The 5 Best Books for Empty-Nesting Nomads

nomad books

As we get ready for our Nomad adventure in 2021, I’m feverishly reading “nomad” books. They inspire and remind me of why my husband and I have chosen to sell it all and head out into the world. Many of the “nomad” books are geared toward “digital nomads” and the younger nomads of the world.

We aren’t them.

We are empty nesters wanting to travel, give back, and maybe pick up a gig or two. But we aren’t heading out on our adventure to make money. Perhaps we’ll gather a few dollars here and there; our income comes from other sources. So when looking for nomad books, I focus on the travel story; not how to make money as a digital nomad.

Thus, I present my list of my favorite nomad books so far.

My Favorite Nomad Books

Here are five books to put on your bookshelf or in your Kindle right away. Get the Kindle app or subscribe to Amazon’s Audible for a free trial.

leave only footprints

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-To-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton

I think we all dream of going to all the National Parks. I’ve been to many, missing just a few, and I have been to all 50 states. The tone of this book continually reminds me of this: Why do we climb mountains? So we get a different point of view and perspective of the world. This is also why I travel. Enjoy this beaut of a book. Read about our 50 Hikes 50 States Project.

Get it on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller.


llama dramaLlama Drama: A two-woman, 5,500-mile cycling adventure through South America by Anna McNuff 

I believe that adventure is a journey, not a destination. And this book lives and breathes this mantra. Getting stuck in 50 mph winds, llama roadblocks, and broken Spanish…yup, that’s what an adventure is. I love this book because I’ve been to many of the places they ride through, and it not only feels familiar, but it also makes we went to visit or revisit these great hamlets in South America. Read about my South American adventure.

Get it on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller


female nomadTales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman

I read this book a couple of years ago right before I headed off by myself to Latin America. It was the perfect book to open my solo-travel mind and to remember that traveling by myself would be safe and an adventure. I’ll never forget how she learned about herself, women, and local community by chopping onions with the women of the village. Would you do that? Read about my travel magic moments.

Get it on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller.


practical nomadThe Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World by Edward Hasbrouck

I read the third edition awhile ago, and this fifth edition is a welcome update. But it’s still a little dated. None the less, if you need to know how to ride in a rickshaw and negotiate your rate, this book is it. Hasbrouck certainly covers the gamut of situations and gives a broad brush to many of the adventures you’ll come across. Read my adventure getting around Spain and Portugal by plane, train, bus, and ped.

Get it on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller.


good girl bookThe Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman

I adored this book, too. It reminded me that you don’t always have to have an agenda or a destination. Since reading this book, “haphazardly” is how I want to travel now. Granted, I want a bit of an agenda and a direction, but now I’m perfectly okay not knowing where I’ll be a week from now. And in this book, I learned what Irish crack is. And I can’t wait to find it again. Read about when I found crack the first time.

Get it on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller

Treat Yourself or Give Some Gifts

Reading books, especially now in the time of COVID, allows us to take trips even when we can’t. Books also give us ways to dream and plan. How will these books help you plan your nomadic adventure or help you dream it? Where will be the first place you go when you can travel again? Let me know and tell me your stories.



  1. Debra MacKillop

    This is a great list, and wonderful topic. Thank you Chris!

    • EatWalkLearn

      Thanks Debbie, glad you found it useful!


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handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

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