Personal Travel Experiences

Written by Amy Hall
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Anyone who has an affinity for foreign places probably delights in jotting down notes about his or her personal travel experiences. I know that whenever I am in the process of planning a vacation to some destination spot that is both unknown and mysterious to me, I spend weeks and months prior to my trip reading everything I can get my hands on about that particular place. For instance, when I was planning my trip to Venice, Italy two years ago, I spent six months reading travel guidebooks about Venice, I bought numerous travel maps for Venice and the surrounding areas, and I even subscribed to some online travel sites that sent out monthly electronic newsletters. I was hooked.

Most people who love to travel also love to read about other people's personal travel experiences. You could spend days in the travel section of a large bookstore, with the travel magazines, guidebooks, international maps, travel memoirs, and so on and so forth. Fortunately, there are some fantastic sites online that also allow you to spend hours browsing; the only difference is that you can do the browsing from the comfort of your own home.

You may have a trip planned in the near future, or perhaps you are simply curious about some places that you are considering traveling to down the road. It can help to read someone else's personal travel experiences before you ever book a reservation of your own. I know when I read about Venice, I was more excited to go than ever. I had read numerous memoirs about Italian travel, some well known, others not so well known. Of course, I was one of millions of readers who read Frances Mayes's book, Under the Tuscan Sun. I was so enthralled with her memoir that I immediately went on to read Bella Tuscany. I then extended my repertoire by reading travel memoirs by Ferenc Mate, including my most favorite, The Hills of Tuscany. Other great reads include memoirs by Peter Mayle, who became famous for his books about Provence, as well as a book by Annie Hawes entitled, Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month Is Enchanted.

Absorbing Personal Travel Experiences

There are literally hundreds of travelogues and memoirs out there about foreign places all over the world. I just purchased a book online called In a Sunburned Country, about a man who travels through Australia's outback. I have not yet been able to crack it open because I'm still not done reading my book about an Australian news reporter who packs her bags and moves to Paris to begin a new life. I also have a book going that discusses the history of the Italian hilltop town of Montalcino, where a couple decides to begin life anew. I am enraptured by these travel adventures, and can't wait to see such places myself.

If your heart skips a beat every time you imagine hopping on a plane and traveling to a place where the language, the food, and the culture are all different, then you would most likely get a thrill reading published personal travel experiences. You may even delight in ordering some fantastic coffee table books that showcase the indescribable beauty of the Venice canals, or the magic of a Parisian garden. Maybe it's the emerald hills of Ireland that make your heart sing, or the crystal clear blue waters of Bermuda. The beauty of travel is that it is unique to each and every person. No two people will ever take away the same experience from traveling to the same place.

The Magic of Personal Travel Experiences

If you cannot read enough about travel and foreign countries, than you are probably like me--you spend a good portion of your time and income buying travel books. I delight in the written word, especially when the written word talks about a country that I have never been to, or perhaps never even heard of in my lifetime. I relish the idea of having the means to just hop on a plane whenever the mood strikes, and travel to remote beaches, the pyramids of Egypt, or the African wilderness where I could take part in a safari.

In all likelihood, I will never get beyond wishing for such trips. However, I will never stop reading about other people's personal travel experiences about the places I will never go. This world is a mighty big place, and the chances of me getting to see every nook and cranny of it are slim. However, I can still imagine what it feels like to stand before a towering Egyptian pyramid, or swim Australia's barrier reef.

This is the gift of travel memoirs--they allow you to live vicariously through the writer. You can get comfy in a soft chair, pull a blanket over you, and pour a nice cup of tea, as you let your eyes skim the words on the page. In no time, your imagination will transport you to the place you are reading about, and you will likely lose all track of time. Perhaps when you do stop to take a break you will feel inspired--inspired to try a new Tuscan recipe, inspired to learn a new language, or just inspired to look beyond your own four walls more often.


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