Is Ghana Safe For Tourists?

Is Ghana Safe For Travelers? || a tipsy gypsy life #travel #Ghana #Africa…was something I tried to Google before deciding if I was going to make the trip or not. I didn’t know “diddly-squat,” as they say down south, about the country. In fact, I really wasn’t even certain if it was in West Africa or southern Africa elsewhere. There wasn’t much information on the matter and I truly feel it is my obligation to let everyone know the answer to such a pressing question.

Is Ghana safe for tourists?

Yes. Si. Oui. Ja. Can’t think of any other languages so I’ll give a hell yes!

Seriously. You can walk around at 2 a.m. with no streetlights, and not be scared. If you look even remotely distraught, someone will happily figure out how to cure your sadness. Lost? No such thing! Everyone helps each other out.

Ghana has been the only place that I’ve visited and I didn’t feel the need to take a photo of each cab that I hopped into. Any time someone asked for my number, I knew that they wouldn’t harass me. Men don’t whistle at you or try to grab your tush as you walk by.

If you’re uncomfortable with how fast the taxi or tro tro is going just speak up. The nicest aspect was not being made to feel silly when I admitted I was a little scared of going to Ghana all alone.

The Worst Thing That Happened to Me In Ghana Was 100% Preventable…

When I arrived at the airport and tried to go through immigration, the officer realized the address I was given was not a real address. No worries! I have a phone number for the host.

*Le Ring- BEEP BEEP BEEP. WE’RE SORRY, BUT THE PERSON YOU’RE TRYNG-*

I shuffle my papers around with the copy of my yellow fever card (which I did end up having to bribe my way in), address and contact info of my host, and New Lens Travel info, and try to act like I don’t notice how concerned the guard is getting. “One moment, miss.”

*Le Ring- BEEP BEEP BEEP. WE’RE SORRY, BUT THE PERSON YOU’RE TRYNG-*

They knew it was my first time in Ghana and that I was meeting with someone I had met online (yes, really). No worries, I thought, my girl is probably waiting for me outside. 

I let them know that I had someone waiting for me, probably worried since I had gotten held up at the vaccination area for 15 minutes and then another 10 at the immigration place. They happily supplied someone to walk me outside to help me check out where people gather to pick up their visitors. My girl, we shall call her J-Baby, was no where to be found. WEIRD. “She’s got to be here!” I swear.

They shoot each other worried glances.

Don’t forget, I had been traveling for about 30 hours without a shower or so much as a nap. Running into J-Baby’s arms and being whisked to a shower was all I had been fantasizing about for days. But she wasn’t there!

*Shivers nervously as the last passengers in the last flight in for the night waltz past me and lights start turning off*

SHE HAS GOT TO BE HERE! I start twitching. Stinky, sad, and downright HUNGRY, I prayed she would arrive.

20 minutes pass by. Now my concerned immigration crew has grown from one grown-ass man to four grown-ass men and one woman. We continue to search the building while the officers try to look her up on Facebook to contact her.

SHIIIIIT. What if everyone has been right my whole life? What if leaping before I look will ultimately lead to my demise?! What if this was a plot to get me kidnapped at ransomed?!

By now, I’m starting to cry, and whimper, and drop the “f-bomb” enough to make all my angels shake their heads in heaven. Please, I beg. please just let me see her little beautiful face.

Over two hours later, I friggin hate myself for making these wonderful people stay late. I beg to just let me go to a hotel, but they were genuinely concerned for my safety. That amazed me. One last time, I say, we shall check outside.

And of course, there she was, a little frantic because I was surrounded by guards.

What was the issue? She had gotten my flight time wrong. If I had been anywhere else, I would’ve been rejected OR had to deal with sleeping at the airport.


Overall, my biggest advice is to simply trust your gut and listen to the locals. I’ll write soon about my friend getting robbed in Cape Coast and how that was also 100% preventable. 

Remember people, fear is the thief of dreams!

Confession Time: 9 Dumbass Mistakes I’ve Made While Traveling

Confession Time: 9 Dumb-Ass Mistakes I've Made While Traveling #explore #travel || a tipsy gypsy life

What do your friends love about you? Throughout life, I have generally been commended for two things. First, being non-judgemental (usually…). Second, not giving a shit. Generally, these two characteristics benefit me in addition to everyone around me. Yet, there are times it seems as though the laissez-faire attitude bites me in the ass. As they say, one man’s trash in another man’s treasure, so I share these moments that I should be slight embarrassed by in order to prevent you from doing the same damn thing.

