6.01.2017

10 Books to Get You Excited for an Adventure

how's this for a stock photo?

We've decided it's adventure month on the blog! We'll be discussing adventure related books, beginning with this list. Meghan and I were dumb enough to book a three day backcountry hike through Fundy National Park and we really need adventure month for our own morale. Stay tuned for a blog post on our own hike, but you can also watch the local news because we're likely to do something stupid and be on it. Meghan definitely reads more of this 'genre' than I do, but there's a pretty solid list here if you're looking to be inspired. 

The author of In the Heart of the Sea referenced how Shackleton is the greatest expedition leader of all time. His boat gets trapped between ice en route to Antarctica, they have to make their way on foot across a bunch of ice flows, and survive sailing in the frigid ocean in a tiny row boat. EVERYONE survived. I'll be saying this great quote every 15 minutes on our hike: "No matter what the odds, a man does not pin his last hope for survival on something and then expect it will fail."

I know we've beat this book to death on this blog (and we're not done yet) but it truly is the perfect adventure book for females. Strayed hikes the Pacific Coast Trail solo for three months as a type of penance. You'll learn about hiking equipment, the physical perils, and how testing it is to be alone for such a long period of time. You will crave the peace, bravery, and experience she has and will likely do something stupid like book a backcountry camping trip of your own.

I reviewed this book here. I loooove expeditions gone awry. Krakauer was actually on the '96 Everest disaster expedition and the book is very descriptive. You will feel like you learned a ton about climbing, Nepal, and the mountain. It's also HIGHLY personal. Krakauer may never get over what happened: "What happened on that mountain was gnawing my guts out. I thought that writing the book might purge Everest from my life. It hasn't, of course." My friend Katie is the real expert.

You may have been made to read this in school at some point (and you probably hated it) but I actually love this novel. It's colonial fiction about a British trading company that ventures into Africa to oversee operations. There are lots of very educational themes within but as a reader, you feel the same thrills and fears of the voyage as the characters. The entire time I read this I remember being desperate to go river boating. Try reading this again as an adult, you may just enjoy it! 

You can read my full review here but I really enjoyed the author's point that there are still so many unexplored places, even in your own country. Shoalts is from a small town in Ontario and his book is all about his solo expedition to two rivers in the far north. I would never say this is one of my favourite expedition books I've read, but Shoalts' passion for exploring is hard not to appreciate. He also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of explorers, and constantly refers to their stories throughout his book. 

This is a bit of an odd choice for this list, as the fiction story is mainly around a relationship and less about their hike BUT it will make you SO pumped and SO scared to go on an adventure with your significant other. The couple attempts to peak an African mountain so they can make new friends after a relocation, and the entire expedition completely shifts their marriage. I love this author and I highly recommend this book to ease you into the adventure genre. 

Marquis crosses Asia alone on foot in this memoir. Her expedition takes about three years. I found her time  in Mongolia most interesting. The only thing I didn't really like about this book is that there is barely any detail about her preparations for the trip. I want a detailed list of sponsors and gear, as well as an explanation about how she is going to pick up her food supplies. The other thing I didn't love is that Marquis is clearly a very spiritual person and I found it hard to relate to at points.

Meghan wrote a whole review of this book, but its another one of those perfect adventure books for females. It's the nonfiction account of Robyn Davidson's trek across the Australian desert with four camels and her dog. The most powerful takeaway for me was her connection to the animals, I definitely wanted to train a camel after reading this. But similarly to Wild, you crave the solitude and bravery Davidson has to carryout a plan like this. If you're looking for confidence for an adventure of your own this will do it. 

Philbrick is easily one of my favourite non-fiction writers (In the Heart of the Sea). I love any book with a 30 page reference section and Philbrick LOVES to research. Sea of Glory is about an American expedition aimed at creating a map of the world's oceans. His obsession with the ocean and those who have tried, and failed, to explore it is evident in this line I love: "America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea." Some might find this book dry, but know that you will feel very smart after reading it.

Finally, another book we've over-talked about on this blog, but perfect for a different type of adventure. Gilbert travels to Italy, India, and Bali over the course of a year to recover from a divorce and a negative relationship with men. If you're looking for more of a travel adventure, this will definitely get you in the mood. Not all of us have the luxury to travel the globe for a full year and get paid for it, but we can certainly dream. 

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