Traveling immerses us in the world, but sometimes in the less eventful moments in between destinations, we just need to escape. “The Layover” is a weekly roundup of books, music, podcasts, and other forms of entertainment brought to you by your favorite world travelers.
This week, we reached out to Tara and Michael of Passport Therapy. Though coming from vastly different backgrounds, Tara and Michael were united by a passion for travel and decided to hit the road together. Today, they discuss the entertainment they turn to during travel’s quieter moments.
“Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” by Anthony Bourdain
When we started our trip in South America, we experienced hellacious bus rides during which the road was nonexistent and the driving was suspect. Reading was next to impossible, and even watching a movie proved nauseating. Instead, we relied heavily on audiobooks to pass the time.
As we rode the bus through Peru and Argentina, we listened to “Kitchen Confidential,” written and narrated by Anthony Bourdain. Part memoir, part scathing commentary on the culinary scene, this book provides a look into the seedy world of professional cooking. Besides making us very hungry during long bus rides, it got us excited to explore the world of South American cooking.
“Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” — “Death Throes of the Republic” & “The Celtic Holocaust”
When we decided to visit Rome, I wanted to brush up on my Roman history, but I had no idea how. Luckily, I came across “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History,” which features two fantastic series on Rome, “The Death Throes of the Republic” and “The Celtic Holocaust.”
Carlin is a gifted storyteller, and the episodes may be long, but they’re expertly paced. I remember visiting the Roman Forum after listening to his series on the fall of the Republic and getting an almost palpable sense of life during antiquity.
“The Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto (Che) Guevara
If you’re traveling through South America, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a book more inspiring than “The Motorcycle Diaries.” I originally started the book thinking that I would be learning about the inner political thoughts of a South American revolutionary, but was pleasantly surprised to find so much more.
The memoir recounts a young, 20-something from Buenos Aires traveling South America with his buddy on a motorcycle. As Che recalled moments of his voyage, I instantly felt connected because I had just visited those same places, though decades later. What made it even more relatable was that the detailed descriptions still seemed consistent to what my own eyes had seen. Technology and tourists have not completely altered these locations — at least not yet.
“Play & Play: The B Sides” by Moby
When traveling, WiFi is a gamble. We often have to rely on our Spotify playlists for music, but if we do not have them all downloaded, we end up listening to the same artists over and over — one of which is Moby.
No matter the environment or activity, his tracks always seems to work as theme music. Perfect for long drives, cooking an early morning breakfast, or even getting ready for a night out, Moby never seems to fail.