see the world

10 Books That Will Make You Want to See the World

Both of us here at The Coddiwomplers are huge bookworms. We met in college and have shared many books about travel and life with each other. I personally (Maggie) feel as though my purse isn’t completely packed if my Kindle isn’t inside. Plane and car rides would drag if I didn’t have a good book to distract me.

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The books we’ve got for you today aren’t just your garden-variety trashy romance novels. These are books that are going to light a fire under you and make you want to see the world. So we would like to introduce to you 10 books that will make you want to see the world. 

    1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

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      Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

      There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Now completely revised and updated, Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to financing your travel time, determining your destination, adjusting to life on the road, working and volunteering overseas, handling travel adversity, re-assimilating back into ordinary life.“ -Amazon

      This is a short, easy read that will make you want to get out your suitcase and start packing. This book was given to me by one of my college professors before I studied abroad and I didn’t even read it until after I returned. Vagabonding taught me that, contrary to popular belief, it’s ok to have an insatiable case of wanderlust, even past the age of 25.

    1. The Last Lecture

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      The Last Lecture

      “When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). A summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.”-Amazon

      If this book doesn’t kick you into gear to see the world, I don’t know what will. Randy Pausch’s lecture really makes you treasure the life you have and not waste any second of it.

    1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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      Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

      At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.” -Amazon

      Are you surprised that this is here? You probably shouldn’t be. Wild is the ultimate female empowerment book and makes you feel like you can do absolutely anything. There’s also an underlying message of Cheryl putting her life back together, and while not all of us have broken pieces to put together, I think we can all agree that finding ourselves wouldn’t hurt. I listened to this on audiobook, and there were times when I would have arrived at my destination, but I was still sitting in the car trying to finish one more line of the book.

    1. The Taliban Shuffle

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      The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

      “Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job. -Amazon

      So this is the book Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot is based on so you know it’s a good one! Here is a kickass woman, going into dangerous territory and discovering all the world has to offer. If Kim Barker can move to Kabul, you can leave the country and see the world!

    1. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.

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      The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World

      Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author’s case, moments of “un-unhappiness.” The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? With engaging wit and surprising insights, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.” -Amazon

      As an extreme introvert (hello, it’s me, Maggie), this book totally resonates. I’m not necessarily a pessimist, but my introverted ways do tend to occasionally steer me away from happiness, and I appreciate a book dedicated solely to not only finding what happiness is but taking the chance to see the world to find where happiness is. (I would argue that happiness is found in Salzburg.)

    1. A Thousand New Beginnings: Tales of Solo Female Travel Through Southeast Asia

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      A Thousand New Beginnings: Tales of Solo Female Travel Through Southeast Asia

      “This is the story of a 26-year-old girl who left her old life with a steady job and boyfriend behind in order to travel through Southeast Asia completely on her own. Over the course of the next year and thousands of miles, hundreds of new beginnings and new friendships, she found that more than traveling the world outside, she traveled the world within. This book is a collection of excerpts from her diary and blog during that time in which she found that traveling alone made all the difference in the world.” -Amazon

      Being two females that love to travel the world, we are huge supporters of this book and the lust for something different. There can be a great deal learned about yourself and all around you when you decide to see the world.

    1. The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World

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      The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.

      “Three friends, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high-pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world in The Lost Girls.” -Amazon

      Hi, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We are The Coddiwomplers, two friends on the brink of a quarter-life crisis which made a pact to leave behind everything familiar and embark on a year-long Irish adventure. Do you see why we picked this?

    1. Room

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      “Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. This book is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.” -Amazon

      You may be thinking, “this has nothing to do with travel” but I have never read a book more committed to pushing me out of my box to explore. After reading this tremendous tale of mother and son, it makes you appreciate life, how short it is, and the opportunities you can take.  

    1. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

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      Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

      “In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.” -Amazon

      This book already has such a great reputation that I it really speaks for itself!

  1. Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults

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    Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults

    “Two best friends document their post-college lives with one moving to Beijing and the other to New York. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns.” -Amazon

    The title itself relates to so many post-graduate millennial women’s lives, especially The Coddiwomplers! This is one you want to keep in your bag as you see the world.

    We hope you have enjoyed our list. Get reading and get packing!

    -The Coddiwomplers

    10 Books that will Make you Want to See the World


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