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Belize, A Journey Of Discovery, And Some Snorkelling: Amusing Stories Of Middle Aged Life On The Road

By Ann MacLean

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Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Greek Islands is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at clifftop sunsets in Santorini; get lost in the twisting, cobbled alleyways of Rhodes’ Old Town; and indulge in Crete’s unique cuisine; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the Greek Islands and begin your journey now!

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Inspirational Reads

The following books are oldies, but in my opinion, goodies!  I have read them all.  Some of them twice! They have all inspired me in one way or another to dare to follow my dreams, to break from the mould and step off the too long trodden beaten track!

Hopefully, if you haven’t read them already, they might inspire you too, but at the very least they make for excellent reading entertainment; sometimes dramatic; sometimes tragic; sometimes romantic; sometimes spiritual and often with great humour.  All of them however give a detailed and touching insight into different cultures and an outsiders enduring and courageous struggle to try and understand, integrate and be accepted by that culture.

These are only a handful of my favourites and there are so many truly inspirational travel based stories available to read.  It would be great to hear about your favourites and how they inspired you so please share your story in the comments box below.

For your information I may receive a small commission from Amazon or Lonely Planet Associates at no extra cost to you if you purchase a book

A small stone house deep among the olive groves of Liguria, going for the price of a dodgy second-hand car. Annie Hawes and her sister, on the spot by chance, have no plans whatsoever to move to the Italian Riviera but find naturally that it’s an offer they can’t refuse. The laugh is on the Foreign Females who discover that here amongst the hardcore olive farming folk their incompetence is positively alarming. Not to worry: the thrifty villagers of Diano San Pietro are on the case, and soon plying the Pallid Sisters with advice, ridicule, tall tales and copious hillside refreshments …

Available in Kindle Edition, Hardcover, Paperback and Audio Cassette at Amazon

Frances Mayes – widely published poet, gourmet cook and travel writer – opens the door on a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. She finds faded frescoes beneath the whitewash in the dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles – and even a wayward scorpion under her pillow. And from her traditional kitchen and simple garden she creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, all included in this book.

In the vibrant local markets and neighbouring hill towns, the author explores the nuances of the Italian landscape, history and cuisine. Each adventure yields delightful surprises – the perfect panettone, an unforgettable wine, or painted Etruscan tombs. Doing for Tuscany what Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, Under The Tuscan Sun is a feast for all the senses.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD at AMAZON


Enjoy an irresistible feast of humour and discover the joys of French rural living with Peter Mayle’s bestselling, much-loved account of A Year in Provence.

Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Lubéron Valley and began a new life. In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. From mastering the local accent and enduring invasion by bumbling builders, to discovering the finer points of boules and goat-racing, all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life are conjured up in this enchanting portrait.

Available in Kindle Edition, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD at AMAZON


It’s All Greek to Me!
Intoxicated with dreams of a Greek paradise, John Mole inflicts upon his family a tumbledown ruin on a hillside with no water, no electricity, no roof, no floor, no doors, no windows and twenty years of goat dung… far away from the tourist resorts and posh hotels.

Through hard work and comic misadventures a bond is formed with a vivid cast of village characters – from Elpida who cures back pain with raw eggs to beautiful Eleni yearning for Düsseldorf – over bottles of ouzo, whisky and wine.  If only Hector the dog would calm down.

UPDATED EDITION WITH A NEW CHAPTER. Available in Paperback and Kindle Edition at AMAZON

I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there’s no going back.’ So begins Robyn Davidson’s perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company.

Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia’s landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.


Also a major motion picture starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver

Available in Paperback and Kindle Edition at AMAZON


“Mutant Message Downunder” is the fictional account of an American woman’s spiritual odyssey through outback Australia. An underground bestseller in its original self-published edition, Marlo Morgan’s powerful tale of challenge and endurance has a message for us all. Summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aborigines to accompany them on walkabout, the woman makes a four-month-long journey and learns how they thrive in natural harmony with the plants and animals that exist in the rugged lands of Australia’s bush. From the first day of her adventure, Morgan is challenged by the physical requirements of the journey–she faces daily tests of her endurance, challenges that ultimately contribute to her personal transformation. By traveling with this extraordinary community, Morgan becomes a witness to their essential way of being in a world based on the ancient wisdom and philosophy of a culture that is more than 50,000 years old.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, Audio Cassette at AMAZON