A listing of women’s travel books describing romances with foreign men, as well as a handful of books by gays and heterosexual males. These books are described in detail in Romance on the Road, some on a chapter entitled “Portrayals,” others in regional chapters. See also my list of travel romance films portraying wanderlust involving female protagonists.
Another amazing memoir by a daughter of Christian missionaries — she married a Masai warrior in Kenya who later took additional wives. Available in French.
A slender and beautifully packaged true-life tale of a woman and her guide who fall for each other during a trip to Provence. “Eight Days in Provence” has a miniaturist perfection, in its evocative descriptions of this beautiful region of France, the growing infatuation of the protagonists, and their dreamlike assignations in gorgeous hotel rooms after perfect meals. As with other similar memoirs, this travel romance comes in the wake of betrayal and hurt, which seems to limit the participants in pursuing their affair out in the “real” world. Still, both James and “Jenny” win points for likeability and cause the reader to ponder “what if” they could continue their romance, or if they had could have met each other before meeting others who bruised their innocence.
English travel writer pays dearly for a one-night stand on Pitcairn Island.
One of the sweetest, most romantic yet classic instances of romance on the road.
Classic tale of post-divorce healing and ultimately recovery with much insight.
A daughter’s memoir of her mother’s affair with a Moroccan acrobat named Bilal in the 1960s.
How not to treat one’s proud Mexican lover.
Stewart’s sex travels involve a number of slightly menacing Caribbean characters. She takes regrettable potshots at women who choose younger lovers yet offers frank and accurate insights into the bright flame of interracial sex.
Kernahan doesn’t describe romances with the local islanders in her travels in the Cooks and French Polynesia, but writes with great insight on the radically different calculus employed by islanders in assessing the value of the male vs. female sex traveler.
An Indian Attachment: The True Story of an Englishwoman’s Haunting Love Affair with a Young Sikh: Sarah Lloyd
Staggering life story of a Swiss boutique owner who married a Masai tribesman and endured a highly primitive life in a tiny hut during her pregnancy. Parallels “An Indian Attachment” in terms of Squalor Index.
The tender ministrations of Narendra Bhati Singh, the Indian friend whom Robyn meets early in her narrative, keep the author from truly flipping out given the privations of her journeys with the Rabari, desert wanderers who now weave their way through the filthy horror of much of contemporary India. She gives away no details of her growing intimacy with the political activist, but acknowledges their love as her tale progresses.
Jong both reflected and inspired female sex tourism … as does Terry McMillan in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” The echo chamber between “Fear of Flying,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and the real world is examined in “Romance on the Road.”
These first three have both male and female essay contributors:
Love and Romance: True Stories of Passion on the Road (Travelers’ Tales Guides): Judith Babcock Wylie
These three contain some tales of romantic encounters and of pervasive harassment in many parts of the world:
Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age: Harvey Levenstein
Good on American travel to Europe, less explicit than Littlewood’s “Sultry Climates: Travel and Sex.”
The first of several biographies I relied on for the first true female sex traveler, and still my favorite. Recommended.
Very professional profile of a traveler and writer who loved with a physicality and vigor of a Casanova.
The Wilder Shores of Love: The Exotic True-Life Stories of Isabel Burton, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, Jane Digby, and Isabelle Eberhardt: Lesley Blanch
Re-release of purple prosy but valuable profile of Isabelle Eberhardt, Lady Jane Digby and other Victorian era women who dared to love unconventionally.
The author, daughter of British I Claudius author Robert Graves, depicts in fascinating detail the arrival of Scandinavian women as sex tourists along the Costa Brava in Spain in the 1960s.
Interesting material on the relationship of the Arab man, especially the returning expatriate or the novelist, to the Western woman.