Friday, November 6, 2020

Book Review: Drives of a Lifetime

How are you all doing? Are you hanging in there? I feel like I'm barely hanging on and honestly, this world is just too much sometimes. I had therapy today and I really needed it. I'm not any better but at least I have some coping mechanisms to try and I feel like I'm not losing my mind. Well, I am, but at least I don't feel crazy about it. We are going on a "vacation" to see my parents and grandparents at the end of November but it's not really going to be a vacation. We might get to do something fun but no touristy things for us thanks to Covid. We also aren't driving because we don't have the time but I love road trips! When I saw this book up for review I knew I had to read it because my greatest hope is someday I will be old and be able to just road trip and see things. 

Drives of a Lifetime - National Geographic

Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic's legendary travel writers, Drives of a Lifetime spans the globe to reveal the best celebrated and lesser-known road trips on the planet. Inside this fully updated and revised edition--featuring more than 20 new drives--you'll find routes through spectacular landscapes, ideas for quick getaways, leisurely journeys of discovery, and revelations of secret worlds beyond Google Maps. Some are legendary long-distance odysseys; others are easy day trips close to home, taking you down charming local byways. All will inspire you to pack up the car and hit the road. The possibilities are endless: Take Colorado's San Juan Skyway for a 10,000-foot climb over towering mountain passes. Or travel the ancient Silk Road on an expedition across Central Asia and through time. Or why not drive the perimeter of Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise with many beaches along the way? Whatever your taste and budget, you'll find plenty of routes tailored to your interests. Alongside detailed descriptions, full-color maps guide the way and planning tips help you make the most of your journey; top 10 lists offer quick, easy side trip ideas. Beautiful, informative, and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure.
I think we can all agree we are in desperate need for a vacation. Literally anywhere at this point that isn't a hot bed for coronavirus. I don't even need great food, I'll take a juice box and a bag of chips at this point if it means I can get myself to the beach. Sadly, that's not going to be the case for awhile. 

Raise your hand though if you love vacations but you can't always afford to fly somewhere. Maybe you would rather stay in your country because you only have a week of time to use but you just have to get out of your city, that's where a road trip really comes in handy. I have a family of six, two adults and four kids ranging from ages 4-15, so I know that the cost of travel can be astronomical just getting there and back, letting alone being able to do anything at  your destination. We've found that a great way to travel is by car. I know, you're like, "NO WAY" and I'm saying yes way! Traveling by car is so much fun because while you're saving money from not flying by plane, you're avoiding layovers and lost luggage, but you're also seeing the country around you from a new perspective. You might even see quirky roadside attractions along the way! 

If you're in the market for trying a road trip but you aren't sure where to start, Drives of a Lifetime is what you need to pick up. It has 500 of the world's greatest road trips so no matter where you are in the world, or where you're going, you can find an adventure in this book. 

The book has eight sections: Hills & Mountains, By Sea & Shore, Rivers, Valleys & Canyons, The Road Less Traveled, Village Byways, Urban Excursions, Driving Through History, and Gourmet Road Trips that you can get lost in. I really enjoyed Hills & Mountains and By Sea & Shore the best because that's the kind of scenery I like to look at as we go. I also really liked Driving Through  History because I like to learn and see things from history while on my trips. 

If I had to give a little improvement in future editions, I wish the book was broken down by continent as well. For example, I got pulled into a photo (because I'm a photo junky and those sell me) of The Garden Route and yup- it is in South Africa. While the route looks and sounds amazing, the likelihood I'll find myself with a car in South Africa is fairly slim. 

If you are a foodie the Gourmet Road Trip section has every dream vacation you could think of. Truly. I am the exact opposite of a foodie so none of those appealed to me but I do have friends who would indulge quite a bit on that one! 

Surprisingly, two of the trips featured in the book are routes right in my own backyard! One of the road trips that is on my bucket list one summer is the Lake Superior Circle Tour but I have to get passports for us before I can do that because you go up into Canada for a few sections.
The North Shore Loop is featured in the book and it was so fun to see our little area featured! The best part about these sections is that it really does give you things to do while you're driving that you'll be going right past. It gives you the best times to go, important information, the roads/distance/driving time it'll take you and everything. If you take this one, let me know and I'll give you food recommendations along the way!
Also in my backyard is the Wisconsin's North Woods section. I live at the starting point, Superior, Wisconsin and I can tell you this is a beautiful drive! It briefly mentions Copper Falls State Park and truly, if you get the chance to drive this, stop and go around that park. It has several waterfalls and the trail is a perfect loop around and you will be glad that you stopped. Don't forget to stop for candy in Hayward, either!

Overall I really loved this book, it made my wanderlust a little stronger, that's for sure. If you are looking for a gift idea for the travel enthusiast in your life, this is definitely a great idea, pair it with a gas gift card or a cool road trip organization thing and you've got the perfect gift. (I once got these organizers that hang on the back of your seat and I love them!!) 

Thank you to National Geographic and TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour! These are maybe my favorite books to review because I like learning about new places of course, but it also gives me crazy ideas for our next family vacation... thankfully my family are good sports and go with the flow for me. 

If you could road trip anywhere, where would you go? 


Why Girls Are Weird said...

I am SO excited for our drive to TN in December. Izzy and I have never done a roadtrip before and a 15 hour drive sounds like a good way to get things started. I figure if Covid continues to ruin our cruise plans that we're going to rent Airbnbs and check out the US instead.

So many books, so little time said...

*hugs* I think so many folk are struggling just now and books like this (and the good old internet) help us to see other parts of the world when we aren't allowed to travel xxx