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The 28 Most Empowering Books All Female Travelers Should Read – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Gertie Larson



Traveling is an incredible journey that allows us to explore new places, immerse ourselves in different cultures, and create memories that last a lifetime. For female travelers, it can be an especially empowering experience. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or traveling with friends, books can serve as a valuable source of inspiration, guidance, and empowerment.


In this article, we have curated a list of the 28 most empowering books that all female travelers should read. These books cover a range of genres, from travel memoirs to self-help books, and they are sure to ignite your wanderlust, broaden your horizons, and motivate you to embark on your own adventures.


In the following sections, we will dive into different categories of books that are specifically tailored to meet the needs and interests of female travelers. From stories of women who have ventured solo, to accounts of female explorers who defied societal norms, to books that focus on personal growth and cultural understanding, these recommendations are designed to empower and inspire you on your journey.


Whether you’re seeking practical advice for solo travel, historical perspectives on women’s travel, or simply stories that fill you with courage and determination, these books have you covered. So, pack your bags, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the world of empowering literature for female travelers.


Section 1: Books for Solo Female Travelers

Embarking on a solo adventure can be both exhilarating and daunting. These books offer valuable insights, tips, and inspiration for women who are planning or considering traveling alone.

  1. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed: This memoir follows Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone, navigating both physical and emotional challenges. It’s a powerful story of self-discovery and resilience.
  2. “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert: Elizabeth Gilbert takes readers on a transformative journey through Italy, India, and Bali. This memoir explores the themes of self-discovery, spirituality, and finding balance in life.
  3. “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle: While not specifically targeted at solo female travelers, this memoir offers a delightful glimpse into a year in the life of an expat woman living in the French countryside. It’s a humorous and insightful read.
  4. “Atlas of Remote Islands” by Judith Schalansky: This beautifully illustrated book takes readers to 50 remote islands around the world. It’s a unique exploration of solitude and the allure of undiscovered places.
  5. “The Yellow Envelope” by Kim Dinan: Kim Dinan and her husband set off on a round-the-world trip with only one yellow envelope containing a limited sum of money. This book chronicles their journey and the lessons they learn about trust and letting go.

These books are not only inspiring and motivational but also provide practical advice and insights into the joys and challenges of traveling solo as a woman. Whether you’re embarking on a short getaway or a long-term adventure, these books will empower you to step out of your comfort zone and create unforgettable experiences.


Section 2: Books on Women’s Travel History and Adventure

Throughout history, women have defied societal norms and embarked on daring adventures around the globe. These books bring to light the incredible stories of female explorers and provide a glimpse into women’s travel history.

  1. “The Unbeaten Track” by Laura Ennor: This book showcases the remarkable stories of 50 women who have ventured off the beaten path and made a significant impact on the world of adventure travel. From mountaineers to explorers, their stories will inspire and captivate you.
  2. “A Woman’s World” by Marybeth Bond: In this collection of travel essays, Marybeth Bond shares stories of women who have overcome obstacles and embraced their passion for travel. From backpacking through Europe to exploring remote corners of the world, these women prove that adventure knows no bounds.
  3. “Wanderlust: A History of Women Travelers” by Elizabeth Hansen: This comprehensive book takes readers on a journey through the history of women’s travel, from the early pioneers to the modern-day globetrotters. It explores how travel has impacted women’s lives and shaped their identities.
  4. “Freewheeling: A Taste of European Cycling” by Catherine Gray: Catherine Gray takes readers on a cycling adventure across Europe, sharing her experiences, challenges, and the empowering moments that come with solo travel. This book is a celebration of the freedom and joy that can be found on two wheels.
  5. “The Only Woman in the Room” by Eileen Pollack: In this memoir, Eileen Pollack reflects on her experiences as a woman in male-dominated fields of science and academia, including her travels to Antarctica. It’s a compelling exploration of gender dynamics and the pursuit of adventure.

These books shed light on the remarkable journeys and achievements of women throughout history, reminding us of the courage and resilience exhibited by female adventurers. They showcase the rich tapestry of women’s travel history and serve as a testament to the important role women have played in shaping the world of exploration.


