The best travel books are those that sweep you off to a faraway land, escaping your mundane life. Some of the best books motivate you to get off the couch, pack your bags and set out on your own fun-filled adventure. Here are 10 books that will simply arouse that wanderlust in you.
1. Eat, Pray, Love by Eliza Gilbert
This book always comes first when we talk about travel. It is the story of Eliza Gilbert who is a modern-day American woman, who leaves behind her life to examine different aspects of her nature. She goes for pleasure to Italy, for devotion in India and finally to Bali. While she travels the different countries, you would want to travel with her. This book is everything that will inspire you to explore your life while exploring the world around you.
2. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel by Rolf Potts
This is a book which is rich in travel philosophy and motivation for solo travellers who could never gather up the courage to take a path and walk on it by themselves. This book is written by Rolf Potts who is termed as Godfather of Vagabonding. He spent years travelling the world, and so his book contains practical information from saving to planning to finally begin the journey. This will definitely help you if you are new to long-term travel.
3. Into the Wild by John Krakauer
Into the Wild is the unforgettable story of a Christopher Johnson McCandless, who belongs to a well-to-do family and hitchhikes to Alaska and wanders off into the wilderness. He leaves behind his desperate parents and sister, abandons his possessions and builds a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body is found in the wild. How he came to die is the story that will leave a lasting impression on you. This is certainly one of the best books on travel.
4. Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
In this exquisite book, the Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Alice Steinbach searches for the answer as to what really defines her in real life. She goes in search for answers to the most beautiful and exciting places in the world. In Paris she finds a soul mate, in Oxford, she takes a course in English language and in Milan she befriends a young woman. This book transports you into a fascinating journey which is beautifully illustrated by postcards from Steinbach’s voyage of self-discovery.
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Touted as being one of the most read books in recent history, The Alchemist is a story about following your dreams. It follows the journey of a young shepherd boy who goes from Spain to Egypt, going with the flow, following his heart. On the way, he learns the meaning of love and life. This book is filled with wonderful inspirational quotes. A book about following your dreams and every traveler sure is a dreamer!
6. Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald
A book about the journey in the Land of Indians. This is the story of a journalist Sarah McDonalds who backpacks around India and is left with an impression of heat, pollution, and poverty. Her destiny brings her back to the country after eleven years and thus begins her adventurous chronicle of her hilarious experiences. She encounters yogis, swamis, people of all religions and Bollywood stars. It is the journey of a woman on a mission to survive. As the title itself says, this is a book about an adventure in India.
7. Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinback
This book comes from the famed author of more than twenty-five novels, John Steinback. This is a true story and memoir of John as he takes a road trip across the United States in 1960, alongside his French poodle Charley, to discover the identity of the country and himself. His course took him through forty states! Travels with Charley is a book that takes you across the country by one of the best American authors of the 20th century.
8. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is a name which is synonymous to travel writing. You can’t pick up just one by him that’s good because they all are. This book chronicles his journey across Australia, as he goes from the east to the west, through tiny towns, coastal cities, and forgotten forests. He travels around the country in awe, and sometimes in fear. This book will make you want to travel to Australia!
9. My Life in France by Julia Child
This book is the captivating story of Julia Child’s years in France, in her very own words. Here she falls in love with the French food and finds her “true calling”. A tall, outspoken girl from California, who doesn’t know anything about the French country, is eventually lost in its beauty. A memoir of Julia, with beautiful black-and-white real life photographs, this book is about the spirit and determination it takes to rise to success in a foreign land. After reading this book, you will be lost in the world of Eiffel Tower and the French food!
10. Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
Maarten Troost is the bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals and has managed to charm his readers with a laugh-out-loud tale of wandering the remotest parts of South Pacific. In Lost on Planet China, he brings China to life as you’ve never seen before. This book is an adventurous tale of his journey across the deadly rivers in Shanghai, visiting Chairman Mao, trying to decipher the local menu and up the Tai Shan, China’s most revered mountain. This book is a look at the vast and complex country which will shape our lives in the near future. It explores China in a way you would never have thought of!
These are just some books amongst the sea of books waiting to be explored by you. Start with these, and who knows where you may end up traveling to!