1. Not Getting Vaccinations In Time

Well, I’ll actually have to update y’all on this one, since I’m currently on my flight to Ghana as I type. Going on this trip was pretty last minute; I was informed of the opportunity about a month before my flight. Which is today. Of course I knew I’d need a vaccine. I’m not an idiot!… But I am. Apparently you need to get the yellow fever vaccine 10 days prior to arrival or it’s not valid. My options were buying a new ticket for a week later or just showing up, feigning dumb, and offering a bribe.

We’ll see how it goes in 12 hours. 

Don't Make These Rookie Travel Mistakes! #exploremore #travel || a tipsy gypsy life

2. Showing Up At The Airport, Only To Discover I Didn’t Have a Ticket. Twice.

No shit, my heart belongs to Southwest Airlines! One particular trip to my parent’s house in Florida, as a sophomore in college, I had spent a little too much time at my parent’s house. (I’m sure they felt the same way LOL. Love y’all!)  So I hastily booked an unbelievably (this is called foreshadowing, and it works in real life too 😂) cheap flight from Tampa to New Orleans. The next day, I waltz up to the southwest sky hub, enjoying the pleasant breeze, ready for gumbo and grits. “Confirmation number?” “Blahblahblah” *SHIT-EATING GRIN* “Hm… It looks like we don’t have a flight for you today Ms. Huntley. But you do have one next Thursday.”

What. The. Fuck. As my momma says, “They don’t call it dope for no reason.” How baked was I when I booked the flight?!

In my defense, it WAS summer break.

That pleasant breeze that brought me in quickly turned in whirlwind of teenaged fury as I fought back tears imagining another week without smoking bowls in my bed, cupcakes for breakfast, and getting ratchet at the world famous Tiger Land of LSU. Before I had the chance to calculate the cost of a new flight, or burst into tears, the Southwest angel says, “Oh, but don’t worry honey. I can get you on today’s flight, free of charge.”

My story ended wonderfully. Another airline, another day, could be a much different outcome! Double check that ish before you pay. Boss Bitch Tip: In the USA, you legally have 24 hours after purchase to cancel your flight free of charge.

But wait, there’s more! 

 The second time I made this mistake was during my incident with Stockholm Syndrome, (which I actually haven’t written about… Another story for another time…). After a few sober, costly, but memorable days in Stockholm, Paulius and I decided it was time to head for warmer weather.  One morning, after checking Skyscanner, we settled on an unbelievably cheap (are we seeing a pattern yet?) ticket from Stockholm to Paris THAT NIGHT on the last flight out of Stockholm.

Giddy as can be, we roamed around the city all day, and dreamed of macrons and bubbly under the Eiffel Tower. Slightly buzzed, we hop on the Arlanda Tram (swear to G, the name is burnt into my memory), and arrive with over 100 lbs of luggage ready to take on the most romantic city in the world. As we get to the reservations desk, we’re informed there is NO reservation under our confirmation number. They say there are no more tickets. Since it was the last flight, we had to lick our wounds and take the tram ALL the way back into town. When I get wifi, I check my spam folder in my email and there it was, the cancelled reservation. 

Apparently, SkySkanner.com had let me book the tickets, even though there were none available. Be wary of 3rd party airline reservations and ALWAYS double check your spam for important information!

check your spam before you head to the airport || Don't make these travel mistakes! #explore #travel

 

3. Getting My Passport Snatched (and then returned)

I’ve written about this story in full, right here. But, in a nutshell, this is what happened. My last night in Rome with my best frand started out with over a dozen (no liee) tequila shots and ended with me verbally threatening the Roman Polizia in Spanish. Proudest moment? Nah. Lowest moment? Not even close.

Why one tipsy gypsy WON'T drink before international flights anymore... #wanderlust #travel #confession

4. Overpacking in Europe (sorry babe).

After my first tour in Europe, (uh, yeah, we do consider it a tour-Tour de Survival) I swore up and down I would NOT over-pack. Fast-forward to 2014. It was during our honeymoon-even-though-we-are-not-married extravaganza. I thought I was being helpful by packing a carry-on sized suitcase. Key word, thought. Unfortunately, this “carry-on size” was just a ploy created by T.J. Maxx, and my suitcase rang in at 60 lbs at the airport.