Section 3: Books on Female Empowerment and Inspiration

Female empowerment is a powerful force that fuels the spirit of adventure and encourages women to embrace their unique strength and capabilities. These books delve into the idea of female empowerment and provide inspiration for women to tap into their full potential.

  1. “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert: In this transformative book, Elizabeth Gilbert explores the creative process and encourages readers to live a life driven by curiosity and passion. It’s a powerful reminder that we all have the ability to create and pursue our dreams.
  2. “Brave, Not Perfect” by Reshma Saujani: Reshma Saujani challenges the notion of perfectionism and encourages women to embrace bravery and take risks. This book is a rallying cry for women to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their ambitions.
  3. “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown: Brené Brown explores the idea of vulnerability and resilience, showing readers how to rise strong from setbacks and navigate through life’s challenges. It’s an empowering book that encourages women to embrace their imperfections and grow from them.
  4. “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown: In this book, Brené Brown delves into the power of vulnerability and the importance of embracing imperfections. It’s a transformative read that encourages women to let go of their fear of judgment and live wholeheartedly.
  5. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg: Sheryl Sandberg explores the barriers that hold women back in the workplace and offers practical advice for women to lean into their careers and take charge of their professional lives. It’s a book that empowers women to unleash their full potential.

These books provide guidance, inspiration, and practical tools for women to tap into their inner power and embrace their unique abilities. They encourage women to challenge societal norms, pursue their passions, and live their lives authentically and fearlessly.


Section 4: Books on Self-Discovery and Reinvention

Traveling often goes hand in hand with self-discovery and the opportunity for personal growth. These books delve into the realm of self-discovery and reinvention, offering insights and inspiration for women seeking to find themselves on their journeys.

  1. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: This beloved novel follows a young shepherd’s journey in search of his personal legend. It’s a timeless tale that speaks to the universal desire for purpose and self-discovery.
  2. “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert: Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir takes readers on a journey of self-discovery as she travels through Italy, India, and Bali. It’s a book that explores the themes of love, spirituality, and finding balance in life.
  3. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz: In this spiritual guidebook, Don Miguel Ruiz shares powerful principles for personal growth and freedom. It offers a roadmap to transform self-limiting beliefs and create a life aligned with authenticity and happiness.
  4. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle: Eckhart Tolle explores the concept of living in the present moment and how it can bring about profound transformation. This book offers insights and practices to help readers tap into their inner wisdom and find inner peace.
  5. “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert: Elizabeth Gilbert encourages readers to embrace their creativity and overcome the fears that hold them back from pursuing their passions. It’s a book that inspires women to live a life led by curiosity and creative expression.

These books invite readers to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, reminding women that they have the power to create the lives they desire. They offer insights, guidance, and inspiration to help women tap into their inner selves and uncover their true potential.


Section 5: Books on Cultural Understanding and Perspectives

One of the greatest joys of travel is the opportunity to immerse oneself in different cultures and gain new perspectives. These books explore the richness and diversity of cultures around the world, offering insights and fostering a deeper understanding of the places we visit.

  1. “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner: Eric Weiner’s humorous and thoughtful book takes readers on a global journey in search of happiness. Through his experiences in various countries, he offers insights into the cultural factors that contribute to happiness.
  2. “In the Land of Invisible Women” by Qanta A. Ahmed: In this memoir, Qanta Ahmed shares her experiences as a Muslim woman living and working in Saudi Arabia. Her story offers a unique perspective on the culture, traditions, and challenges faced by women in the region.
  3. “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts: This epic novel tells the story of a man who escapes from an Australian prison and finds himself living in the slums of Mumbai, India. Through his experiences, the book provides a glimpse into the vibrant and complex culture of India.
  4. “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton: Alain de Botton explores the philosophical and cultural aspects of travel, reflecting on the ways in which our experiences shape our understanding of the world. It’s a thought-provoking book that invites readers to see travel as a means of personal growth and discovery.
  5. “Notes from a Small Island” by Bill Bryson: Bill Bryson, an American writer, takes readers on a humorous journey through Britain. With wit and charm, he offers insights into British culture, history, and idiosyncrasies.

