Beyond Guilt Trips Mindful Travel in an Unequal World

Anu Taranath (Author)


Publisher: Between the Lines
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 208
Released: May 28, 2019
ISBN-13: 9781771134323

Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people pack their bags to study or volunteer abroad. Well-intentioned and curious Westerners—brought up to believe that international travel broadens our horizons—travel to low-income countries to learn about people and cultures different from their own. While travel abroad can provide much-needed perspective, it can also be deeply unsettling, confusing, and discomforting. Travelers can find themselves unsure about how to think or speak about the differences in race or culture they find, even though these differences might have fueled their desire to travel in the first place.

In Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, storyteller Anu Taranath begins at home, unpacking our baggage about who we are, where we come from, and how much we have. She takes us on a journey through engaging personal travel stories and thought-provoking questions, providing us with tools to grapple with our discomfort and navigate differences with accountability and connection. Yes, travel! But be mindful. Be present.

Awards and Honors:

  • Oprah Magazine's "Best 26 Travel Books of All Times"
  • Washington State Book Award in Nonfiction, 2020 (Short-listed)
  • Newsweek's The Future of Travel Awards, 2021 (Winner)
  • Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award - Nonfiction/Travel, 2019 (Joint winner)
  • Wishing Shelf Book Award in Nonfiction, 2019 (Short-listed)
  • Next Generation Indie Book Award, Social Justice, 2019 (Short-listed)

Dr. Anu is a speaker, educator, and racial equity consultant who partners with a range of people to deepen conversations on history, harm and healing. A professor for the past 20+ years, Dr. Anu knows that the most compelling conversations on race, identity, power, and belonging take place when people feel valued and heard. Her book Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World was a finalist for several book awards including the Washington State Book Award, and was named one of Oprah Magazine’s “26 Best Travel Books of All Times.” Learn more at

Praise for Beyond Guilt Trips:

“At a time when it has become radical to ask ourselves what it means to be who we are, where we are, Beyond Guilt Trips holds space for these conversations where there wasn’t any before.” – Bani Amor, queer travel writer

“Taranath skillfully blends storytelling with a guidebook approach to how we can all travel better—go beyond good intentions and become intentional travelers. A much-needed book to transform the travelscape.” – Amy Gigi Alexander, Editor-in-Chief, Panorama: the Journal of Intelligent Travel

“I am so grateful for this book, for it left me reflecting on the one trip we are all on, traveling through this life! Taranath is an excellent and humble storyteller who teaches us through stories. Readers will find nuggets here that will help us all to be our best selves.” – Michele E. Storms, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington State

Beyond Guilt Trips is part reflective memoir, part ethnographic deep-dive, and part user manual for navigating our increasingly unequal world… This book is certainly the most teachable—and instructive—book on global travel I have read yet.” – David Citrin, Global Health and Anthropology, University of Washington

Beyond Guilt Trips is my new favorite guidebook, one I will press upon anyone considering a trip overseas—or across town, for that matter. I fought the urge to devour it in one sitting. It is a gift to travelers.” – Anna Vodicka, award-winning travel writer and educator

“Instead of guilting or shaming people when they become more aware of their privilege or wealth, Beyond Guilt Trips brings everyone along without erasing histories of oppression. With a generous spirit, Taranath holds space for both the learning of travelers and the dignity of the people they encounter, offering the possibility of meaningful mutual exchange.” – Frances Lee, writer and cultural activist

“Whether you’re a world traveler or someone who wishes to travel, Beyond Guilt Trips will open your eyes to the race and equity issues faced by both global visitors and the visited. The book is a guide to empathy, for understanding race, equity, and identity and the challenges they present in travel culture. These issues have always been there—it’s just inconvenient to think of them when we’re on vacation or delighting in new places. Taranath brings compassion to the discussion of how we can access humility as travelers.” – Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz, editorial and creative director, YES! Magazine

“This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to travels the world lightly with deep care and respect for the various communities, people, and countries they visit.” – Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, author "The Sex Lives of African Women"

“Taranath illuminates perspectives that many of us seldom consider but are vital to our understanding of our neighbors and ourselves, both at home and abroad.” – Larry Habegger, executive editor, Travelers’ Tales Books

“This cathartic literary journey healed and absolved me of my own guilt and lifted the weight of responsibility by allowing me to be present and aware. Taranath gently reminded me—a social justice warrior—of the value of staying curious, being present, and holding space for everyone to come to the table.” – Dr. Hannah Song, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

“This is the guide I wished I’d had when first starting to travel the world as a young person. Packed with wisdom and useful tips, Beyond Guilt Trips should be in all campus libraries, youth hostels, and community organizations.” – Faith Adiele, author of Meeting Faith and founder of VONA Travel Writing

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