Conflict photographer, Lynsey Addario, shares a poignant memoir of life in the field as a war correspondent. Elizabeth Gilbert and her uber-popular women’s memoir, Eat Pray Love, follows her journey from Italy to Indonesia as she grapples with divorce and recentering herself. Kathleen Flinn’s hilarious memoir recounts her decision to leave corporate America for culinary school in Paris. Amanda Lindhout details her harrowing kidnapping in Somalia and shares a harrowing tale of survival and hope. Tembi Locke weaves a heart-wrenching tale of love, death, and healing in From Scratch.
Each of these women’s memoirs speaks to the resilience, strength, ambition, and passion of women who dared to step beyond their comfort zones. Whether it’s quitting a job to traverse continents, pursuing a career in war-torn countries, overcoming tragedy through travel, chasing a career dream around the globe, or running away from a wedding, the following women’s memoirs are as inspiring as they are beautiful.
From Scratch By Tembi Locke
From Scratch is a memoir by Tembi Locke that tells a heartfelt and inspiring story of love, loss, and healing. The book chronicles the author’s journey as she navigates the challenges of being a Black American woman who falls in love with an Italian man, Saro, and their life together in Italy. From Scratch beautifully explores the power of love and resilience as Tembi forges a deep connection with her late husband’s Sicilian family, ultimately finding solace, acceptance, and a sense of home in the healing embrace of a tight-knit Italian community.
It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario is a conflict photographer who has captured compelling imagery in war-torn countries around the world. Having exposed violence against women in the Congo and photographed victims of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Addario carved a name for herself in a male-dominated field. In this candid memoir, Addario tells the story of her kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war and details the difficult balance of being a war photographer and a new mother. Her memoir—much like her images—is profound and captivating, from cover to cover.
Call You When I Land by Nikki Vargas
Call You When I Land begins in the jungles of Argentina when Nikki Vargas runs away from her wedding a mere week before the big day. What happens next takes readers on a whirlwind journey around the globe as Vargas chases her dream of becoming a travel writer from Borneo to Buenos Aires, navigates heartbreak and new love, explores family secrets (like an unsolved murder in Colombia), and eventually finds herself back in the jungles of Argentina 10 years later, under very different circumstances. Written by Colombian author and Unearth Women co-founder Nikki Vargas, Call You When I Land is a coming-of-age story that is ultimately a love letter to travel and the many ways it can transform us. This memoir promises to whisk readers away in vivid detail from the wilds of Kenya to the streets of Vietnam.
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett and Holly C. Corbett
With their 30th birthdays just around the corner, three friends (Holly, Jen, and Amanda) embark on a life-changing journey across four continents. Making the decision to quit their corporate jobs, the trio left their comfort zones for a year of hilarious, uplifting self-reflections and adventures. The Lost Girls is a fantastic women’s memoir and travel companion that is sure to inspire serious wanderlust.
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
An instant bestseller, Eat Pray Love follows author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert as she transitions from a depressed divorceé into a strong, independent woman. Choosing to leave everything behind, Gilbert embarks on a year-long journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia to find a balance between pleasure, spirituality, and love. Relatable and awe-inspiring, Eat Pray Love goes far beyond travel and offers timeless life lessons that have made this book a household name in the women’s memoir genre. Eat Pray Love was made into a film starring Julia Roberts, but we recommend reading the book before seeing the
“The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn
If you’ve ever dreamt of quitting your job to become a chef in Paris, then this is the book for you. Unhappy as a middle manager at age 36, Flinn decides to leave the corporate world to attend the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Filled with hilarious anecdotes and sumptuous details of food, this book is a reminder that it’s never too late to make a change and pursue a new passion.
Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunée
Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home is a memoir by author Kim Sunée. The book is a beautifully written narrative that delves into the author’s personal journey of self-discovery, cultural exploration, and culinary passion. Sunée, who was adopted from South Korea and raised in New Orleans, takes readers on a vivid and sensory-rich adventure as she grapples with her identity, her complex relationship with food, and her longing for a sense of home.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
In Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, her powerful memoir explores travel as a means of healing rather than escape. In this story, Strayed makes the impromptu decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail solo while facing the demons of her past and grappling with her mother’s death. Wild is another iconic book in the women’s memoir genre, and for good reason. Strayed’s writing is poignant, inspiring, raw, and—above all—a reminder of our one’s resilience. Wild was made into a fantastic film starring Reese Witherspoon.
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
Amanda Lindhout, who was featured in our first issue, is a beacon of strength, resilience, and survival. After being kidnapped as a young journalist in Somalia, Lindhout had to survive 460 days in captivity. Subjected to torture, rape, beatings, and starvation, Lindhout’s memoir details her life before Somalia as an aspiring journalist, followed by her time spent in captivity. Throughout the memoir, you can’t help but be blown away by the grace, hope, and strength Lindhout demonstrates in the most hopeless of times. A strength that, to this day, she still exhibits. A House in the Sky is an incredible memoir and, rumor has it, a soon-to-be-made
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding By Kristin Newman
The title of this book says it all. Newman’s memoir is cheeky, sassy, funny, and in defense of any woman who opts to travel and chase her career rather than settle down and have a baby. In this memoir—another cult-like favorite in the women’s memoir genre—Newman, who is a television writer for famed sitcoms like “How I Met Your Mother,” shares her adventures and romantic affairs over the past decade. This book is a fast, funny read for any travel-loving woman who is tired of being asked, “When she’ll settle down and have a kid already?”
My What If Year by Alisha Fernandez Miranda
On the brink of her 40th birthday, Alisha Fernandez Miranda has reached the peak of personal and professional success, only to find herself completely exhausted and burnt out. As a mother and CEO, Fernandez Miranda does the unthinkable—she presses pause on her life and decides to spend one year exploring all the dream jobs from her youth. From Broadway to the art world, Fernandez Miranda takes readers on a wild journey in her debut memoir, My What If Year.
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman
Back in 1986, Gelman decided to sell all her belongings and live a nomadic lifestyle. Venturing from a sleepy village in Mexico to beaches in the Galapagos, Gelman details her experience in this colorful memoir. An inspiring read, Tales of a Female Nomad, takes readers on a journey around the world while reminding them that their own dreams are within reach.
Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves
Detailing her life of love and adventure in this memoir, Eaves shares a story that is completely relatable and will validate your every wanderlust whim. Wanderlust is considered a perfect companion for solo travelers. Eaves knows exactly how it feels to be completely overcome by the urge to travel.