creatives’ favorite vintage shops? And where do the musicians go late-night dancing after the last encore? The dreamer in her wanted more than what a standard travel guide could offer, so she decided to create her own.

Wanderful is a stylish lookbook and travelogue for the adven­turous and nomadic at heart. Follow in Andi’s footsteps as she travels the United States to discover some of its most effort­lessly chic destinations—and the fashionable free spirits and wanderers who live there. Nine intimate and exciting road trip routes explore cities, forests, and in between, and will make you feel like you’re traipsing the country with your best, and best-dressed, girlfriends by your side. Every route features a peek into the closets of area tastemakers, and many routes lead to favorite trendy destinations, including Joshua Tree, New Orleans, Marfa, and Santa Fe. Throughout, there are photos, stories, and recommendations for where to shop, dine, and find music and fun, just like a local.

Perfect for anyone with a wandering spirit, Wanderful will make you want to pack a cute bag, throw on your best outfit, and hit the road for a stylish adventure.

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White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World

White SandsWhite Sands: Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer

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SHORTLISTED FOR STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR

From a trip to The Lightning Field in New Mexico, to chasing Gauguin’s ghost in French Polynesia, White Sands is a creative exploration of why we travel.

Episodic, wide-ranging and funny, Geoff Dyer blends travel writing, essay, criticism and fiction with a smart and cantankerous wit that is unmatched. From one of the most original writers in Britain, this is a book for armchair travellers and procrastinating philosophers everywhere.

Surpassingly eloquent . . . there’s no other writer quite like Dyer

Time

Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent

Ultimate Journeys for TwoUltimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent by Mike & Ann Howard

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Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent by Mike Howard, Anne Howard

Written by the founders of HoneyTrek.com, this inspiring book reveals hidden-gem destinations and insider tips for unforgettable couples travel.

In these informative pages, Mike and Anne Howard—officially the World’s Longest Honeymooners and founders of the acclaimed travel blog HoneyTrek—whisk you away to journeys of a lifetime. Drawing on their experience traveling together across seven continents, they curate the globe and offer tested-and-approved recommendations for intrepid couples, bringing culture, adventure, and romance to any couple—no matter their age or budget.

Chapters are organized by type of destination (for example, beaches, mountains, and deserts) to help travelers discover new places and experiences based on their interests. Each entry focuses on a specific region, getting to the essence of each locale and its one-of-a-kind offerings. The authors reveal the best time to visit, the best places to stay, and recommended activities—each with their own adventure rating to illustrate level of intensity. Special features include funny and insightful stories from the Howards’ own adventures, expert advice from other renowned traveling couples, and tips to increase the romance and excitement at each destination. A large map shows every location covered in the book, and each entry has a locator map depicting the city and country. Both entertaining and informative, this book is an invaluable resource and inspiration for a lifetime of travel.

MIKE AND ANNE HOWARD left for their honeymoon in January 2012 and have been exploring the globe ever since on what has become the World’s Longest Honeymoon. Using Anne’s background as a national magazine editor and Mike’s as a digital marketing executive and photographer, they created HoneyTrek.com to chronicle their journey across 50+ countries and share tips with fellow couples looking to make their own travel dreams a reality. Having reviewed over 100 luxury hotels and excursions across all seven continents, they know the five-star side of travel, but also know how to get to the heart of local culture. The Howards’ remarkable journey has been acclaimed byCondé Nast Traveler, Los Angeles Times, Daily Mail, CBS, and more. They’ve lectured at the Smithsonian and major travel industry trade shows; their travel advice has been the subject of feature articles in BBC Travel, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur magazine. Most recently, they starred in a Microsoft and Dell national ad campaign.

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The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–Through Italy, India, and Beyond

Worriers guide to the end of the WorldThe Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–Through Italy, India, and Beyond by Torre DeRoche

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A funny and heartwarming story of one woman’s attempt to walk off a lifetime of fear–with a soulmate, bad shoes, and lots of wine.
Torre DeRoche is at rock bottom following a breakup and her father’s death when she crosses paths with the goofy and spirited Masha, who is pusuing her dream of walking the world. When Masha invites Torre to join her pilgrimage through Tuscany–drinking wine, foraging wild berries, and twirling on hillsides–Torre straps on a pair of flimsy street shoes and gets rambling. But the magical hills of Italy are nothing like the dusty and merciless roads of India where the pair wind up, provising a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Gandhi along his march to the seaside. Hoping to catch the nobleman’s fearlessless by osmosis and end the journey as wise, svelte, and kick-ass warriors, they are instead unravelled by worry that this might be one adventure too far. Coming face-to-face with their worst fears, they discover the power of friendship to save us from our darkest moments.

“Like so many of us, Torre DeRoche is wracked with fear, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety; unlike so many of us DeRoche figured she might as well walk 250 miles through India. Which she does, with humor, grace, insight and a fair amount of grit, too, in this lovely and wholly uplifting account of confronting our fears… Luckily (and always enviously) in The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World we get to tag along.”

