Travel can heighten anxiety, but it can also be a great time to dig deep into some books! My least favorite part of travel is waiting: in the terminal, on the plane, on the shuttle, in a restaurant, etc, etc, but with a good book this all changes! One of my top tips for the anxious traveler? Get yourself a fantastic book.
For more information on any of these books, click on the photo of the book cover. Also, I’ve read all these books except the last two, so feel free to ask questions in the comments!
Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I have to warn you – this book is a FAST read! It’s a seriously consuming (AKA distracting) young adult book – the perfect book to start reading on a long plane ride, especially if you’re a nervous flyer. It’s about a young girl experiencing a slow-moving natural disaster unlike anything the world has ever seen before. (300 pages)
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
This book made me laugh out loud during the grieving process of my move to China – something Eric wasn’t even able to do. Despite breaking out into tears every 15 minutes or so, I found myself deep into this woman’s twisted stories of her upbringing and battle with mental illness and unable to stifle my laughter in public. (380 pages)
The Drifters by James Michener
This book is long and hippie-tastic. It took me forever to read, but I learned a lot about myself, modern history, and the experience of young people during the Vietnam war. It’s about 6 different 20-somethings whose lives weave in and out of each other during their aimless adventures around Europe and Africa. I have to warn you about 2 things though, 1) the language is slightly dated since this book was published in 1971, and 2) you’ll get really attached to the characters. (750 pages)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I know this book already passed it’s heyday after a movie about it was released, but if you never got around to reading it – do it now! The two main characters are a wealthy boy and his family’s servant who became friends. I got so attached to these two characters as the book took me from childhood all the way through adulthood, against the setting of modern, crumbling Afghanistan. The main benefit this book has for an anxious traveler is putting things into perspective – it made my problems seem small in comparison. (400 pages)
Paper Towns by John Green
I think this story means different things to different people, which is one of the awesome things about it. To me it’s about a girl starting to wonder about the world outside her hometown – a future solo female traveler. Instead of following her, the story follows a boy who is in love with her. It’s a fast read because it’s a young adult novel, but a really meaningful one. (305 pages)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
When you need to be reminded of the way a child views humanity and the world around her, this is a great one to reach for. The struggles of this girl’s daily life can get to you at times, but I promise you’ll fall in love with her and her outlook. It’s a great way to reset your brain back to a childlike view of the world, and a great way to learn about life in Nazi Germany. The total bonus about the girl in this book is that she’s a book worm, just like a lot of you reading this post. (590 pages)
Humans Of New York by Brandon Stanton
I’m sure you’ve seen posts from the blog Humans of New York, but did you know there’s a book? Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a long read and I want something I can pick up and put down frequently. This is the perfect thing for those times. The best thing about this book for the anxious traveler is the inspirational stories. (300 pages)
Mindfulness Meditations For The Anxious Traveler by Elisha Goldstein Ph.D.
I felt the need to include this book despite the fact that I haven’t read it, because it seems like an obvious choice for an anxious traveler. I don’t have a fear of flying, but I need practice in wrangling and responding appropriately to my anxious thoughts, and this book is meant to be a guide to doing just that. It’s the perfect thing to pick up during some unexpected turbulence. (112 pages)
One of my favorite things that I travel with is my Kindle, which is how I read nearly all these books. The Kindle versions of books are usually cheaper, and you have immediate access to your new read. The bonus for travelers is that the Kindle is so compact. Click here for more info about it!
If you have any book recommendations, please let me know! I’m always looking for new reading material. Thanks so much for hanging out! Talk to you soon,