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Books & Movies to Inspire your Next Trip

Books to Read

Great Cities Through Travellers’ Eyes

Peter Furtado

This entertaining new anthology includes travelers’ tales from thirty-eight cities spread over six continents, ranging from Beijing to Berlin, Cairo to Chicago, and Rio to Rome.

The volume features commentators across the millennia, including the great travelers of ancient times, such as Greek geographer Strabo; those who undertook extensive journeys in the medieval world, not least Marco Polo; courageous women such as Isabella Bird and Freya Stark; and enterprising writers and journalists, including Mark Twain. Here on Amazon.

The Secret Guests

Benjamin Black

Pick up this novel after binge-watching season three of The Crown for a different glimpse of those most famous sisters, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. Based on evidence that the young siblings spent the Blitz at an Irish estate, Black places them at Clonmillis Hall, home of the Duke of Edenmore, with Miss Celia Nashe, a chaperone who proves to be more than a nanny. Children will be children, and townspeople will be nosy. Soon the action ratchets up, and Nashe, a secret agent, and her assistant, Garda Strafford, must fulfill their roles. Here on Amazon.

The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography

Tepilit Ole Saitoti

An autobiographical memoir revealing the traditional childhood, adolescence, and coming of age in Maasailond also documents the author's life on the plains of the Serengeti and his education and experiences as he journeyed to Europe and America. Here on Amazon.

The Grass Is Singing

Doris Lessing

Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's novel is both a riveting chronicle of human

disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is an independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the years on the farm work their slow poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic black servant, Moses. The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate. Here on Amazon.


James Clavell

Here is the world-famous novel of Japan that is the earliest book in James Clavell’s masterly Asian saga. Set in the year 1600, it tells the story of a bold English pilot whose ship was blown ashore in Japan, where he encountered two people who were to change his life: a warlord with his own quest for power, and a beautiful interpreter torn between two ways of life and two ways of love. Here on Amazon.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill

Marjorie Agosin

An eleven-year-old’s world is upended by political turmoil in this searing novel from an award-winning poet, based on true events in Chile. Celeste Marconi is a dreamer. She lives peacefully among friends and neighbors and family in the idyllic town of Valparaiso, Chile—until the time comes when even Celeste, with her head in the clouds, can’t deny the political unrest that is sweeping through the country. Here on Amazon.

A Splendid Isolation: Lessons on Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan

Madeline Drexler

What does Bhutan understand about happiness that the rest of the world does not? Award-winning journalist and author Madeline Drexler recently traveled to this Himalayan nation to discover how the audacious policy known as Gross National Happiness plays out in a fast-changing society where Buddhism is deeply rooted—but where the temptations and collateral damage of materialism are rising. Her reported essay blends lyrical travelogue, cultural history, personal insights, and provocative conversations with top policymakers, activists, bloggers, writers, artists, scholars, religious leaders, students, and ordinary citizens in many walks of life. Here on Amazon.

Movies to Watch

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Available on FX Now or Amazon Prime; Available for rent on Google Play, YouTube or iTunes

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. Walter fancies a fellow employee named Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. However, he gets a chance to have a real adventure featuring some incredible travel destinations. This movie will have you anxious for your own adventure!

Out of Africa

Available for rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, or iTunes

This movie stands the test of time. The classic movie (starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep) was awarded 7 Oscars and other awards. The majority of the movie is set in Kenya, giving you a taste of the scenery and daily life.


Available for rent on Amazon Prime

Filled with the wonders of the Pacific Northwest this movie will remind you that it’s not always about the destination, but the journey itself. Driven to the edge, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) makes a decision to halt her downward spiral and put her life back together again. With no outdoors experience, a heavy backpack and little else to go on but her own will, Cheryl sets out alone to hike the Pacific Crest Trail -- one of the country's longest and toughest trails.

National Lampoons European Vacation

Available on Netflix or Hulu; Available for rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, or YouTube

In case you wanted a reason for using a travel advisor, the hilarious woes of this epic family trip will forever make you grateful for your expertly handled travel plans. After arriving in London, the Griswold clan encounters one disaster after another as they travel through France, Germany and Italy, while Clark's attempts to cheer everyone up make things worse.

The Way Back

Available on Amazon Prime or Hulu; Available for rent on Google Play, YouTube, or iTunes

Inspired by real events, this movie takes you to India, Morocco, Bulgaria and features some talented actors. Janusz (Jim Sturgess) finds himself in a remote Siberian labor camp when he and a small group of fellow prisoners make a break for it. Escape, however, is the easy part, for Janusz and his companions face a 4,000 mile trek on foot through the frozen Himalayas before they can truly be free.

The Beach

Available for rent on Amazon Prime Google Play, YouTube, or iTunes

Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumors state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it. This movie will have you longing for adventure.

A Map for Saturday

Available for rent on Amazon Prime

On a trip around the world, every day feels like Saturday. A Map For Saturday reveals a world of long-term, solo travel through the stories of trekkers in 20 countries on four continents. The documentary finds backpackers helping neglected Thai tsunami victims. It explains why Nepal's guesthouses are empty and Brazil's stoplights are ignored. But at its core, A Map For Saturday tracks the emotional arc of extreme long-term travelers; teenagers and senior citizens who wondered, "What would it be like to travel the world?" Then did it.


Available for rent on Amazon Prime or iTunes

A woman takes the 1,700-mile trek across the lesser traveled Western Australia region. Accompanied only by her faithful dog and four camels, an Australian satisfies her craving for solitude by embarking on a solo trip across the desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.

The Bucket List

Available for rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, or Redbox

We couldn’t possibly leave off this movie literally about experiencing your bucket list sooner than later! Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers share a hospital room and discover they have two things in common: a desire to spend the time they have left doing everything they ever wanted to do. Together they embark on the road trip of a lifetime, becoming friends along the way and learning to live life to the fullest, with insight and humor.


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