Nikki Vargas' 6 favorite memoirs about new adventures

The senior editor recommends works by Tembi Locke, Cheryl Strayed and more

Nikki Vargas.
Nikki Vargas is the author of "Call You When I Land"
(Image credit: Courtesy image )

When you make a purchase using links on our site, The Week may earn a commission. All reviews are written independently by our editorial team.

Nikki Vargas is a senior editor at Fodor’s Travel and the founding editor of the travel website Unearth Women. In her new memoir, "Call You When I Land," she recounts how she fled one life path and reinvented herself by traveling the globe.

'From Scratch' by Tembi Locke (2019)

In this poignant memoir, Locke engrosses readers in Italy’s flavors, beauty and culture while sharing how she fell in love with her late husband, Saro. From their love blossoms a touching story of loss and resilience. Buy it here.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed (2012)

Strayed’s timeless memoir is a testament to one’s ability to heal and transform. Reeling from her mother’s death, she makes an impromptu decision to solo hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. While hiking, she faces the demons of her past, ultimately walking herself to healing. Buy it here.

'What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding' by Kristin Newman (2014)

The title of this cheeky, enduringly popular memoir says it all. Newman candidly details her adventures and romantic affairs over the previous decade, transporting readers from Argentina to Iceland. It’s a fast, funny read for any travel-loving woman tired of being asked when she’ll get married and have a baby already. Buy it here

'My What If Year' by Alisha Fernandez Miranda (2023)

In her debut memoir, Miranda attempts to answer the loftiest of all questions: What if? Burnt out on the brink of turning 40, and wondering what life would look like if she had pursued the dream jobs of her youth, she spends a year doing just that, leaping from Broadway to the art world. The takeaway: It’s never too late to try something new. Buy it here.

'It’s What I Do' by Lynsey Addario (2015)

Addario, an award-winning war photographer, pulls readers into the exhilarating yet terrifying world of her profession. We see her kidnapped by proQaddafi forces and also watch her managing the difficult balance of being a new mom engaged in dangerous work. Her memoir is a profound testament to the sacrifices made to bring important stories to light. Buy it here

'The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry' by Kathleen Flinn (2007)

Food meets travel in this memoir, as Flinn recounts her decision to chase her culinary dreams when, at 36, she found herself unexpectedly out of a job. Rather than jump into another corporate position, she enrolls at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, embarking on a hilarious and flavorful journey leading to love. Buy it here.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.