As a reader and a person with a severe case of wanderlust, I enjoy travel books written by travelers. That is what I load onto my electronic reader when I’m away from home.
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For me, every blog post is
a little like giving birth. (I may be am indulging myself in a little some hyperbole here.) The C-section of my writing career was a 75 page independent study paper produced during my senior year of law school with over 100 footnotes. This was in some antediluvian time before word processing, so editing was a nightmare. I even had to hire one of Mr. Excitement‘s old girlfriends to type my final paper. I’m so00 lucky he had the good sense he was willing to settle for a hunter and pecker over a chick who could type 90 words a minute.
One of the boons of becoming a travel blogger has been the chance to meet some other baby boomer wanderlusters who have actually been churning out real books. I suspect the experience of producing their literary progeny (compared to my law school mega paper) has been more like giving birth to triplets, but they hunkered down and did it.
When you are trying to think of the perfect gift for travelers, even armchair travelers, who are at the age when they should be
throwing stuff out downsizing, not acquiring more stuff, I suggest you think about travel books. If they are dinosaurs still like the feel of a real book, you can buy them paperbacks, but e-books are also gift options and all they will take up is a wee bit of bytes on their electronic device of choice.
Here are some of my recommendations, all written by travel bloggers I’ve met IRL (in real life). We’ll start with the books written by fellow baby boomer travel bloggers:
Travel Books by Baby Boomers
Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate * by Doreen Pendgracs
This book is perfect for the chocolate lover in your life. In fact, you could give them this book with some lovely chocolate. If you’re
clueless not sure what chocolate to buy for them, you could even consult this book to give you some ideas. The excellent thing is that the chocolate won’t even add to their stuff because presumably, it will be consumed. Okay, so it might add to their hips, but not to their stuff.
I met the author, Doreen Pendgracs at a chocolate festival in Honolulu. (Yes, chocolate covered bacon is actually a thing.) She inscribed my copy for my favorite chocolate lover, Mr. Excitement. After all, it was thanks to him that I got to live in Hawaii for three months and thus was able to attend the Honolulu Chocolate Festival. (
Did I mention that chocolate covered bacon is actually a thing?) For a more in depth taste of this book (pun 100% intended), you can read my full review.
Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All* By Veronica and David James
GypsyNester.com was one of the first baby boomer travel blogs I discovered. In this book, Veronica and David not only chronicle the beginning of their travels, they also share their process of becoming empty nesters, a life passage through which many baby boomers are also
bumbling feeling their way.
It can be seriously disorienting when you switch from 24/7 parent mode to “oh dear, now it’s just the two of us” mode. Veronica and David dove right into that phase by selling their house and moving into an RV. It was not the big bus luxury kind of RV, but the kind of RV where it is impossible not to be in the same space at the same time. Not to give anything away, but I finished this book with my RV fantasy (unfortunately, not shared by Mr. Excitement) intact. For a better idea of why that happened, read my full review of Going Gypsy.
Philadelphia Liberty Trail by Larissa and Michael Milne
As a born and bred Philly
girl person, I was anxious to read this tome authored by fellow Philadelphians, Larissa and Michael Milne.
The City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection) might be known mostly for poorly behaved sports fans and a signature food (cheesesteaks) that is
horrendous not that good for your health. However, it also boasts the most historic square mile in the United States. (Boston, don’t even quibble. It’s a fact.)
You really should come to Philly and bring your family. When you do, you should come prepared with Michael and Larissa’s book so you can get the most out of your visit. I explain why in my full review of Philadelphia Liberty Trail.
Travel Books for the Young People in Your Life
This recommendation is for baby boomers (or anyone) who has small people in their lives i.e. children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc.
Montecristo is my favorite 4 pound, long haired chihuahua travel blogger. He is adorable, full of personality (doganality?) and is very well traveled. His biped mother, Sonja Lishchynski, helps him out with his writing and blogging. Read my full review of this charming book and then buy it.
For Readers Who Don’t Just Read Travel Books
Our Bodies, Our Shelves: A Collection of Library Humor by Roz Warren.
Finally, since we’re talking about books, I am also recommending a book by another Philadelphia area writer who like I am is also a
Actually, Roz Warren is a humor writer who is all the way recovered from the law. When she’s not actually writing, she’s a librarian.
Roz’ anthology of library humor (yes, there is most certainly such a thing) might make you squirm a bit if you’ve ever haggled with a librarian about overdue book fines. However, you will probably have a smile on your face (if not a full throated guffaw) when you read about the guy who refused to pay to replace a book he never returned because, of course, aliens stole it from the book drop after he left it there. (Happens all the time, dontcha know).
You can read Midlife Boulevard contributor Stacia Friedman’s review of Our Bodies, Our Shelves here.