Sorry, babe.

In my defense (another familiar tale in this girl’s world) I didn’t expect him to carry it. The whole time. You might be thinking, “Bitch, get a suitcase with wheels.” And my response is, “Bitch, have you ever been to Europe?!” Stairs. Bricks. Cobblestone. Brick bridges. Elevators- HA! Jokes.

It’s not my fault I have a man’s man. Watching him lug my shit up as many as 10 flights of stairs in the Mediterranean summer was painful. But carrying it would be much worst. Boss bitch tip: never bring more than a carry-on. You can buy what you need when you get there.

 Don't Make These Rookie Mistakes: Overpacking for Europe #travel #explore

 

 

5. Getting A Terrible Airbnb Rating.

FML. This is a little bit embarrassing because I’m generally pretty aware of when I’m being offensive. Which feels like all the time BUT ANYWAYS….

Our first AirBnB rating was, no joke, 2 stars. WHATTHEFACK. But we didn’t steal anything! But we didn’t defecate in the bed! But-but-but-buttttttt- we totally deserved it. 

What did we do wrong? A few things.

  1. We showed up late. In my defense (I gotta get over defending myself, huh?) we thought we’d be arriving much earlier, but I ended up having to check my bag on the last leg of my flight. She had been waiting for over an hour.
  2. We slept in both beds. When we rented the room, it was listed as a 3-bed place. I was a little surprised to find out that the renter locked off one of the bedrooms, while the other two were out in the open studio. So we *ahem* rendezvoused in the two open beds. In retrospect, it would probably be ideal to only mess up one bed for the owner to clean up after.
  3. We didn’t give a proper cleaningIn all honesty, I can’t tell you how the apartment was left. We had a 6 a.m. flight after four days of partying in AMSTERDAM. Did we throw away food? Yes. Did we wipe down the counters? Probably not. Assholes. 

My advice? Treat it like you would a good friends place. Not a best friend though, that will lead to low ratings, as I have mentioned.

Don't make these rookie travel mistakes #explore #wanderlust

6. Almost Getting Arrested in Chicago.

Whether it’s at age 14 or 41, I can pretty much guarantee you will smoke de herbs at least once in your life. Heed my advice on this one- just because it’s permitted, doesn’t mean it’s welcome! Case in point, Chicago, New Year’s Eve, age 22.

The funniest part of the whole story is the last thing my mum said to me before I got on the flight, “Be nice and don’t get arrested!”

It was myself, three bad bitches, and one boyfriend. As we prepare for the night out in our GORGEOUS 3-bedroom suite, it came as a group necessity to smoke a blunt. It’s decriminalized in Chicago. We’ll be totally fine, right? WRONG.

About 3/4 through the blunt, an alarming *BANG BANG BANG* came from the door. Mind you, not only are we almost a blunt deep, we had been slamming whiskey since about 8 a.m that morning. So I really don’t think much of it when I peak over my shoulder and notice it’s a hotel worker. We’ll put it out- no big deal, right?

WRONG

Less than a minute after we say goodbye to the hotel employee, a much more furious BANGBANGBANGBANG followed by, “Chicago PD, OPEN UP!” FuckersssssWe scramble, trying to flush what we can down the toilet. BANGBANGBANGBANG as the last of the adderal swirls down the porcelain teammate.

WHOOSH! A few cops swarm in, screaming, “What else do you have up here?!” (umm, nothing, it’s swirling down the pipes of Chicago). We all stood by, jaws on the floor, as they proceeded to flip all of our beds over and search the room.

Finally, being the brilliant lawyer I am *eye-roll*, I say, “Isn’t weed decriminalized here?”

I’ll spare you the exasperated response from the cop, but one very good point she (Yes, she. Ms. Officer, Ms. Officer, know ya wish ya name was Mizzus Carter, huh?) made was the fact that we were NOT on our own private property. What we didn’t realize was that the hotel was so old that while we were sitting on the central A/C unit blowing down, the weed smoke was wafting into every single hotel on our floor. She recommended we use some type of perfume from then on out.

We didn’t get arrested. But I did get a $250 charge for smoking in the room.

