Next on our holiday reading list: true travel adventures written by women. Our guest today is Dorothy Shamah who is headed to Guatamala for a Spanish immersion program next spring. Shamah is a former English teacher whose short stories and novels focus on travel. I'll let Dorothy take it from here:
Women tend to focus on the people they encounter and the epiphanies they experience when writing about travel experiences. One of these six exceptional memoirs written by traveling women might be an appreciated holiday gift or great holiday reading.
Told in letters: Lady Mary’s adventures as she travels from England to the Ottoman Empire in 1717. She provides insights into the courts of Europe as well as the perils of traveling by coach across warring nations. Her humorous descriptions of Muslim women in Constantinople offer a glance into a world no men can offer.
A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird.
Bird’s letters home to Edinburgh about her six month stay in Colorado’s high country, as she travels from San Francisco by rail to Colorado in 1873, then switches to horseback for the duration of her winter trip. Her desperado takes her to the top of 14,000 foot peaks. The beauty of the winter scenery with sub-zero temperatures are her traveling companions.
Kingsley’s witty memoir of her travels in 1893 through Sierra Leone, Angola and Gabon. She reaches the top of Mt. Cameroon along with villages of head-hunters. Vivid descriptions of a necklace of leeches, an attack on a leopard, and friendships with native peoples are peppered with humor and self-deprecating heroism.
Murphy’s account of her crossing into South Africa in 1993 to cycle six thousand miles through Afrikaans and black townships to Cape Town.
Davidson’s 1992 travels through Rajasthan (on the western border of India) with the Rabari nomads on their yearly migration. Her return to Jodhpur on foot with her own camels ends in devastating alienation. The land overwhelms. The story is mesmerizing.
In the late 1990s, Kalak (against all advice) trekked from Port Moresby on the south of Papua New Guinea through the high lands (south of the equator) to the island's north shore. She found stone-age cultures, government officials, missionaries and barely evaded Indonesian soldiers at the border. Follow her footsteps and be amazed.
Enjoy. Perhaps one of these stories will encourage a woman in your life (or you!) to engage in the tradition of travel.
Dorothy Shamah can be found on her author page on Amazon.
Follow her blog at http://www.kookaburraseranade.blogspot.com