When you finish a great book, do you think about it for days?
If you stumbled upon this article, you probably do — and now you’re looking for more books like Eat Pray Love.
You will love the recommendations of inspirational travel books below, which bring readers the joys of the journey to self-discovery and realization.
Enlightening Books Like Eat Pray Love
Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt
When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.”
And so Miss Norma took off on an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a thirty-six-foot motor home with her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their dog Ringo.
As this once timid woman says “yes” to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon, and mounts up for a horseback ride.
With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold.
Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life—strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.
Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian’s wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road.
It portrays a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.
Readers found Driving Miss Norma to be a profoundly moving book, which was at times laugh-out-loud funny and at other times brought them close to tears. It was a wonderful reminder in these difficult times that there’s still hope for humanity.
Norma did a lot of travelling and visited various places such as South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, and the Black Hills.
Readers enjoyed reading about some locales they have been to and found themselves about new places to visit. They were impressed by the kindness and generosity of strangers as Norma travelled across the country.
The authors alternated chapters; a technique readers found effective in conveying their story.
Although most of the book focuses on the places they visited and the people they met, Ramie also addressed their role as caregivers, emphasizing how difficult that job can be if you’re travelling in an RV with a 90-year-old woman.
The only complaint readers have about Driving Miss Norma is that there were no photographs in the book that would have made the story even more interesting.
It’s still a beautiful story nonetheless, and readers highly recommend the book.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence.
Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside.
There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.
In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.
In her book, Mayes praises the Tuscan countryside with a poetic eye. Her writing is lovely and illuminating.
She knows that she doesn’t know the culture well—she recognizes that she’s an outsider—but she’s sensitive to her status and strives to get it right. She shares her discoveries with enthusiasm, and you can’t help but share in her joy.
Mayes’ genius is in her ability to make the little details of her life as interesting as the sweeping vistas and Renaissance churches she encounters. She transforms the ordinary tasks of daily life into the stuff of wonder.
She considers the joys and frustrations of renovating a house in a foreign country and how such an experience changes you. Readers treasure this book, and it changes them every time they read it.
The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
Denmark is officially the happiest nation on Earth. When Helen Russell is forced to move to rural Jutland, can she discover the secrets of their happiness? Or will the long, dark winters and pickled herring take their toll?
The Year of Living Danishly looks at where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.
If you’re looking for a book that will make you feel good, readers highly recommend The Year of Living Danishly.
The author’s objective is to discover the secrets behind the world’s happiest country and then amusingly present them using statistics and anecdotes.
Throughout the book, she mixes her experiences with interviews and research and talks about the weather, taxes, work, money, education, raising children etc.
For readers, it was such a great opportunity to learn about the country through this book. The author did a good job presenting both sides of the argument and making it clear that there are benefits and disadvantages to living Danishly.
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, Amanda Pressner
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.
With their thirtieth birthdays looming, Jen, Holly, and Amanda are feeling the pressure to hit certain milestones—score the big promotion, find a soul mate, have 2 kids. Instead, they make a pact to quit their jobs and set out on a journey in search of inspiration and direction.
Traveling 60,000 miles across four continents, Jen, Holly, and Amanda push themselves far outside their comfort zones to embrace every adventure.
Ultimately, theirs is a story of true friendship—a bond forged by sharing beds and backpacks, enduring exotic illnesses, trekking across mountains, and standing by one another through heartaches, whirlwind romances, and everything in the world in between.
Readers loved the concept behind this one of books like Eat Pray Love.
However, by the middle of the book, the story was less about travelling and more about friendships and relationships. The travel parts of the book itself were enjoyable to read, and readers crave more about that part. It was interesting to read about their experiences, both positive and negative.
The chapters in Kenya were particularly moving. The interactions between the girls at Pathfinder and the other people in their village were very intriguing.
Then, readers find a hard time distinguishing the narrators. It feels like it was written by the same person because there were no differences in Amanda and Jen’s writing styles.
As more people came into the story, friends and family, it became even more difficult to tell them apart. It took readers until the end to finally remember who was writing what.
One other thing, readers grew a little tired of the authors’ constant soul searching and ‘inspiring’ revelations. Even though they were coming from a certain place, there was no need to repeat it repeatedly in each chapter.
Overall, readers thought the book enjoyable and found it interesting.
Life-changing Books Like Eat Pray Love
Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis
After graduating from college, Jennifer isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life.
She is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Though her friends and family think she’s crazy, she sets out alone to hike the trail, hoping it will give her time to think about what she wants to do next.
The next four months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life. She quickly discovers that thru-hiking is harder than she had imagined: coping with blisters and aching shoulders from the 30-pound pack she carries; sleeping on the hard wooden floors of trail shelters; hiking through endless torrents of rain and even a blizzard.
With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity, and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend on other people to help her in times of need.
Here’s one woman’s account of her first time hiking the Appalachian Trail that readers admire to complete such a challenge.
