A good book will entertain you, teach a valuable lesson, or inspire you to go out there and conquer the world. Often literally.
In this post, I’ve put together a few books that deserve an honorable spot on your bedside table and will prepare you to take the world by storm. Get your inspiration flowing by checking out these books about travel. You can thank me later.
1. ‘The Alchemist’ by Paul Coelho
In case you haven’t read this classic yet, I urge you to consider it. Published in 1988, the book evolves around Santiago, a shepherd boy from Spain. Following his night dreams, he embarks on an adventurous journey to discover the treasures of the Egyptian pyramids. On his pilgrimage, the young shepherd encounters many interesting characters, who guide him towards his destination. Ultimately, Santiago realizes that the quest for the treasure has turned into a quest for self-discovery. Indeed, like all good books about travel, ‘The Alchemist’ does a great job of teaching us that the journey itself matters more than the destination.
Thought-evoking quotes about life, pursuing dreams, and persistence in reaching your goals are some of the treats of this novel. The book is not voluminous, but I can guarantee it will leave you inspired and ready to start planning an adventure of your own.
2. ‘American Nomads’, by Richard Grant
Grant is a British writer, who moved from London to the US and spent 15 years wandering across the American landscape. As part of his adventure, he did not spend more than three weeks in one place and supported himself by writing stories. In ‘American Nomads, Grant invites you on a journey to discover the reasons that would make someone abandon the settled life and become a nomad, a wanderer.
During his experience, Grant realized that the nomadic lifestyle is a choice for many. Explorers, cowboys, bikers, and even urban employees have been turning nomads. People everywhere are willingly embracing this way of life. Grant digs into the stories of these characters, narrating both: his and theirs experiences, trying to make some sense of it all for himself, and for all the readers who may share the same passion.
3. ‘Love & Luck’ by Jenna Evans Welch
This New York Times bestseller is about road trips that eventually cure ailing relationships with family and oneself. The main character, Addie finds herself traveling across Ireland with her brother Ian and his Irish friend Rowan. Addie has just been through a difficult break-up, which took a big emotional toll on her. Ian does not make things easier for her either.
The story shows us how traveling and exploring new places can heal. The plot teaches us that adventures are not just fun. Oftentimes, the difficulties appearing are a big part of the healing process. The reward of every journey is personal growth and a chance to heal and become stronger.
4. ‘A Woman Alone: Travel Tales From Around the Globe’ edited by Faith Conlon, Ingrid Emerick, and Christina Henry de Tessan
For a woman, traveling alone is more of an exception than the norm. Yet, there are women who have dared to break this taboo and discover the pleasures of solo travel in far-away lands.
This book is a collection of stories, written by various solo female travelers who come from all around the globe. Each narrative has its voice, style, and perspective, which makes this book special. Yet, all the stories share the spirit of independence, freedom, self-reflection, and transformation. If you are a woman who has been holding herself back from traveling because of not having companionship, then this book will definitely encourage you to get on the road and embrace the solo exploration.
5. ‘The Places in Between’ by Rory Stewart
Have you ever crossed a whole country on foot? What if that country is Afghanistan? What if you are a former British diplomat crossing it in 2002, only a year after the 9/11 attacks? Most likely, you are thinking that this is a brave, almost suicidal act, which no one in their right mind would ever consider doing.
However, such adventure is a true story. Rory Stewart embarked on this thrilling trip alone, exposing himself to the dangers of harsh weather and almost getting killed several times. Much to our relief, he has survived the challenge and narrates how, as the ‘first tourist in Afghanistan,’ he witnessed culture clashes first hand. If you are already curious about his narrative, then you will find this book very captivating. This non-fiction travel thriller has received interesting reviews from the critics.
Regardless of the destination, the journey itself offers challenges to embrace, opportunities to grow, and memories to cherish. Are you curious about any of the books above? They can be not only a source of inspiration for your next trip but also a good travel companion. Are there any other books about travel that should have been on this list? Share with us in the comments below.