Whenever I’m in a foreign place, I want to know: what does everyone here have for breakfast? It was shocking to me as a child to learn that you might Pho, a brothy soup with rice noodles, in Vietnam. No cereal? And as a college student studying in France I wondered why my host family so rarely indulged in all of those incredible pastries, while I was stopping at the Patisserie for an eclair or croissant daily. (As you can imagine, I found the answer out the hard way.) Learning about the things that everyone does, but does so differently, can inspire empathy, interest, admiration and, of course, wanderlust.
Here are a few books you might want to leave out on the coffee table, so that you and yours can have a conversation about the world—whether you are about to embark on an exotic journey or just wish you could.
nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’130981′