How to travel in 2022: 12 books to make you rethink the way you explore the world

Getting on a plane is a professional hazard for the eco-conscious travel writer – the carbon-spurting elephant in the room addressed by Helen Coffey, who travels as far as she can in the name of journalism, all without boarding a single flight. Rather than narrowing her spectrum of experience and understanding of the world, Helen’s forays into unknown regions by train, car, ship, and bicycle provide an exhilarating opportunity for adventure. Follow her as she meets climate experts and activists from around the world, and take notes as she offers practical advice on how to travel while keeping your feet on the ground.

Richard Hammond, the founder of the Green Traveler website, was a pioneer in eco-travel, championing sustainable yet exciting ways to explore the world. His new book examines how green travel has developed over the past few decades and the crucial role it plays in the future of our planet. Packed with practical advice to inspire adventure, it’s a handbook to help you navigate tricky terminology, avoid greenwash, and plan your next trip with reviews of everything from the best off-the-grid accommodations to campsites accessible by public transport and places where you can get involved in exciting citizen science projects.

Traveling from Monaco to Berkshire and far beyond, travel writer Tim Hannigan asks the big questions of the genre. What about the uncomfortable colonial connections of travel writing? Where is the line between reality and fiction? He delves into the diaries of canonical authors such as Wilfred Thesiger and Patrick Leigh Fermor, discusses the time he enjoyed a beer and words of wisdom with the late Dervla Murphy, and gains candid insight from famous scribes such as Colin Thubron, Samanth Subramanian, Kapka Kassabova and William Dalrymple. Despite some disconcerting discoveries, Hannigan’s love of travel writing lives on.

David George Haskell is the author of 2021 Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree: Getting to Know Trees Through the Language of Smell. His new book matches our sense of hearing with a globe-trotting journey through time. Exploring everything from rainforests that vibrate with the sounds of insects to swamps pulsing with the calls of frogs, Haskell sheds light on the creative powers of evolution – how species learn to adapt through calls, songs and sounds. It takes us to threatened forests, noisy oceans and noisy streets to show how vital sound diversity is for the survival of our planet.

Shortlisted for a host of writing awards over the past year and winner of two Sunday time writing prize in 2022, including that of young writer of the year, this travelogue invites us to explore a post-human world. Visiting places as eerie as Chernobyl, the mining regions of Scotland and volcano-scarred Caribbean destinations, the Scottish Highland-born writer explores the world’s abandoned places – ghost towns, exclusion zones and no man’s land – and depicts an unflinching, if ultimately optimistic, life, a picture of what happens when nature is allowed to take its place.

British identities and their place in our landscapes is another area ripe for exploration, as seen in books such as Jini Reddy’s Feted, land of wandering. This 2021 release follows the journey of Anita Sethi who, after being racially abused, decides to cross the Pennines – the “backbone of Britain” – in a bid to reclaim the natural landscapes of the north and to expel the overwhelming sense of claustrophobia, anxiety and panic attacks induced by racial hatred. The resulting travelogue is a heartfelt examination of identity and how it shapes and is shaped by the landscape and cultures we pass through.

An inspiring guide to traveling the world sustainably, via journeys that eschew winged transport in favor of enticing experiences like backcountry bike rides, sailing trips, short trail jaunts of vintage iron and incredible intercontinental journeys. Filled with practical advice on everything from travel planning to budgeting, Gregg suggests new ways to explore well-known places, as well as itineraries that include lesser-known destinations, activities and experiences, all of which encourage us to make travel an essential part of the adventure. .

This book focuses on the best places to ride the rails via 30 themed routes where you can hop on and off at will. Via eye-catching itinerary categories, which include Alpine Ambles, Ski Escapes, Wine-Fueled Wanders and Chocolate, Cheese and Carb Delights, Wilson-Powell – founder of sustainable lifestyle magazine Pebble – explores everything from Europe’s best wineries and the burgeoning culture of artisan food producers to alpine ski resorts striving to do things sustainably. Along the way, she finds plenty of spots to take in some of the continent’s most awe-inspiring scenery, either on foot or lying in the comfort of a train carriage.

At Nanjala Nyabola A collection of in-depth essays asks tough questions: What’s it like to move around in a world designed to limit and exclude you? How are black lives impacted by the legacy of colonial cultures? What can travel tell us about our sense of identity, belonging, belonging and identity? His stories, drawn from journeys as far afield as Nepal, Botswana, Sicily and Nairobi, offer shocking and sometimes very humorous answers.

Nominated for several awards over the past two years, Hussain’s travelogue focuses on the Western Balkans, exploring the history and culture of Europe’s largest indigenous Muslim population. Starting from his home in London, the writer explores a region where Islam has shaped places and people for more than half a millennium, painting the picture of a hidden Europe, a place where marginalized cultures coexist. He meets blonde-haired, blue-eyed Muslims, visits mystical Islamic mountain lodges, and prays in mosques older than the Sistine Chapel.

Mike Unwin’s Avian Tour shines a light on our relationship with the natural world, revealing how much our feathered friends mean to us, inspiring myth, national pride and even scientific discovery. The book gives a platform to every bird with a story to tell, from the sociable weaver bird, which builds multi-nest “apartment buildings” in Namibia, to the bar-headed goose in China, which performs twice a year a trans-Himalayan crossing. travel at extreme altitude. Accompanied by exquisite illustrations, these pages make for beautiful nature trips in an armchair.

Saladino spans the globe, revealing the hidden stories of the food we eat, including the foods we risk losing entirely. From a tiny purple pear in the West of England, to a fermented lamb dish that’s a delicacy in the Faroe Islands, to corn blast in Mexico, thousands of our most interesting foods risk being lost amid a deluge of readily available, mass-produced alternatives. Ironically, it is this endangered culinary heritage that may well hold the key to our culinary future. Celebrating the biodiversity of cultures, Saladino meets the pioneer farmers, scientists, cooks, food producers and indigenous communities who preserve food traditions and fight for change.

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Colin L. Johnson