My Life in Books: Brian Schæfer Dreyer
5 min read
We asked Brian Schæfer Dreyer - a travel writer from Denmark - to tell us about five books that have had a significant impact on his life.
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
I bought Into The Wild after having watched the brilliant movie adaptation by the same name. A true story about the adventures of the American student Chris McCandless that leaves his family and his privileged life behind to pursue the ultimate freedom in the wilds of Alaska.
The story has been a huge inspiration for many people who dream of stepping out of the hamster wheel of ”normal life” and people who have already done it. Personally, it has inspired me to go all-in on my own dreams and to pursue a life as a freelance writer, as well as I agree with the most important lesson the protagonist learn along the way: Happiness is only real when shared.
Time Was Soft There - Jeremey Mercer
I love Paris and the bohemian wonderland of Shakespeare & Co which is the legendary Parisian bookstore where this story takes place. It is written by the Canadian author Jeremy Mercer that ended up living in the bookstore for a while just like hundreds of other aspiring writers that were hosted by the original shop owner, the late George Whitman.
This book makes me dream of living in Paris and tugs at my bohemian sleeve and the part of me that would have loved to do something like that. It's a story that combines my love for Paris and with my love for writing and therefore hits the jackpot on my bookshelf.
Yes Man - Danny Wallace
Many people have probably watched the movie hit 'Yes Man' where comedian Jim Carrey plays the leading role, but many don't know the movie's origin is a book by the British author Danny Wallace – a true story about saying yes.
While the movie is rather exaggerated, the book certainly has its crazy moments, but it's a real story about being open to all the opportunities that offer themselves to us daily – from saying yes to grab a drink with a friend to embark on a big adventure. I am personally trying to live like that and act on dreams. Also, Wallace is a brilliant writer and observer of human behaviour and presents it in a humouristic way that makes his books highly entertaining to read and puts a smile on your face.
The Voluntourist - Ken Budd
This book combines the afterthoughts of losing a close family member with the quest for doing something meaningful with your life – and both themes are close to me these days, as well as the passion for travelling and meeting new people that are also essential parts of this story.
In the wake of losing his father, author Ken Budd sets out to find meaning in his own life while dealing with the dilemma of not having kids of his own and it takes him around the world in different stages while volunteering with everything from teaching special needs kids in China to rebuilding homes for people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
I have volunteered myself while travelling and would love to do it again one day, and the search for doing something meaningful with your time and life is something that I can identify with a lot.
Twitchhiker - Paul Smith
As the title might reveal, Twitchhiker combines Twitter with hitchhiking in a very unique way as radio personality Paul Smith sets out to travel as far around the world from his home in 30 days. He does so solely by the generosity of his followers on Twitter who in turns offer him everything from lifts to tickets and accommodation.
It's an inspiring story about being opportunistic, about 'creating something out of nothing' and about how far you can make it with the help from strangers. Despite not being a big tweeter myself, I love the concept of this adventurous journey and I find many similarities in the story to my own journey of becoming a travel writer.
Brian is a self-taught travel journalist, blogger and photographer who have lived in Wales, England and Spain besides his home country of Denmark. He currently calls Madrid home while working for Danish newspapers and magazines as well as on several online projects.
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