Like I said in Part 1 of this two part series (to start at the beginning click here), I love travel books! And not just because I’m a Travel Writer. What I really love is that they give you an opportunity to satisfy your wanderlust for near and faraway places in tangible, colorful, sometimes spellbinding paper and prose, each offering their own unique perspectives to pique your interest. Following are a few of the latest guides I’ve found to get you on your way.
Get Your Kicks on….I-95!
Yep, Interstate 95. As the nation’s longest north-south interstate traversing 1,925 miles and 15 states, and “hosting” an estimated 565 million long-distance trips in excess of 100 miles, I-95 may just be one of the country’s most undervalued and underappreciated highways.
What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida written by Barbara Barnes—“a self-proclaimed road geek and life-long fan of road trips”—is an entertaining read chocked full of history, trivia, geography and geology tales and tidbits to learn and share. For example, did you know that in Aroostook County, Maine (Milepost 260) more potatoes are grown here than in any other part of the country?
How about that along the Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey at approximately Milepost 113, that travelers who choose the eastern spur of the turnpike can see, between exits 15W and 16W, a graffiti-marked hill that started 200,000,000 years ago as molten lava that was forced through existing sandstone? And I certainly had no idea that in Charleston, South Carolina near Milepost 96, that the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 1826 was the inspiration for the name of the plant “Poinsettia” when he first brought them to the U.S.
While travelers may not have time to stop at some of the interesting places mentioned, the guide still acts like its own verbal “rest stop,” enticing passengers to anticipate what’s next and to enjoy fascinating facts during their journey.
What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida, 412-487-7177, www.interestinginterstates.com
The Endless Summer
Author Larry “Jungle” Shortell had me at hello: Without a doubt, to travel and learn things firsthand is the best way to understand the world and our place in it. I hope that others can see the possibilities that open up when one lives life by following his or her dreams, fearing the inability to follow one’s passions rather than fearing death.
For a wanderlust craving girl like me, Shortell’s book—Summers Off: The Worldwide Adventures of a Schoolteacher—speaks volumes. For the past 20-plus years, Shortell has taken full advantage of his summers off from his career as a special education teacher, exploring all 50 states, all seven continents, all of the world’s oceans and more than 80 countries. And, he has circumnavigated the globe twice (so far!).
Some of his adventures are, well, adventurous! He went skydiving in Taupo, New Zealand, the self-proclaimed skydiving capital of the world; enjoyed painful pleasures in Hawaii; and checked out Roman Baths in Great Britain, just to name a few.
His sojourns are quirky, inspiring, contemplative and just plain fun, which makes the book a very informative and entertaining read.
To start at part 1 click here.