Good travel book for recently retired man?
November 25, 2016 7:13 PM   Subscribe

My American father just retired and wants to do more international travel—what are some inspiring books about traveling abroad to less-common tourist destinations?

My dad is not as adventurous as the average 18-year old backpacker, but he's fairly open-minded for his age. Admittedly he's somewhat risk-averse but wishes he wasn't. He's fairly liberal, curious about the world, but lived his adult life working too hard and not traveling as much as he liked.

He's compensated recently by traveling to Spain, Banff mountains area, San Miguel Mexico, Cuba, Croatia. He doesn't do that well when faced with ugly landscapes or poverty—again, more adventurous than some of his generation, but lives a neat-and-clean lifestyle and doesn't always "get" that travel isn't just beaches and mountains.

In any case, I think he and his wife want to spend the next 5 years traveling a lot more. For Christmas I'd like to get him a handful of books about first-person adventures into interesting places that maybe he hadn't considered.

Sorry if this is a bit broad, can include more details if it's helpful - thank you!
posted by critzer to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
He might like Paul Theroux.
posted by JMOZ at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
posted by veery at 7:34 PM on November 25, 2016

I LOVED this book for my Iceland trip.
I really feel like I understood the place and people better.
Also, the folk tales and sagas are so much a part of the country any good book on those as just terrific.

And beautiful Iceland sounds like a place your dad would LOVE. You can feel adventurous while being in a very safe and easy to travel place.
posted by ReluctantViking at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2016

Bill Bryson would do well by him.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 9:05 PM on November 25, 2016

Sara Wheeler, Travels in a thin Country (Chile) and Terra Incognito (Antarctica)

Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana (Central Asia)

Peter Somerville-Large The Coast of West Cork

Redmond O'Hanlon, Into the Heart of Borneo
posted by Morpeth at 2:16 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is he into food? Sushi and Beyond is a pretty fun foodie-travelogue of Japan. I think Tokyo would tick a lot of his boxes!
posted by corvine at 3:43 AM on November 26, 2016

The new Atlas Obscura coffee table book is worth a look.
posted by simonw at 4:15 AM on November 26, 2016

He might enjoy The Practical Nomad, which is a guide to extended budget travel but is more generally about what makes off-the-beaten-path travel fun and rewarding (and how to do it) and is written by an older guy.

Another possible good one is the similarly-traveled Tales of a Female Nomad, the memoir/travel stories of a woman who began backpacking at the age of 50. It's a really interesting perspective.

Also, if you check out the travel section at your local bookstore, you will probably find some big, beautiful books put out by Lonely Planet, etc. that show you different amazing destinations around the world. One of those might be a good place to start to get him dreaming up different kinds of places to go and things to do.
posted by lunasol at 8:58 PM on November 26, 2016

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