The Funniest Travel Writer and Blogger

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a questionable taste in books and movies. My love for Sophie Kinsella’s books is something I’d only admit to very few people. I think I’d rather die than letting my David Sedaris loving colleagues know about that. But they don’t read this blog, so phew!

So, it might not come as the greatest compliment to these two people that I like what they write. But hey, I’d still like to share them with you anyway.

Funniest Travel Writer: Bill Bryson

I :heart: Bill Bryson.

Before I discovered his books, my reading repertoire consisted of Japanese Mangas and other authors I’m too embarassed to admit now (*cough* John Grisham *cough*).

During my solo road trip along the US West Coast, I came across a second hand bookstore in Berkeley and decided to hide in there from the rain.

And bought a copy A Walk in The Woods for 99 cents, mostly because:

– it was 99 cents
– and it had a picture of a bear on the cover

Now, I’m not going to claim that reading the book changed my life, but it surely was the start of my appreciation of travel writing. I find Bryson’s self-deprecating style resonates with me. He doesn’t take himself (or even traveling itself) seriously… he doesn’t try to be all philosophical about traveling. He just tells a story… mostly funny ones. I’m sure he embelishes a bit here and there, but who doesn’t?

Here’s an excerpt from A Walk in The Woods about the reason why he’s going to do the Appalachian Trail.

‘When guys in camouflage pants and hunting hats… talking about things out-of-doors, I would no longer feel like a cupcake. I wanted a little of that swagger that comes with being able to gaze at a far horizon through eyes of chipped granite and say with a slow, manly sniff, “Yeah, I’ve shit in the woods.”‘

I’m the kind of person who can’t hear the words ‘s***’ and ‘poop’ without laughing (why do you think we have the word ‘poop’) on our domain name?). Later on I learned that it was only a very tiny example of the kind of laugh I’d get from Bryson’s books.

Even though I enjoy all of Bryson’s books, these two particularly stand out as my all-time favorites:

A Walk in the Woods
Hiilarious account of Bryson’s attempt to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail.

In a Sunburned Country
Bryson’s convinced that the whole country conspires to kill him in ways that only Australia can.

Funniest Travel Blogger: Unbrave Girl

I don’t remember how I came across Sally’s blog, but after reading some of her posts I couldn’t seem to find the ‘subscribe’ button fast enough. It takes a special kind of talent in order to make weeding rice paddies and catching prawns sound appealing and exciting…

Check out this particular excerpt from one of her posts, My New Job Skill:

While this job is even muddier than weeding rice paddies, it is infinitely more enjoyable. Catching prawn is fast-paced and has a certain “Man versus Beast” feel to it (or in this case “Woman versus Crustacean” feel) that keeps you on your toes (Well, that and the fact that it’s very easy to step on the prawn… which keeps you on your toes as well). From my experience catching prawn, I’m convinced that if weeds had pinchers and the ability to move, they would be much more exciting to catch.

Her posts vary from light hearted to informative but they’re all worth reading.

If you haven’t already, I’d suggest grab a cup of coffee and check her blog out. Each post is just long enough for that cup of coffee to last.

I love funny travel writings… if you know of an author or a blogger I should check out, let me know in the comment section below.

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31 Replies to “The Funniest Travel Writer and Blogger”

  1. I've been a Bill Bryson fan for years – I always have tissues nearby as the tears rolling down my face bring on lots of nose blowing. You might want to check out Comedy Travel Writing – I enjoy it.

  2. If all the fantastic travel blogs out there, there is definitely a niche for a funny travel blog. A lot of travel blogs are very serious and can become mundane. Comedy would definitely be a welcome addition to many travel blogs.

  3. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I'm now not certain whether or not this put up is written by way of him as nobody else recognize such targeted about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

  4. Bill Bryson is one author which I 'm interested to check out (haven't had any luck rummaging around those $5 book fair bargains…).
    You might want to try Eric Newby – A short walk in the Hindu Kush. He has that similar style of self-deprecating humor, in British style! 🙂

  5. "A Walk in the Woods" is my favourite travel book of all time, and I *heart* Bill Bryson as well. "The Lost Continent" by him is also hysterical.