These books open our eyes to the beauty and complexity of different cultures, allowing us to develop a deeper appreciation for the world around us. They encourage us to embrace cultural diversity and seek meaningful connections as we embark on our travels.


Section 6: Books on Personal Growth and Mindset

Traveling presents an excellent opportunity for personal growth and self-reflection. These books dive into the realm of personal development, offering insights, strategies, and mindset shifts that can enhance our journeys and transform our lives.

  1. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey: This timeless classic explores seven powerful habits that can help individuals lead more fulfilling and purpose-driven lives. It offers practical advice for personal growth, goal-setting, and effective communication.
  2. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck: Carol Dweck examines the power of mindset and how our beliefs about intelligence and abilities shape our personal and professional lives. This book encourages readers to develop a growth mindset and embrace challenges and failures as opportunities for growth.
  3. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg: Charles Duhigg delves into the science behind habits and explores how we can shape our behavior and transform our lives through the power of habit formation. It offers practical strategies and insights that can lead to positive change.
  4. “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero: This self-help book offers a refreshing and humorous approach to personal development. Jen Sincero encourages readers to let go of self-doubt and embrace their inner power. It’s a book that inspires women to live boldly and unapologetically.
  5. “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod: Hal Elrod introduces a morning routine that can boost productivity, enhance personal growth, and transform our lives. This book provides actionable steps for creating a morning routine that sets the tone for a successful and fulfilling day.

These books offer valuable insights, tools, and strategies for personal growth and mindset shifts. They remind us that our journeys extend far beyond the physical destinations we visit and encourage us to embrace a mindset of continuous growth and self-improvement.


Section 7: Books on Travel Writing and Photography

Traveling often inspires us to capture and share our experiences through writing and photography. These books delve into the art of travel writing and photography, offering guidance, tips, and inspiring stories to help us capture the essence of our journeys.

  1. “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser: This classic guidebook explores the art of writing with clarity, simplicity, and style. While not specifically focused on travel writing, it offers valuable insights and techniques that can enhance our storytelling abilities.
  2. “National Geographic: The Photographs” by Leah Bendavid-Val: This stunning compilation of National Geographic’s most iconic photographs serves as a source of inspiration for aspiring travel photographers. It showcases the power of visual storytelling and the beauty of the places we explore.
  3. “The Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Writing” by Don George: Don George, an acclaimed travel writer, shares practical advice, tips, and techniques for crafting engaging travel stories. It’s a comprehensive guide that helps aspiring writers capture the essence of their experiences and connect with readers.
  4. “Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton: This captivating book features photographs and stories of the people of New York City. It’s a reminder that travel photography is not just about capturing landscapes but also about capturing the human experience.
  5. “Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures” by Richard I’Anson: Richard I’Anson, an award-winning travel photographer, shares his tips and techniques for capturing stunning travel photographs. This book covers composition, lighting, equipment, and more to help readers improve their photography skills.

These books offer valuable insights and techniques for capturing the essence of our travel experiences through the power of words and images. They encourage us to embrace the art of storytelling and foster a deeper connection with the places we visit and the people we meet along the way.



Traveling is not just about visiting new places; it’s about embarking on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and empowerment. The books we have explored in this article provide a wealth of inspiration, guidance, and insights for female travelers. From stories of courageous solo adventurers to reflections on women’s travel history, from books on personal growth and mindset to guides on travel writing and photography, these books offer something for every female traveler.


Through these books, we gain a deeper understanding of the power of exploration, the joy of cultural immersion, and the transformative impact of stepping outside our comfort zones. They remind us that travel is a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery, and that each journey we embark on has the potential to shape our lives in profound ways.


As you plan your next adventure, consider adding some of these empowering books to your reading list. Let them ignite your wanderlust, fuel your curiosity, and inspire you to embrace the transformative power of travel. Whether you’re seeking practical advice, cultural insights, or the motivation to push beyond your limits, these books are sure to enrich your journey.


So, pack your bags, grab a copy of one of these empowering books, and embark on a journey that not only takes you to new destinations but also helps you uncover the incredible strength, resilience, and inspiration within you.