Don't Make These Rookie Travel Mistakes: Almost Getting Arrested in Chicago || a tipsy gypsy life

7. The Time I Should’ve Gotten Kicked Out of a Hostel With April

One theme that runs rampant at A Tipsy Gypsy Life is traveling without expectations. For example, we didn’t expect the city of Venice to shut down at 8 p.m. We didn’t expect the markets to close as well. We definitely didn’t expect to down two bottles of vino rioja each without anything in our stomachs.

The third to last thing I remember was April facetiming her dad, YES HER FKING FATHER, and his response being, “You seem a little sick. You should probably go to bed.” Translated, “Bitch, you wasted. Have some dignity and sleep it off.”

But we didn’t.

The second to last thing I recall is April hanging out of our 4th floor hostel window, titties out, screaming for attention. Literally shirtless, torso out of the window, shaking them money-makers. Mind you, this girl doesn’t even flash during Mardi Gras. It was a shit-show.

The last thing I remember is April and I showing two girls from Wisconsin how to catch the wall, also known as “Express Yourself.”  Yeah. Exactly. Oh, don’t know what that is? It’s essentially doing a handstand against the wall whilst simultaneously thrusting about. It’s wayyy cooler than it sounds. Or is it? You tell me! 

What happened between these three memories is a mixture of accidentally blurry recollections and repression. It ended with both of the beds in our private room getting broken, toe smudges on the wall, and an argument with a hateful Yankee. Very glad HostelWorld doesn’t have user ratings.

 Don't Make These Rookie Travel Mistakes #hostel #explore #travel

8. Walked Out On a Check… Or We Were Robbed. 

A true friend is one who never ever ever makes you drink alone, right? April is that friend. And Rome is one of those charming towns that calls for red wine all damn day. By 3 in the afternoon, you are expected to be a little buzzed. Ever the over-achievers, April and I were SLAMMED long before then on a fateful June afternoon. We were laughing, doing lemon shots, swimming in pasta for what seemed like hours.

Honestly, I have no idea WTF happened, but this is what I remember.

  • I excuse myself to the bathroom located downstairs.
  • I walk back upstairs.
  • April is gone. In Rome.
  • I frantically run out of the restaurant.
  • THANK GOD I spot her about 10 yards down the road, sitting on the corner, with three men standing over her.
  • I SPRINT over to her, thinking something is wrong.
  • These three men claim they are from the restaurant and we didn’t pay.
  • April is SWEARING up and down that she left the Euros on the table.
  • If there is one thing this girl doesn’t do, it’s be cheap. There is no WAY in hell she would’ve intentionally dined and dashed. Or me!
  • We didn’t speak Italian, and they didn’t speak English.
  • We screamed at each other until a crowd gathered.
  • Broke down and paid them (possibly an additional) 40 euros.

Truly, I pray that I was actually right, because I was LIVID over this. May or may not have been making a scene claiming that my military family would swoop down and MAKE THEM PAY FOR THEIR TOM FOOLERY. Lolz. Hopefully I never accidentally stumble into that restaurant again.

don't make these travel mistakes || a tipsy gypsy life #explore #travel

9. We Went To The Wrong Airport.

Flash back to July 2015. My main squeeze, referred to as Titty, (yes, that is her nickname derived from the original nickname TT) and I were about to leave Bangkok for an easy, simple flight to Chiang Mai, right?

Wrong.

We squeeze into the cab, an hour and 30 minutes before departure. We should arrive just-in-time, about 35 minutes before. Well, well, well, we actually got there 35 minutes until take off, pure brilliance. Titty has all of her belongings in tow. Seriously. She sold all of what she could, kept what she couldn’t live without, and traveled the world. Read all of her adventures right here.

We scan the departure board.

Weird. Don’t see ours up there. Maybe we got it wrong.

Weird. They don’t even HAVE flights to Chiang Mai with AirAsia today.

FACK.

Titty whips her little beautiful head around, and screeches, “We’re at the wrong airport!” 

It’s on like Donkey Kong, the massive comeback of plastic choker necklaces (didn’t ya’ll have those as kids?!), and everything else in-between. We made it on time, after paying a cabby nearly double fare to allegedly speed through the speedlight tickets. I’ve gone into a little detail here on the matter.  We ended up making our flight, drenched in sweat and broke as a joke. 

