Discover Unique Travel Stories & Cultural Adventures

Embark on a journey through captivating memoirs, insightful histories, and tantalizing culinary experiences.


Feb. 21 2024, Published 3:56 p.m. ET

“Call You When I Land” by Nikki Vargas

call you when i land

Colombian immigrant Nikki Vargas began traveling in a unique way — by breaking off an engagement to her college sweetheart. Leaving behind a relationship and a promising advertising career at 26, Vargas jetted off into the world and turned her life into something she always dreamed of. “Call You When I Land” is the emotional memoir of a woman who finds herself in the travel pages of newspapers and magazines. It’s a reminder to us all that when you reach out for it, you can end up with the life you’d love to have, even if there are some romantic and career casualties along the way.

“Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel” by Shahnaz Habib

airplane mode

Travel has a long and complicated past that hasn’t always been so nice to everyone. Even today, we grapple with the questions of who can travel, and how racist structures and passports from certain countries can impact traveling. In “Airplane Mode,” Shahnaz Habib dives deep into these topics, entering the conversation through the lens of her childhood in India, her immigration journey to the United States, and the power dynamics she’s encountered with something as simple as a trip to go see her family. It’s half a memoir and half an eye-opening historical account of colonialism and capitalism.

“Vet at the End of the Earth: Adventures with Animals in the South Atlantic” by Jonathan Hollins

vet at the end of the earth

For those who have a soft spot for animals, this rollicking tale of what it’s like to be an island veterinarian in the south Atlantic Ocean is just for you. In “Vet at the End of the Earth,” Dr. Jonathan Hollins shares his story of taking care of a 200-year-old giant tortoise, hunting down weird microorganisms, herding reindeer to another location, and all the wild and wonderful activities he encounters in this vast, watery world. It’s just a few of the perks of being the resident vet on the British Overseas Territories islands of the Falklands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, and Ascension. The book isn’t just about animals, though; it also shares a nuanced look at all the local communities, their histories, and how they survive without instant access to mainland perks.

“Sweet Salone: Recipes from the Heart of Sierra Leone” by Maria Bradford

sweet salone compressed

This may be a cookbook, but in “Sweet Salone,” author Maria Bradford takes us through a culinary and cultural journey through Sierra Leone in addition to giving us the recipes to recreate the food at home. From street food like morkor (fried green bananas) and pepe chicken (grilled over hot charcoal and served with a spicy sauce) to desserts like rich cake that’s traditionally baked in sand and Bradford’s grandmother’s own fish ball stew for the entree, you’ll get a wide-ranging view of traditional meals in Sierra Leone. Location photography throughout the book pulls you even more into the world of this West African nation.

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