As the stay-at-home order continues across much of the US in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, many of us miss the freedom of just a couple months ago—to eat out, travel, and socialize with friends and family. Although these things are temporarily suspended in some ways, we can still travel—virtually—by watching and reading stories of places near and far. Here are a few recommendations available on Hoopla and Overdrive to get you started!
Enchanted April (1991) – After WWI, four English women, who are unhappy with their drab lives, go on vacation at a beautiful Italian villa.
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004)(plus two sequels!) – A bookworm becomes the librarian and guardian of a mystical collection, but a magical spear gets stolen by an evil organization, so he must travel around the globe to get it back!
Please Stand By (2017) – A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a “Star Trek” writing competition.
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West (2002) – Two hundred years after their epic journey, go back in time with Lewis, Clark, their guide Sacagawea, and the brave Corps of Discovery as they discover the adventure, danger, and beauty of the unmapped West.
Earth Songs (2012) – For over two years, filmmaker Brian Luke Seaward traveled to many of the world’s most pristine locations, capturing the Earth’s beauty in ways that are rarely seen. It takes the viewer on a journey of this planet we call home.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011) – Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor.
Eyes of a Beginner (2012) – Clay was born blind, but after undergoing eye surgery, he realizes how much there is to see in our world. His journey takes him through the vibrant streets of Japan, the coral reefs of Indonesia, the slums of India, and the snow-capped Himalayas.
Passport to the World – A newer travel series with films that take viewers all over the world—Peru to France to the Yukon to Madagascar!
Take Me Home (2011) – Soon after Thom starts operating as an illegal taxi driver in New York City, Claire hires him to drive her to California after her estranged father suffers a heart attack.
If you prefer to read about the road less traveled, try some of these eBooks:
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America—majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way—and a couple of bears.
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.
Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.
Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate–these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley’s experiences on her 2011 European book tour. An Age of License is both a graphic travelogue and a journal of her trip abroad. Fans of Knisley’s food-focused autobiography (French Milk, Relish) savor her mouth-watering drawings and descriptions of culinary delights, seasons with cute cat cameos. But An Age of License is not all kittens and raclette crepes: Knisley’s account of her adventures is colored by anxieties about her life and career, depicted with fearlessness, relatability, and honesty, making An Age of License an Eat, Pray, Love for the Girls generation.
Enduring sweltering heat, fending off venomous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia’s landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.
The Innocents Abroad is one of the most prominent and influential travel books ever written about Europe and the Holy Land.
Odysseus’ reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.
One night in the reform club, Phileas Fogg bets his companions that he can travel across the globe in just eighty days. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, he immediately sets off for Dover with his astonished valet Passepartout. Passing through exotic lands and dangerous locations, they seize whatever transportation is at hand—whether train or elephant—overcoming set-backs and always racing against the clock.
July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.
Mark Adams has spent his career editing adventure and travel magazines, so his plan to investigate the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer’s perilous path to Machu Picchu isn’t completely far- fetched, even if it does require him to sleep in a tent for the first time. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams takes readers through some of the most gorgeous and historic landscapes in Peru, from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the enigmatic ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba.
Along the way he finds a still-undiscovered country populated with brilliant and eccentric characters, as well as an answer to the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham’s time: Just what was Machu Picchu?
William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about “those little towns that get on the map-if they get on at all-only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi.”
His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.
Timbuktu: the African city known to legend as a land of scholars, splendor and mystery, a golden age in the Sahara Desert. But to many it is a vaguely recognizable name – a flippant tag for “the most remote place on earth.” With this fabled city as his goal, author Rick Antonson began a month-long trek. His initial plan? To get a haircut.