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10 Inspiring Travel Books to Awaken the Wanderlust inside You

Books and travelling are some of the deadly combinations that not only teach you important aspects of life but change your perspective towards the world. The best travel books can drop you into a wonderland where magic awaits to be unfolded. Travel books are indeed the best to get away from the maddening crowd of the cities. Reading books helps you learn about destinations you wish to visit. The philosophy is quite simple ‘the more you’ll read, the more you’ll learn’.  

Books or novels take your imagination to another level with which you get to learn valuable life lessons to transform your life. If you are seeking travel inspiration, starting with a great book is simply the best thing to do. If long trains, bus and plane rides bore you to death, the list of best travel books to read will undoubtedly save you. These travel books are so much fun to read and enlightening that you’ll not be able to resist packing your bag and heading out on an adventurous trip.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho has worked his magic in his work ‘The Alchemist’ that is all about chasing your dreams no matter the circumstances. The story revolves around an Andalusian shepherd boy who wishes to travel the world in search of treasure but stumble upon finding himself instead. On his voyage (from Spain to Egypt), he learns about love and the meaning of life. Coelho has woven the tale of this boy to bring out the importance of life which is the biggest treasure anyone could ever find. The quirky stories of snakes, dunes, and alchemy help one identifying and overcoming his/her fear to achieve what’s more important. Inspirational quotes are other interesting points about the book that makes it the best travel book in recent times.

Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Talk about best travel books, you cannot miss reading ‘Eat, Pray and Love’. On first impression, you might find the book to be a chick-lit thingy but the story is inspiring in every way. This popular travel book is a real story of the writer when she went through 3 countries (Italy, India and Bali) to pursue 3 important things of life she had forgotten long ago.  On her voyage, she leaned some valuable life lessons that transformed her life and made her happy and content.

The story follows around a middle-aged American woman who has everything a woman can aspire- money, career, friends, and husband, despite that she is not happy with her life or in her marriage. All she knew was she wanted to run away. This led to her adventurous journey to three exotic destinations where she learned about pleasure (Eat), spirituality (Pray) and Balance (Love). Her quest of self-discovery is an inspiration to those who fear to step out of their comfort zone.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

If you haven’t read Bill Bryson’s masterpiece of a book ‘In a Sunburned Country’, you cannot possibly call yourself a bibliophile. The book will force you to embark on a journey to Australia and gives a plethora of useful information on travelling the continent.  Following the journey of the writer through the sunbaked deserts, endless coastlines, deadly wildlife, tiny towns, and forgotten forests, this book is hilariously interesting if you want to travel to Australia. The journey filled with dramatic terrain to encountering snakes, box jellyfish will give you a rainbow of emotions, from awe to fear. It’s a book that is worth reading no matter you explore Australia or not. Fun facts and trivia are other things that makes you glued to the book till the time you are finished reading it.

Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys

There are books that inspire you to travel to places and explore them like a local. Microadventures is a book that involves ideas for easy and accessible adventures covering everything from cycling to hiking, sleeping on a hilltop to swimming in the wild. Stressing on the point that you don’t have to be a great explorer to go on an adventure and that adventures can be seen in doing small things and exploring local area, the book takes the spirit of big adventure and squeezes it into a few hours or a day. You don’t need money or time to meet new challenges. Alastair Humphreys has given the definition of Microadventures to be- something that’s close to home, short, simple and refreshes your life. In the book, he has given importance to the cheap thrills of life that are an adventure itself. Microadventures in no doubt one of the best travel books that must be read by everyone.

Into the Wild by John Krakauer

Now adapted into a movie, this bestseller is certainly meant for adults who recklessly abandon their comfortable life in cities to move closer to nature. But the book also points out the good and bad aspects of travelling including hitchhiking, discussions on adulterous relationships, challenges between father and son, and family’s uncertainty of their son’s whereabouts. The roller coaster adventures of Christopher Johnson McCandless ends with his death in the Alaskan wilderness that also shows how he lived and died on his own terms and fulfilled his dream. It’s a fascinating tale of a man who leaves behind everything to pursue what made him truly content and happy. On reading the book, you will definitely have strong opinions on the protagonist. It’s up to you to see him as someone who left everything to discover himself or someone who carelessly went closer to his death in the name of adventure.

How Not To Travel the World by Lauren Juliff

‘How not to travel the world’ is a book that is unlike anything you have ever read. The memoirs of Lauren Juliff when travelling across the globe and getting caught in worst situation are as hilarious and funny as it can be (not for her at least!). The book is one interesting tale of the writer which let readers glued to it. The writer has ‘disaster’ painted on her forehead like literally! Despite everything, she had managed to get violated in Thailand, get scammed in Shanghai, get attacked by monkeys and sit next to a corpse on a boat in Laos, and what not! But the core of the book is how well she survived those situations and overcome her fear, panic attacks and anxiety in her journey.

Lauren is truly an inspiring wanderlust who has done things that no one in their right mind would risk (for example- sleeping with creepy crawlies). The book is bound to make you laugh, cry, cringe, frustrate with her. The book is goofy and loaded with entertainment besides including useful tips on travelling the world.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Under the Tuscan sun is the story of the writer who discovers that her husband is cheating on her so she gets out of the marriage and roll-back into writer’s block and depression. After a lot of convincing by her close friend, the protagonist flies to Italy and impulsively buys a tiny villa in Tuscany. The book is about enjoying simple things in life and embracing a new journey (to escape the chaotic cities) that is bombarded with surprises and joys you cannot get in metropolitans.  There’s romance, superstitions, hilarious moments and self-discovery imprinted in the core of the book that will make you read it over again.

Lost on Planet China by J. Maartan Troost

J. Maartan Troost, known for his bestseller ‘The sex lives of cannibals’ takes on his adventures in china in his book ‘lost on planet china’. The book takes readers on a rollicking journey through Beijing to Shanghai, Gobi desert to the hinterlands of Tibet and showed a new way to explore China that no one has ever done.  From visiting chairman Tao to eating yak in Tibet, deciphering restaurant menus to hiking the most revered mountains in China, these adventures are exciting and full of gags that readers won’t feel bored. To those who wish to explore china in ways that no one has expected, this book is a great starter.

Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

Love with a chance of drowning is a story of a city girl (writer herself) who has a morbid fear of deep water but love adventures. The book tells how love helps to overcome fears. The entry of Ivan into Torre’s life transformed her and helped her combat her fears of oceans. Torre, tells her story, about meeting the love of her life at a bar one night and then moving forward with the romance. Her Latin lover Ivan has a grand plan to sail the world and wants to include Torre. Ultimately, the book is about the adventure the writer and her lover went through which is engaging and exciting.

 The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner in his book ‘the geography of bliss’ has tried to search for answers on the meaning of happiness through his profound observations on his research to travel the globe. The pursuit of happiness and happy places paved the way for unforgettable adventures and funny incidents. To find the world’s happiest country, the writer heads to Iceland, Bhutan, India, Moldova, Miami and dozens of other places and ends up revealing the secret of happiness. The book is both inspirational and enlightening especially to those who constantly seek contentment and happiness through travelling.