Summer is just starting to get underway, and I’ve been stuck inside for almost two weeks with a terribly nasty sinus infection. This has given me plenty of time to read and dream about future travel plans. For anyone else out there who wants to find some fresh pages to explore, here are my recommendations.
1) Suite Venitienne by Sophie Calle
This unusual book of photos is the fascinating result of a photographer who spent her time following strangers and photographing them without their knowing. One day she followed a man, and when she accidentally bumped into him later at a party she decided to follow him all the way to Venice to continue photographing him. The book is full of her black and white photos of Venice and her search for the mystery man. It is fantastically weird and uncomfortable, and the mystery of it all will keep you turning the pages.
2) Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens
This book is the real-life adventure of Mark and Delia Owens who packed up the bare necessities and took off into the trackless expanse of the Kalahari desert in Botswana, Africa to study the wildlife there. With no other humans for hundreds of miles and nothing but desert wilderness surrounding them, this couple become deeply involved with the animals that populate the Kalahari and the delicate ecology there. This book is a thrilling and emotional look at one of the few places of true wilderness left to humans on this planet.
3) No Baggage by Clara Bensen
Clara Bensen had only been dating Jeff for a month when he invited her on a three week trek across Europe, starting in Istanbul. Jeff proposed a trip with no itinerary and no baggage. Clara said yes, and the rest is in the book. This story takes readers on an unpredictable ride through eight countries over twenty one days, all done with absolutely no baggage (they each only brought one outfit to wear) and trusting to the universe to provide them with places to stay and things to do.