Boss Bitch Tip: Always double check the airport location. Totally worth it. 

Don't Make These Rookie Travel Mistakes: Showing Up At The Wrong Airport #travel #explore

Honestly, I’m sure there are more hidden deep in my repressed memory. But now it’s your turn! What’s the biggest rookie mistake you have made while traveling?

No Travel Plans? No Worries! 10 Wanderlust-Worthy Instagrams To Cure The Travel Bug

10 wanderlust worthy Instagrams #explore #travel || a tipsy gypsy life

Ah the summer slump. When I first started traveling as an undergraduate student, I could squeeze out the country for a decent amount of time, to say the least. It started out as five weeks at a time, and as I get older, the trip gets shorter. This August, I’ll be spending hardly three weeks in Ghana. Patiently waiting for my trip has been made much easier by my favorite guilty pleasure, Instagram. Although us millennials are often berated for our choice in constantly recording and reporting to our peers, I fully believe social media can be utilized for positivity.  Other than the classic @natgeo and @blacktigerwhitejaguar, there are plenty of Instagram accounts that I can’t get enough of. And why should I hoard them?

Here are my current Top 10 Wanderlust-Worthy Instagram Accounts.

@rclayton // This cutie pie has a thing for pink, unique houses, and graffiti. Anytime I need a little pick-me-up, her insta is the first one I run to. 

@emitoms // Ugh, yeah. Can’t get enough of this West coast glory! She has a unique way of making you feel like you’re right there with her AND makes your bucket-list a little bit bigger. 

@travelalphas // This was legitimately my first favorite travel blog! Maddy and Mauricio are a travel-obsessed couple that provide excellent tips and stunning photos. 

@thirdeyeguide // So this gal is traveling Australia while living in and out of her car and documenting the whole thing! Massive landscapes and creative shots keep me coming back. 

🌈😍🏡the most colorful #happyhousedreams I ever did see!!🏡😍🌈

A photo posted by 🍦💖Sophie Loghman 🌈🎀 (@sophlog) on

@sophlog // Sophie is a constant source of smiles and colors. This account is perfect when looking for some summer party inspiration. 

@thejessicajourney // Always bouncing between bustling cities and pristine beaches, Jessica really knows how to make the most of life. And she’s absolutely as sweet as can be. How do I know? I met her at the Women in Travel Summit!

Is anyone else as obsessed with succulents as I am? I'm still dreaming of this pretty sight spotted in Mexico City 💚💙💜

A photo posted by Kelly | The Wandering Blonde (@thewanderingblonde_) on

@thewanderingblonde_ // The best part about Kelly’s Instagram is the constant influx of greens, purples, and blues. It’s sort of a mermaid vibe with an urban flair. Can’t forget to mention how AMAZING her nature shots are! Okay, I may really like this one. 

@shona_vertue // Not only is she a fitness queen, she takes the most gorgeous photos in all types of crazy, bendy positions. Doesn’t hurt that Shona is absolutely adorable. 

New Orleans showing off its Caribbean roots. Who's ready for a ride back in time? Photo: @hopandjaunt #followyournola

A photo posted by Visit New Orleans (@visitneworleans) on

@followyournola // A perfect collection of all things New Orleans, Louisiana. You already know I have a little bit of a crush on my old home. Feel free to ask for any advice if you ever get the chance to visit!

@blackgirlstraveltoo // As much as I enjoy lurking on extravagant lifestyles of gals that look like me, because I can imagine my ass there, this account is a wonderful dose of humanity. We’re not all the same, and that’s what makes the world so beautiful. 

Now it’s your turn. Who are your favorite Instagrammers? Are there any other apps that help cure the travel bug?

My First Voluntourism Trip to Africa… I’m Ghana Miss Y’all

my first trip to Africa... I'm Ghana Miss Y'all! #travel #explore

Things have been a little quiet around A Tipsy Gypsy Life, and for good reason. I didn’t want to spoil a surprise that I wasn’t certain was going to happen! This year, I promised I would personally explore a legitimate voluntourism venture and report back to my little spot on the interwebz, but with less than a month to get vaccines, a visa, and international bank transfers, I had my doubts. Before the drumroll, let’s catch up a little. 

Where Have I Been This Summer?

