Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn

Solo women of the world who love to travel alone, those who would like to one day travel solo or those who still need a little convincing to begin travelling solo – your answer lies here in the true story of Robyn Davidson who treks 1,700 miles through the Australian desert… solo.

To give you some indication of what level of solo-journey-inspiration you’re up for, the author concludes her journey with “camel trips … do not begin or end, they merely change form.”


If you’ve joined us for this month’s WOW Book Club (which I assume you have if you’re reading this and if not – go out and grab this book now – you will not regret it), then you should hopefully by the end of this month be feeling inspired and intrigued by the prospects of more solo adventures of your own.

Such adventures probably won’t take place across the dry desert plains of Australia and they likely won’t cover the distance of a whopping 1,700 miles, but regardless a solo adventure is a solo adventure and this particular story will leave you with restless feet.

Tracks is a book I couldn’t put down. Having seen the movie last year, I knew I wasn’t doing the story justice until I picked up the paperback and flicked through the pages of Robyn Davidson’s adventure to once more be inspired by her patience, persistence, and to throw one more P in there – perseverance.

This woman is seriously inspiring, but better yet she is engaging in the recounts of her adventure.

There’s no doubting that I loved the book (and the film – I would highly recommend the film as well), but I’m interested to hear what you guys thought! I was determined to find a more gutsy travel book this month as after your feedback I could sense that this kind of travel read was exactly what many of you were after in a book.


  1. At one point in the book Davidson defines the substance of her world as “desert, purity, fire, air, hot wind, space, sun, desert desert desert” [p.50]. Why has the desert attracted so many travellers including Davidson? What do you believe is the allure?

  2. Davidson learns from her solo journey that solitude is something to be prized, not feared. Have you found the same lesson from your own solo travels? If you haven’t travelled solo before, does this book inspire you to do so?

  3. During the trip Davidson speaks of her frustration with her decision to accept financial assistance from National Geographic in return for them documenting her story. It appears that she feels this decision has somehow taken away from the authenticity of the journey. Do you believe this to be the case when documenting your own travels through the likes of blogging or social media, or do you believe it enhances your travels?

  4. In the mid-late stages of the book Davidson begins to rely on her subconscious to make decisions in the desert rather than overthink them. Why do you think Davidson concludes this is so important in the Aboriginal way of life?

  5. Finally, did Davidson’s story inspire your own solo journey ahead? What were your main takeaways from the book?


Feel free to sound off in the comments below!
I can’t wait to hear what you guys thought of the March selection!

You Might Also Like

    April 3, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I couldn’t get into this book. I was excited to read it but once I got into it I just couldn’t make myself finish reading it. While Paris Letters was an uplifting book and Girls Who Travel was a funny light story, this book was a complete let down. I am hoping next months book will be much better.

    Kendall Simmons
    April 2, 2016 at 2:44 am

    I absolutely loved this book. At the time that I read it I had not taken any solo trips yet. Now that I have, I can truly relate to the joy that solitude can bring. While trekking across a desert takes the concept to the extreme, the lessons are relevant even for short term solo travelers.

    I agree with Evi’s comment that I would have loved if the book had included an epilogue about her life after her desert journey so that we could hear how it effected her in the long term.

    Looking forward to the next book!

    April 1, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Amazing and inspirational. Certainly takes solo travelling to another level. While I do travel solo, I guess trekking across Oz outback solo is probably where I would draw a line. Eek.

    April 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Yes, I enjoyed this book a lot more! Good choice! These kind of books where someone really overcomes him/herself and pushes his/her boundaries, are my favourite. I love the emotional and literal journey. Robyn is an extraordinary woman and I felt inspired reading her story.

    1. I’ve never been in a desert and honestly, I’m not that attracted to them (I do want to spend 1 night once, but that’s it). I think it’s the vastness, the surreality, but I’m more drawn to mountain views.
    2. Yes, I’ve learned so much of traveling solo. I could recommend it to everybody. Also, my independence and time on my own is very important to me, so I value solitude very high.
    3. Both, but I felt like an intruder sometimes, as I was very interested in Robyn’s story, but it seemed that she didn’t want to share it.
    4. In our western culture we are kind of distanced from nature. It is important to stay connected. I also believe that intuition is sometimes much more important than rationality. I learned a lot about Aboriginals (I didn’t know that much) and found the parts about them very interesting.
    5. Yes. some day I want to walk the Camino and the GR20. At the moment I don’t have the time to prepare for it, so it won’t happen in the first 2 years, but I wanted to start planning after reading Tracks.

    I do have 2 remarks. I didn’t enjoy the animal abuse (beating f.e.) and as camels cannot deceide whether they want to partake in such an adventure, I’m a bit conflicted about that (although she appeared very loving and caring most of the time. The other remark is that I wanted to know more about her life before and after. How she came to the decision of walking through a desert with camels for example and how it affected her life afterwards. I respect her privacy, but the book would be more complete to me if that was also included. The biggest point of making such journeys and adventures is how they make you grow as a human being and I missed that.

    April 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I’m sorry to say I didn’t finish it. I couldn’t get into it at all.

    Sophie Blunt
    April 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I enjoyed this one a hell of a lot more than I did the last. This appealed to the adventurer, the nomad, the adventurer that lurks just beneath my surface. Robyn Davidson is the badass and she is a gifted storyteller and I fell into her tale immediately. It left me inspired and full of awe. I loved reading her views on feminism from such a different time and location to my own as I sit here typing this just outside of London…but they are also shockingly still relevant today. Most of all I enjoyed learning about a little of the Aboriginal history through her journey and those that she meets. It is something that I am interested to learn more about. I am yet to see the movie…I do love a good book to movie. I was little disappointed with her open contempt for anyone interested in her journey. I felt a little tricked- like she invited me to read her story and then accused me of voyeurism, I was left with the feeling that this book was written out of obligation to some sponsor more than a desire to share her experience with the world. I would still very much recommend it for the tale that she has to tell.

    Sophie xx

    April 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Loved this book so much that ended up watching the movie as well. Loved that too! It was interesting to get a glimpse of how solo female travels were done before the electronics/Cell Phones/Social Media boom. Many a times I have realized how therapeutic solo travel is to forget life’s tragedies & also find peace in silence. Although not a dessert person myself, I felt what the author experienced on a spiritual level from this trip was a familiar feeling. I also love reading about the original settlers of any country (Aboriginals, Maoris, Indians & so many more!), so this book was extra special.
    Yes, I would find the presence of another person frustrating too on a solo travel but would PROBABLY agree for the following reasons:
    1. Getting featured on NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!
    2. Finances sorted out.
    3. Possibilities of new opportunities opening up, which did in this case too I feel (the book & the movie deals).
    I have been looking for the National Geographic article on her (May 1957 Edition I think??). Hope to find it soon.
    Thank you Brooke for this reading suggestion. Loved reading Paris Letters & this one was beyond excellent. Can’t wait for this month’s pick.

    April 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I saw the movie last year and really enjoyed it, never thinking to read the book until you suggested it for this months book club. As always, the book is always better than the movie.
    I really enjoyed the story that was being told, but did feel some parts dragged on.
    I really found Robyn’s story to be inspirational and admirable.
    Even when she had doubts of what she was doing; she still carried on. Got things done.
    I admire her doing that journey by herself. And what she got out of the trip.
    I also really enjoyed the influence the aboriginals had on her journey: was great to read about something positive.
    I think at some stage in our lives, it’s so important to go on a solo adventure. Not necessarily the outback (something I could never do), but to just go somewhere. By yourself. And just be.