— Carl Hoffman, bestselling author of Savage Harvest

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A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785

Voyage in the cloudsA Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785

by Matthew Olshan, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)

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In the year and a half since the flight of the first manned balloon in 1783, an Italian has flown, a Scot has flown, a woman has flown, even a sheep has flown. But no one has flown from one country to another. John Jeffries, an Englishman, and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, want to be the first. On January 7, 1785, they set out to cross the English Channel to France in a balloon. All seemed to be going fine, until Jeffries decides the balloon looks too fat and adjusts the air valve—how hard could it be? Too bad he drops the wrench over the side of the aerial car. With no way to adjust the valve, the balloon begins to sink. Jeffries and Blanchard throw as much as they can overboard—until there is nothing left, not even their clothes. Luckily, they come up with a clever (and surprising) solution that saves the day. A VOYAGE IN THE CLOUDS from Matthew Olshan and Sophie Blackall is a journey that will keep kids laughing the whole way.

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A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance

A Thousand Days in VeniceA Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance

by Marlena de Blasi

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This deliciously satisfying memoir is filled with the foods and flavors of Italy and peppered with culinary observations and recipes. The enchanting true story follows a woman who falls in love with both a man and a city, and finally finds the home she didn’t even know she was missing.

Fernando first sees Marlena across the Piazza San Marco and falls in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice cafe a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; she, a divorced American chef traveling through Italy, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thought she was done with romantic love, incapable of intimacy. Yet within months of their first meeting, she has quit her job, sold her house in St. Louis, kissed her two grown sons good-bye, and moved to Venice to marry “the stranger,” as she calls Fernando.

“An irresistible grown-up love story.” —USA Today

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The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small by Kath Stathers (Editor)

The Bucket ListThe Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small

by Kath Stathers (Editor)

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With 1,000 adventures for all ages, it’s never too soon or too late to begin the things you’ve only dreamed of doing.

We all have things we’d like to do—one day—but work, family, school, money, and responsibilities get in the way. This invaluable guide to fun, fantastic, and life-affirming activities features an eclectic range of ideas such as self-improvement, sports-related endeavors, natural wonders, cultural experiences, culinary delights, and more. From glassblowing in the Czech Republic to swimming with dolphins in New Zealand, The Bucket List is the perfect gift for the passionate traveler—an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more.

Each activity is location-specific and as geographically unique as bird-watching in Kenya or driving through clouds in Sri Lanka, as well as other to-dos that can be done anywhere, such as sketching a sunset behind an architectural monument. In addition to classic outdoor pursuits, the book contains advice on how to achieve some of the most popular goals for people of all ages: direct a movie, learn to play an instrument, make pottery, protect an endangered species, name a star, try a new cuisine, or learn a new language. Whether you are more active or laid-back, serious-minded or lighthearted, you are bound to discover new, stimulating activities.

“Travel Around the World and Back with Spring’s New Coffee Table Books”
Fathom

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And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life in Transit

And the Monkey Learned NothingAnd the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life in Transit

by Tom Lutz

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Tom Lutz is on a mission to visit every country on earth. And the Monkey Learned Nothingcontains reports from fifty of them, most describing personal encounters in rarely visited spots, anecdotes from way off the beaten path. Traveling without an itinerary and without a goal, Lutz explores the Iranian love of poetry, the occupying Chinese army in Tibet, the amputee beggars in Cambodia, the hill tribes on Vietnam s Chinese border, the sociopathic monkeys of Bali, the dangerous fishermen and conmen of southern India, the salt flats of Uyumi in Peru, and floating hotels in French Guiana, introduces you to an Uzbeki prodigy in the market of Samarkand, an Azeri rental car clerk in Baku, guestworkers in Dubai, a military contractor in Jordan, cucuruchos in Guatemala, a Pentecostal preacher in rural El Salvador, a playboy in Nicaragua, employment agents in Singapore specializing in Tamil workers, prostitutes in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, international bankers in Belarus, a teacher in Havana, border guards in Botswana, tango dancers in Argentina, a cook in Suriname, a juvenile thief in Uruguay, voters in Guyana, doctors in Tanzania and Lesotho, scary poker players in Moscow, reed dancers in Swaziland, young camel herders in Tunisia, Romanian missionaries in Macedonia, and musical groups in Mozambique. With an eye out for both the sublime and the ridiculous, Lutz falls, regularly, into the instant intimacy of the road with random strangers.

Kirkus Reviews

2016-07-19
Postcards from around the globe, far from the beaten path of tourism.Los Angeles Review of Books founder and editor-in-chief Lutz (Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America, 2006) writes that he originally intended to subtitle this book “Around the World in Eighty Anecdotes.” “I thought it was an honest disclosure,” he writes. “What follows is an anecdotal rendering of eighty moments in my traveling life, with no attempt to use them to trace any world picture or any narrative arc.” Or to teach any moral lesson, though there is plenty to be learned here, for the writer and readers alike. Often in a state between dislocation and disorientation, he found himself grappling with the culture, politics, and religions of places where he could barely read the signposts. He writes of beggars who were more like demanders and of borders where he was often unclear whether the papers he brought with him to cross would allow him to cross back and, if so, who needed to be bribed how much. Lutz disdains the surface pleasures of tourism, but at a Zimbabwe National Park, he recognized that he “couldn’t shake the sense that I was not in the wild at all, but in a New Jersey safari park….I am a tourist. I love elephants.” He does, however, hate monkeys with a passion that puts a different slant on the title. He usually traveled alone, typically where other travelers don’t, but he often encountered kindred spirits who aided his understanding or shared his confusion. A musician himself, he responded to a variety of extraordinary music, which required no translation. When the book arrives at its final section on Europe, it is no surprise to readers that there is no visit to London, Paris, or Venice, or even to the countries where those much-visited cities are located. A travel memoir with short, provocative, occasionally inscrutable entries that will eventually tire even armchair travelers.

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