After my exhilarating trip to Hawaii, I spent some time over in the scorching Southeastern U.S.  First, I had the opportunity to watch my cousin get his Eagle Scout award in Tri-Cities, Tennessee. It was such a lovely party and needless to say, I was beyond proud of his accomplishments. Tri-Cities is a gorgeous little area in Eastern Tennessee that comprises of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol. The communities are nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a stunning little portion of the Appalachian Mountains. If you make it over, be sure to get in camping and a visit to Dollywood, located a little under 2 hours drive away.

After Tennessee, I went straight to St. Petersburg for a few days of rest and relaxation. While visiting my hometown, I had to stop by the gem of the city- the Dali Museum. The collection never ceases to amaze, and the new building is the perfect setting for a post-tour rosé. I highly recommend grabbing the free audio tour- Dali had a mind worth exploring.

Last but definitely not least, I popped by New Orleans for a few days of sunshine and comfort food. No matter where I travel to, waltzing around the French Quarter on a Saturday is still one of my favorite past-times. Of course I had my favorite dish, pecan-crusted gulf fish, and a monsoon (or two). If you get the chance to visit, be sure to get at least a few of the city’s best drinks. Not much of a drinker? No worries, the food is what keeps people crawling back, anyways.

And the whole time I was worried because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make my trip to (drumroll please)….

Ghana in August!

As we’ve discussed once or twice, voluntourism is a little like U.S. lawyers- it’s either really, really good or really, really bad. Good intentions can so easily be twisted to long-term negative impacts, like displacing locals from jobs. A wonderful documentary I highly recommend is “Poverty, Inc.” The film offers a staggeringly honest look into the industries that have fueled the global poverty cycle.

Luckily, I put it out in the universe that I really really really wanted this voluntourism experience in August, and of course, you always get what you expect. From August 3-23, I’ll be working with local media professionals in Accra, Ghana to make a portfolio as part of New Lens Travel. Not only does the fee go to the expert leading the individual session, it also funds a youth newspaper. As of now, I’m between a blog editor, head of news at a radio station, and the creator of an online satirical publication. I’m ready to learn a thing or two.

While I’m in Ghana, I’ll be posting about everything I can get my hands on, from food, to nightclubs (yes, they have a rocking nightlife!), to nature explorations. If there’s anything you want to know about Accra, let me know and I will scope it out. That’s what travelers do, yeah?

Fun Facts About Ghana

I’m not going to lie, I knew literally NOTHING about Ghana prior to hooking up with the founder of New Lens Travel. Here are just a few of the things that excited me about the trip. 

They Speak English!

My Spanish is “get by-able” but not comfortably conversational. And any other languages? Maybe one day. But not today. And tomorrow doesn’t look too good either.  Although I love the feeling of disorientation in a new country, creating a legitimate media portfolio might be a little difficult if I can’t communicate! I’ve been told Ghana is a perfect entry country for a first-time visitor to Africa, but each community in each country is extremely unique. How unique? Ghana’s official language may be English, but they have over 250 additional languages and dialects!

Chocolate Galore.

Everyone has their weaknesses, and mine is definitely chocolate. I’ll shamelessly eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I thoroughly believe at least 30% of my joy in life comes from chocolate. And just my luck, West Africa produces significantly more cocoa than the rest of the world. And most importantly? Ghana is the number 2 exporter world wide. Unfortunately, the country gets a measly portion of the $100 billion industry. I’m planning on visiting a cocoa farm, time-willing, in hopes of supporting a legitimate, slave-free cocoa production and learning the tricks of the trade getting to know the people who make my favorite treat.

The Capital City Is On The Coast.

Y’all already know I’m a little mermaid! Even though I am *slightly* nervous about hanging out on a beach when I know it tends to be the target of plenty of terrorists attacks. As I’ve said before, I really am a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to traveling, but that’s why we do it… Right? Not only do the beaches mean sunbathing and swimming, but the tropical weather makes for perfectly plump fruit like mangoes!

How has your summer been? If you’re not in this hemisphere, how’s the weather down there?

