Books and movies to stir your wanderlust

We all get in ruts where we can’t seem to find the energy or inspiration to actually act on the adventure plans we dream of. Or we may simply not be in the position to make any big trips in the near future. Sometimes it’s great to turn to outside sources for a little pep talk. We’ve talked to Whoa ladies we’ve featured to see what books they’re digging and films they love that share the stoke. Read on:

Recommended by Krystle Wright:
Krystle was our first story. She paddled the Onan/Amur river on an all-female trip that can be seen in the documentary, “Nobody’s River.” As a photojournalist, (you may have seen her work in Outside Magazine or National Geographic) she’s drawn to stunning imagery. She’d also just attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival when we spoke so she discovered quite a few of her recommendations there.

  • It’s What I do” by Lynsey Addario
    “She’s an incredible photographer to look up to,” Krystle shared of this biography/profile.
  • The Great Alone
    Lance Mackey is one of the biggest names in sled dog racing. “The Great Alone” tells the story of his incredible personal history of multiple-generation family mushing and the hard truths behind living such a demanding and physical lifestyle.
  • Snowflake
    This 7-minute short chronicles “Snowflake,” a wild Swiss skier known for wearing all white to be one with nature.
  • The Warmth of Winter
    Ben Sturgulewski, director of “Snowflake” also create “The Warmth of Winter.” If you’ve ever been outside for long in the cold you’re familiar with the cozy, welcoming sensation of finally returning inside. This piece captures that feeling in 6 minutes.

  • Meru
    “Meru” was one of the most talked about films of the year. It features Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk, well-known climbers with extensive skiing and mountaineering experience as they attempt to summit Meru in India. If you’ve ever wondered what an intense ice climbing trip is like this will give you more than a taste as their originally 7-day trek turns into 20 with dwindling temperatures, blowing snow and a serious shortage of food.
  • Darklight
    We’ve all seen (or even ran) a race where everyone is decked out in glowsticks. “Darklight” showcases similar neon hued illumination on the rims of mountain bike tires as a crew of bikers shred through Utah in the middle of the night. The eerie, almost prehistoric backdrop makes the athletes seem like they’re flying out of the dark ages. It’s a visually sensational ride that’ll almost make you want to hit the pedals in the dark yourself.
  • The Fisherman’s Son
    Get your fix of big wave surfing and Chilean culture in this film about Ramón Navarro, a fisherman’s son turned surfer and conservationist. Patagonia helped create the documentary in efforts to raise awareness and funds to protect Punta de Lobos, an iconic surf spot off the coast of Chile.

Recommended by Rachelle Croft:
Rachelle is one half of the X Elles Racing duo, an overlanding team that competes with the goal of raising awareness about sexual abuse. This fall we wrote about the team’s amazing adventures with dead reckoning navigation during the Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles.

  • The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker
    Rachelle insists this is a must-read for everyone. “It teaches practical information on self-defense, your ‘gut instinct,’ safe traveling techniques, etc. It’s a very interesting and captivating read. You are going to learn something,” she shared.
  • Bird, Horse and Muffin” by Susan D. Hill
    This book centers around a young girl coming into her faith after the death of her mother. As she travels to Uganda she learns to find God in new places while interacting with children at a war-torn orphanage. “It hit ‘home’ on a lot of levels for me and I find myself thinking about it often. I probably need to read it again,” Rachelle shared.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    The strong female lead in the latest Star Wars movie resonated with Rachelle.
  • Mockingjay” the third in the “Hunger Games” series
    Another lady character takes center stage in this exciting movie. “I love stories that showcase women warriors. They Rock. Plus, I’ve always secretly wanted to be in a kick-ass action movie where the girl is actually competent and kicks butt,” Rachelle gushed. Haven’t we all had a similar dream?

Recommended by Megan Harrod:
We featured our friend Megan a few months back. She is the U.S. Alpine Ski Team press officer and currently spends her time driving all over Europe to support the men’s and women’s teams connecting the athletes with the media. This means she has a crazy busy schedule and not a lot of free time. Think 3 A.M. wakeup calls and 18 hour days. However, she did share two recent favorites:

  • “Meru”
    Clearly Krystle’s not the only one watching this outstanding film!

  • Paradise Waits” by Teton Gravity Research
    Bad weather, terrible visibility and awful snow conditions plague the TGR team. When they find good powder, the gang plunges down peaks, backflips off ledges and overall has a rockstar of a time. Megan particularly digs the parts featuring Angel Collinson, a professional freestyle skier.

Recommended by Gale Straub:
Gale Straub is the founder and editor of She-Explores, an awesome blog about ladies on the road and traveling the globe. She, too is a photographer and sometimes even receives books to review before they’re printed.

  • Unbranded
    You can find this film on Netflix. It’s about a group of 4 post-collegiate guys who ride 3,000 miles from Mexico to the Canadian border with 16 wild horses they’ve just adopted. Gale loved the landscapes and visuals of the American West, but noted the subjects are a bit immature.
  • Wild” by Cheryl Strayd
    This one’s popular with even the non-adventuring crowd. You may even have seen the movie featuring Reese Witherspoon. The story offers a view of long-distance hiking that is approachable for avid adrenaline-seekers and people who aren’t that active. It’s also emotionally charged and appeals to many individuals who are going through big changes like divorce, overcoming addiction and moving.
  • The Women’s Guide to the Wild
    This book is set to be released in March. Gale received an early copy and is excited to dig in!

Recommended by Whoa Mag:
We loved hearing all these great book and film ideas and have a few to add ourselves.

  • Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Carrot Quinn
    Carrot has hiked a handful of long-distance trails across the U.S., including the PCT which she’s done twice. Her portrayal of thru-hiking shows the highs of incredible views and new friendships as well as the lows, like pooping on an ant hill and freezing your butt off without another human to keep you warm. We dig her honesty and her humor. Through her website you can even buy her a cheeseburger while she’s on trail.
  • “Drawn” by Jeremy Collins
    Jeremy Collins’s motto is “Go where you are drawn.” When the illustrator realized he had stopped adventuring between college and marriage, he decided to stir up his wanderlust through climbing. When his friend and mentor, Johnny Copp, dies during a climbing accident Jeremy feels called to make summits at four different compass points. At the top of hard-earned peaks in Venezuela, the Yukon Territory, the China-Mongolia border and Yosemite Valley, he and various friends spread Johnny’s ashes.

Drawn trailer from Jeremy Collins on Vimeo.

“Drawn” is a beautiful 41 minutes of inspiring friendships, determination and stoke. It’s a great quick watch when you need a little burst of wanderlust with the help of beautiful artwork, scenery and story.

  • The Dirtbag Diaries” by Duct Tape Then Beer Productions
    We love podcasts when cooking, doing the dishes or driving to our next adventures. This podcast features stories from outside-lovers who climb things, sleep in vehicles and tents and know the meaning of fun hard work. The cast has shorter episodes around 10 minutes that users submit and then record, as well as a rotating cast of adventurers (mainly Fitz and Becca Cahall) who narrate.

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