There are a lot of reasons to adore Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Sure, you have also had terrible breakups and thought about ditching the real world for a while and eating and drinking your way through exotic lands with waterfalls. And yes, you might have been so inspired Gilbert’s honest and beautiful prose about her own adventures that you thought about writing your own memoir. But your life-changing daydreams don’t have to stop at Eat, Pray, Love. There are plenty of other awe-inspiring tales that sing just like Gilbert’s notorious book.
Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, but all of these books will inspire you to make big (and positive) changes — just like Eat, Pray, Love. Whether you’re finally planning the trip of a lifetime, or you just need a night off from your regular routine, or you’re dealing with the worst break-up ever, these titles will tickle you with encouragement.
‘Down the Nile’ by Rosemary Mahoney
Overcoming obstacles is never an easy feat. Especially for Rosemary Mahoney, a badass lady who takes a solo mission down the Egyptian Nile in a small boat. Not only does she face nearly every possible hurdle along the way, but she overcomes them. This travel narrative is full of adventure, and stars a bold female protagonist.
‘Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy’ by Frances Mayes
After a nasty divorce, Frances Mayes finds herself restoring a old villa in the jaw-dropping beauty of the Tuscan countryside. It’s a heartwarming memoir about overcoming tragedy and fear — and one that will surely make you want to pack your bags and catch the next flight to Italy. Or at least drink lots of wine at home — also fun.
‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ by Robert M. Pirsig
‘Tales of a Female Nomad: Living At Large in the World’ by Rita Golden Gelman
After her children were grown and her marriage dissolved, Rita Gelman set out to live her dream life: Spending the rest of her life traveling to undeveloped countries all over the globe. Since then, this take-charge lady has been doing it for 20 years. According to Gelman, it just takes will and determination.
‘How Starbucks Saved My Life’ by Michael Gates Gill
Sure, Starbucks saves many lives each and every morning — (including mine, and probably yours, too). But in this inspiring book, a former business executive loses his job and then gets a brain tumor. He takes a job at Starbucks and finds a whole new and positive outlook on life. A tale about putting your life back together again, this memoir is a tearjerker.
‘A Year by the Sea’ by Joan Anderson
‘Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure’ by Sarah Macdonald
When journalist Sarah Macdonald took a (terrible) trip to India in her twenties, she thought she’d never return — until an airport palm reader told her that someday she’d return to India for love. And that’s just what happens. A dazzling journey for love that is so inspirational, this memoir will make you question your own life in an incredibly positive way.
‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed
What would it take for you to hike hundreds of miles alone? It took the death of her mother and a fierce determination to find peace for Cheryl Strayed to set out on the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way, Strayed describes a trip that is an emotional and moving experience for any read tagging along this epic journey.
‘Three Weeks with My Brother’ by Nicholas Sparks
Yes, when you think of Nicholas Sparks you think of tear-jerking, gut-wrenching romantic dramas. But this bestselling author set out on a journey with his brother as the only two left in their family. They gallop around the globe on a spiritual journey to check out holy sites, however the trip is really about grief, loss, and love.
‘Now is the Time to Open Your Heart’ by Alice Walker
Finding yourself isn’t always easy, and sometimes it takes a lot of guts, and more importantly, a lot of time. Middle-aged Kate daydreams of cool rivers and picturesque mountains – and she finally gets the courage to ditch her unhappy life heads for the Colorado River. It’s a deeply moving tale of a woman on a spiritual journey and a definite must-read.
‘The Signature of All Things’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
Because you like Elizabeth Gilbert, you will love The Signature of All Things. It’s a fast-paced read that explores the 18th and 19th centuries with a botanist spinster who will become your favorite heroine. This books explores much of the beauty of the natural world, so much so, that you might just dig out your old hiking boots from summer camp.
‘This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage’ by Ann Patchett
What does it mean to be happy? Yeah, we are all trying to figure it out. But Ann Patchett has a pretty good grasp on the moments in her life that have shaped her happiness. In this collection of essays, Patchett reflects on what makes her an artist, a woman, and a person in love. It’s moving and honest – just like Ms. Gilbert.
‘No Place Like Home: A Memoir In 39 Apartments’ by Brooke Berman
Home is where the heart is, right? In this stunning memoir, Brooke Berman sets out to prove just that. She documents her life as she moves around, searching for a home – something we can all relate to.