During my gap year with Winterline, I made an effort to read about the countries I’d be visiting. In hindsight, I wish I had read even more. Before embarking on my trip, I read Eat, Pray, Love, simply because the book takes place in two out of three countries on the Winterline itinerary; Italy and India. The book inspired me, and encouraged me to seek moreout of my year with Winterline, especially on an introspective and personal level. It’s not for everyone, but I would encourage it for anyone interested in traveling, or if you’re planning to take a gap year with Winterline.
I also downloaded Lonely Planet guide books for each country on my Amazon Kindle app, and read about each country right before we got there! This was a great way for me to grasp a better understanding of each country or city’s history and culture. I hate the feeling of knowing nothingabout where I am, so I’d recommend that as well.
If you don’t like to read (or don’t have a ton of time to), you can find a lot of great YouTube videos as well as Netflix documentaries/foreign films. For example, First They Killed My Father, is now on Netflix. I watched that (which I highly recommend) before I went to Cambodia, but haven’t read the book yet!
Below you’ll find books I recommend reading before visiting each country during Winterline:
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
- Great read, specifically before the NOLS portion of Winterline.
- The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Art Theft by Ulrich Boser
- Interesting story that takes place in Boston, where students end the Winterline GSP.
- The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough
- The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama by Martin Mitchinson
- Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion by Barbara Ras
- The Lost World by Michael Crichton
- Travelers’ Tales Central America: True Stories by Larry Habegger
- First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
- A Woman of Angkor by John Burgess
- The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan
- Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
- Touch the Dragon: A Thai Journal by Karen Connelly
- Thailand Confidential by Jerry Hopkins
- A Walk Along the Ganges by Dennison Berwick
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Swan King by Christopher McIntosh
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Invisible Collection/Buchmendel by Stefan Zweig
- The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
- The World of Yesterdayby Stefan Zweig
- City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas by Roger Crowley
- A Concise History of Italy by Christopher Duggan
- The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt