Staycation . It’s just one of those words that makes me cringe. Maybe it is the idea itself that I find so unappealing. After all, I’m at my house everyday, and there’s so much world to explore in my limited vacation time. “Stay?” That’s for dogs, not for me.
But sometimes a grand excursion is not in the cards. In that case, a great writer describing an interesting destination or journey is a pleasurable consolation for us who choose to staycate the premises. Here’s my list:
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Most anything by Mr. Bryson tops my list – wherever he goes, he reliably notes, with fine writing, the historic, fantastic, and absurd. The first chapter of Notes also happens to be one of the funniest passages I’ve ever read.
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart. A former diplomat, Mr. Stewart walked across the most treacherous regions of Afghanistan so you don’t have to. A fascinating account of this remote part of the world.
Best American Travel Writing series by various authors. Each volume in this annual series is packed with shorter pieces, so you can pop over to India or Italy on your lunch break.
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. Strictly for American History dweebs, but if you read this book, you will become a history dweeb convert.
And yet more: The Crown Journeys series – Bill McKibben, Myla Goldberg, Chuck Palahniuk, Kinky Friedman, Ishmael Reed, Edwidge Danticat, and others.
Great Plains by Ian Frazier
The Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India by Rory MacLean