10 Perfectly Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights

10 Mesmerizing Books Perfect  for Long Flights || a tipsy gypsy life #explore #travel #traveltips

Not having anything to read on a flight is my personal hell. Even worse is getting pumped up for a book only to get 5 pages in, realize the prose is terrible, and spend the entire 5-hour flight flipping through SkyMall whilst fighting back tears of regret. But I won’t let that shit happen to you! When searching for a book to travel with (or download), I generally look for a few specific things. Unless it was recommended, the book I choose must pass at least one of the following stipulations-

  • Under 150 pages
  • Has a reflection component
  • Transports me to another land
  • Easy to start and stop
  • Divided into short sections (or collection of short stories)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe || 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

SHIVER! This book literally changed my life when I was 15 years old. I would highly advise not doing any research on this book and jumping right in. The most important part of the story is breathtaking if you aren’t expecting it. Even if you are a snoopy little beotch, the novel is full of unexpected twists. The effects of globalization and different cultures clashing is essential to understand for travelers!

 

 

 

Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

Finished this book in a few hours- it was that good.  The prose is so beautifully written and intricate, it could make a grown man weep. You can almost feel the Columbian sun on your shoulders and the damp floors of the dungeon. Marquez never fails to transport you to another world. The story itself is a little intense, with themes of pedophila (for lack of a better word) and religious infidelities. 

 

 

Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

SO strangely interesting. More like a poem than a novel, the text has a little historical context. Inspired by the Greek myth of Geryon and the Tenth Labor of Herakles, the story revolves around three gay men in Argentina. I don’t want to give it away but I will say the best part is how damn poetic the whole thing is. There is also a crazy love triangle that is slightly hard to decipher. Keeps you wondering. 

 

Four-Hour-Workweek by Tim Ferris

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

Okay, this guy is a legitimate legend. Talk about inspiring! I’m very into the whole alternative lifestyle, as in, there is no way in hell I’m sitting in a cubicle from 9:00-5:00 Monday-Friday. That just ain’t me, and it never has been. Even if you have no desire to quit your job, you really should read this book. He gives excellent time-management and prioritizing advice. Upgrade your life, love!

 

Animal Farm by George Orwell

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

If you haven’t read this by now, stop what your doing and pick this book up! I might be a nerd, but this is one of the novels I will re-read every few years just to get a reminder of what a damn good story is. The writing is simple enough to transport the heavy topic of communism, and it’s short enough that you’d be able to finish it on a long flight.

 

 

 

 

 

#GIRLBOSS By Sophia Amoruso

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

To me, flying is a wonderful way to disconnect with the world and reconnect with yourself. What better way to do this than by getting in touch with your inner boss bitch? Amoruso has a ton of honest, realistic advice and hilarious stories of how she got where she is today. She’s an inspiration to me because she had a million dollars cash from her business before she even went to the bank. Care about the job and the money will find you faster than the guy at the bar who already bought you three drinks.  Did I mention she’s the founder of Nasty Gal? Oh yeah. She a bad one. 

 

 

 

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

You are a bad ass || 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

Not sure how the world feels about “Self-Help” books, but I am a HUGE fan of personal development. Why the hell wouldn’t you want to be the best you that you can be?! Broken down into digestible chapters, she has basically taken centuries of knowledge and condensed it into modern language. Like really modern language. This lady is painfully hilarious and hits it home on pretty much every single point she makes. Great for anyone who is a little travel-shy and wants to bust out of that shell.

 

 

 

 

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

This Is How You Lose Her || 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

Swear to G, this man will go down as the voice of our generation. Okay, he might be considered the generation above, but don’t let that stop you from devouring some of the best literature of our time. Diaz manages to provide painfully realistic love and life stories in a few pages. Although the stories are technically short essays, they all end up intertwining at the end. My stomach was in knots, tears of joy fell, and I gasped enough to have the person next to me ask if something was wrong. F’kin amazing book. 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

Actually had the pleasure of reading this book during my (mostly) solo trip to Europe. If you have a habit of slightly embarrassing yourself, this one will make you feel as graceful as Queen B herself. One woman reflects on her hilarious journey from a small town in Texas to a semi-successful blogging career and adulthood. Very light-hearted.

 

 

 

 

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

|| 10 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights #travel #explore

DOUBLE SHUDDER! Another killer collection of short stories by a voice of our time. Sherman Alexie, a Native American poet and writer, does an unreal job at transporting you to the USA’s reservations. Some scenes are gut-wrenchingly sad, but with every stab to the heart, Alexie heals with insight into human nature. You’ll know my favorite story when he talks about his mom doing the rain-dance. 

What’s your favorite travel book? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?