Readers found it interesting to learn about the shelters along the trail and how they were set up for thru-hikers (those who hike the entire length of the trail) and section hikers (people who break up their trip into smaller sections).
Readers loved Jen’s thoughts on the subject of hikers. She was a kind person who could maintain her cool even when faced with challenging situations.
The story about their relationships with one another was very insightful. It was interesting to hear about the relationships hikers formed on the trail—some supportive, others not.
Some readers, though, think differently.
For some of them, the author’s writing style was boring ands lack of emotion. Everything is told more like a list of things that happened to her than an actual story.
There’s even a reader that got about halfway through this book before they decided to give up on it. Their reason is it wasn’t engaging enough for them.
Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening by Liz Clark
True surfers understand that surfing is not a sport, a hobby or even a lifestyle. Instead, it is a path, a constantly evolving journey that directs where you go, how you live, and who you are.
In 2006, Liz Clark decided to follow the path that surfing, sailing and love of the ocean had presented to her. Embarking on an adventure that most only dream of taking, she set sail from Santa Barbara, solo, headed to the South Pacific. Nine years later she is still following her path in search of surf and self and the beauty and inspiration that lies beyond the beaten path.
In stories overflowing with epic waves and at the whim of the weather, Liz captures her voyage in gripping detail, telling tales of self awareness, solitude, connection to the earth, and really great surf spots.
Liz Clark’s Swell surprised the readers.
When they thought the book was another story of a privileged American travelling the world, meeting people and finding love in exotic places, her story is much more honest and true to who Liz is as a person.
The book starts with the author as a somewhat privileged young woman, but she quickly transforms into someone who relies on her wits and not just the help of others to achieve her dream.
You get a sense of how little she has, but she never gives up even when it seems she’s in her most difficult situations.
She told an inspiring story of how she explored nature and learned about herself from the deck of her sailboat.
She was often without a crew and had to find what she needed in various languages and cultures as she navigated her way. Readers found her encounters with other sailors heartwarming.
Overall, readers were thrilled by how this book turned out. It has flaws, but readers still couldn’t put it down.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
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 humour, 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.
Readers loved every moment of this book and was amazed by the author’s courage. They could feel the pain and loneliness that Cheryl experienced along her journey, yet they was encouraged by her persistence.
When we have to forgive our own mistakes and accept how they define us, we gain the courage to look inside ourselves and find our true potential.
The trials she faced on her journey gave her the strength and clarity needed to accept who she really is.
The narrative occasionally drags, but it’s easy to understand why. Spending months alone would make anyone long for companionship and it’s hard to describe.
There are a few facts that the author mentions so often that you can’t help wondering if they’ll ever come into play again, spoiler: they’re not.
But overall, it’s an engaging memoir and well worth reading.
Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre Deroche
Love can make a person do crazy things. . .
A city girl with a morbid fear of deep water, Torre DeRoche is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific aboard a leaky sailboat – total crew of two – struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat.
But when she meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinean man with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has to face a hard decision: watch the man she’s in love with sail away forever, or head off on the watery journey with him.
Suddenly the choice seems simple. She gives up her sophisticated city life, faces her fear of water (and tendency towards seasickness) and joins her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific.
Set against a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always breathtakingly brave memoir that proves there are some risks worth taking.
Despite their fear of the sea and a lack of interest in sailing, readers enjoyed reading this entertaining memoir similar to Eat Pray Love.
Torre is a witty writer. Her humour was engaging, and she didn’t hold back.
Her willingness to be open about the journey’s practical and emotional hardships makes it all the more appealing.
The author’s love for nature and marine life becomes contagious as she describes dolphins swimming playfully in their wake and tropical waters as clear as blue glass. Readers can’t help but wish they were there too.
Love with a Chance of Drowning is a beautifully written tale of an amazing journey that will captivate you. It takes you to new fascinating places through her words.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman
Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited.
There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealized passion for adventure.
As her journey takes her to Australia and South America, Rachel discovers and embraces her love of travel and unlocks more truths about herself than she ever realized she was seeking. Along the way, the erstwhile good girl finally learns to do something she’s never done before: simply live for the moment.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost was written in an easy, conversational style that made it feel like readers were right there with her.
At times the book made them laugh out loud; other times, it caused them to sit back and think about an idea.
Throughout the journey, readers are mostly fascinated by the places she visited and the people she met along the way.
Although readers enjoyed listening to Rachel’s travel stories and learning about the new places, they found it difficult listening to her constant complaining about how lost she felt in her life.
However, they did enjoy watching Rachel grow into a more confident and independent young woman as she tackled various new adventures.
Overall, it was worth the time to read, and you will be glad to find this memoir.
Travel comes in all forms, and these books similar to Eat Pray Love will help you capture the spirit of a variety of places.
So go ahead, do yourself a favor and pick up some of these great travel books. After all, one of the best ways to discover a place is through the eyes of those who have traveled there before.