I was up before dawn this morning to drive Teen Freud to the airport. He and his friend, Molly, are off on a grand adventure to Morocco and England. This is a Very Big Deal for him. While he has travelled with us as a family and went to Quebec City as an exchange student in high school, he hasn’t traveled on his own. At least no trips of this scope or one this far away from home. I watched them walk through security with a mix of excitement, envy and trepidation. It’s a mom/writer thing. My mind is a constant and fertile ground of ‘what-ifs.’ I had to take a step back and remind myself that, at his age, I’d gone off with his father on a four month road trip through Europe and Russia. Not only had we survived, we’d thrived. It broadened our minds, strengthened our bonds and we’re still telling some of our stories.
We’re counting on Teen Freud to bring home wonderful pictures and stories of his own. Until then, we’re sitting on the patio with Team Sheltie at our feet and a gin and tonic in hand, and doing a little armchair traveling. Here are some summer picks to quench your wanderlust:
The Wind in My Wheels – Travel Tales from the Saddle by Josie Dew I love biking adventures and Josie Dew is the queen of cycling travel. This collection of stories about her cycling trips through parts of Europe, the British Isles and Morocco is a funny, fascinating and inspiring read.
A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World by Anne Mustoe This was the first biking adventure book I ever read and it left a powerful mark. At the age of 55, Anne Mustoe gave up her life as a headmistress and decided to cycle around the world. To say she was naïve (she couldn’t even mend a tire when she started) is an understatement. History lessons interspersed with adventure.
A Culinary Traveler in Tuscany: Exploring and Eating off the Beaten Track by Beth Elon Yes, I’ve been known to read cookbooks for relaxation. Combining a cookbook with a travelogue is a sure way to grab me. This gem of a book features ten off-the-beaten-track itineraries, describing towns, restaurants and sights. Maps and recipes are provided too. And the recipes are very user friendly. Get out the risotto pot!
A Month of Sundays – Villa Life in the South of France by Ira & Barbara Spector A light, fast read about an American couple who rent a villa on the French Riviera near St. Tropez for a month. Alternating chapters from a his/her point of view, they tell the tale of adjusting to life in France.
Riding the Bus with my Sister by Rachel Simon Not technically a travel book but Rachel Simon’s account of spending a year riding the city bus in with her intellectually disabled sister, Beth, is a good reminder that we don’t have to go far to gain new perspectives and see the world differently. I loved this book. An updated edition came out last year detailing the changes in the lives of Simon and her sister since the book was first written. I’m looking forward to reading it.