    1. Yay! Fellow Bryson lover! "A Walk in the Woods" and "The Lost Continent" are no doubt 2 of my favorites. I can't wait to check out his latest book, 'At Home'.

  6. Ran into your blog I don't know how but love it – oh yea – you were selling some stuff on craigslist and I found more than the Ikea Poang chair you were selling.

    Check out this travel writer if you haven't already:
    he is awesome and you guys are equally awesome.

    Good luck with your travels!

    1. Thanks for coming by and for the recommendation. Love the little bit what I've read so far and will definitely dig around his site some more. The Poang chair has been sold though 🙂

  7. I guess traveling is still a luxury in a developing country. You have a point there! Thank you God.

    Trinity is known as the 'Naked Traveler' as her book. She's THE travel writer at the moment, starting from her travel blog which turned in to the book of the same name. But she mostly writes in Indonesian.

  8. I will so check these guys out, like a cat in heat!

    I love funny and also witty writers. They're the smartest poople in the world hahahhaha…

    Thanks for the reference Jill. By the way, ever notice that travel writers in Indonesia aren't funny and more melancholic when it comes to traveling? Do you have any reference for funny Indonesia writers either than trinity?

    1. Hmmm, I never really thought about it. Maybe that's just how Indo people are? This is a completely wild guess here, but I think the mental block to get yourself up and travel is bigger for us (with the sense of duty to family so heavily ingrained). So those lucky enough to go abroad and travel long term might see it more as a personal education, answering questions such as 'What can I learn from this experience?" You know, heavy stuff like that…

      Unfortunately, I don't know much about Indo writers, funny or otherwise 🙁 Who is this trinity person?

  9. I'm so gonna check them out, like a horny cat on heat! Just wanted to point out to Jack and Jill here, isn't weird that Indonesian are quite funny people but there's not a lot of funny writers? Especially travel writers. They're all serious and melancholic?

  10. I love Bill Bryson. I read A Walk in the Woods in high school and it changed my world. From that point on, I was obsessed with the idea of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I haven't done it yet but I will one day. It was the very first thing on my bucket list.

    1. That should be exciting! There's the Pacific Crest Trail here that meanders through the Sierras and it passes some of the most beautiful scenery the Sierras has to offer. Once you tackle the AT, you should give PCT a try.

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  12. Tim and I are huge fans of Bill Bryson too. I remember many long bus rides when I've started laughing out loud (much to the surprise of the passengers around me!) while reading his books. 🙂

    I'm looking forward to checking out Unbrave Girl's blog! Yay!

    1. Hey, thanks for visiting — we're big fans of your blog! And yes, you should definitely check out Sally's blog. Makes dull work day go by quicker.

  13. I listened to A Walk in The Woods on the way back to Iowa (Bryson's home state) from Chicago on Jan 1st. I loved it, though it wasn't my first Bryson his dry and down to earth humour had me laughing all the way.

  14. "Each post is just long enough for that cup of coffee to last." You must drink your coffee SLOW. 😉

    Sorry, just poking fun at one of my favorites also. Love me some Sally. And since she and I are about the only two people still writing 2,000 word long posts (and both realizing it is horrible for our 'readership'), she is a kindred spirit. And Bryson is brilliant. If that is the only book of his you have read, you haven't even gotten into his top 5 or so. He's got much better.

    1. Lol, I personally enjoy long blog posts — out of envy really. My attempts at long blog posts usually just end up long-winded with no sense of purpose or direction.

      I'm pretty sure I've read all of Bryson's books, but those two are my old-time faves… (well, The Short History of Everything is also a fave, but not quite travel related). What are yours?

  15. Wow! What an honor! Thank you so much for highlighting my blog in your post. I can definitely say this is the first time I've ever appeared in a list with Bill Bryson (and probably the first time I've ever been called "informative").
    And, catching prawn is fun!

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