Vacation season is just around the corner! Do you have a trip planned out already for the summer? If not, these books might have you Googling for travel agents and destinations before you can put them back on the shelf. No vacation budget? No worries; because books are a perfect medium for escapism, you can enjoy these characters’ travels as they take you along with them.
21 Days in Maui by PL Como
Stuck in a rut, PL Como decided to hop a plane to Maui for a transformative three-week journey. Como recounts this experience in 21 Days in Maui, describing the lush, tropical atmosphere and easygoing people she finds on the island. Away from the corporate life that was eating away at her, Como is able to clearly examine the world around her to gain a new, personal path to fulfillment.
If you can’t afford your own trip to Maui, Como’s memoir provides a nice “change of scenery” that will have you itching to start a spiritual journey of your own. Namaste!
Montana in A Minor by Elaine Russell
A cute romance that doesn’t rely on melodrama, Montana in A Minor follows Emily Lopez, a teenage cellist who must spend a summer at her step-grandfather’s ranch. Emily has all the trappings of an angsty teen: her father doesn’t seem to value time with her much, and she’s just been dumped by her boyfriend. But thrust in a new environment, Emily might be able to pick up the pieces of her life with the help of her step family and ranch hand Breck.
This novel is a great example for how a new environment—in this case, rural Montana—and can provide for some much-needed perspective when one becomes disillusioned with what life has to offer.
A Star Called Lucky by Bapsy Jain
Lucky Boyce is just a simple yoga instructor, but finds herself thrust into a quest to find an elusive Tibetan doctor who possesses a mushroom that, miraculously, can cure any health problem. While the premise is improbable, the novel is fun and thrilling; Boyce becomes wrapped up in both international intrigue and personal drama upon visiting India in search of the magic mushroom.
This smart mystery might inspire you to book your own exotic journey—but don’t expect to hack computers or witness any of the espionage that Boyce finds on hers.
Wanderlush by David Robert
A funny mother-son memoir, Wanderlush takes us along Robert and his drunken mother’s four vacations around the world, with hilarious results. Robert’s memoir is a domino chain of quick quips and ridiculous situations, enough to make readers jealous of his strange, saucy but well-adjusted family.
Journeying to Costa Rica, India and further, Robert’s book is the perfect companion for a lonely staycation. And thanks to its wild and crazy cast of characters, you’ll be happy to live through these trips only vicariously.
Luz Rebound by Jeania Kimbrough
This book doesn’t involve a character setting out on a trip, but instead focuses on a homecoming. Kara Jagger returns to the United States after a year of studying abroad in Australia, only to find that she is an outsider in her own home. The book is fraught with tension as Kara tries to insert herself back into previous relationships; one particularly interesting dilemma is whether Kara can rekindle the relationship with her ex as a long-distance Australian beau lurks in the background of her mind.
This beautiful exploration of the awkwardness of finding the unfamiliar in the everyday—and how travel can shape one’s personal identity for better or worse—is instantly relatable to anyone who’s left home and come back to a less-than-desirable situation.