I know first hand that once you’ve tasted the adrenaline rush of travel, it can feel insufferable to sit at home, knowing that adventure is out there waiting.
The only thing I’ve found that can help dull the wanderlust ache in my soul between trips is books.
Every time I put down a travel book I’m left in awe, just itching to pack my bags and go.
Reading goes hand in hand with traveling. Books open you up to new worlds, new places, new experiences, and new adventures. They broaden your horizons and can be a serious source of inspiration for me when it comes to packing my bags and hitting the road.
Whether you’re just looking for some travel inspiration or want to scratch a few books off the list this year, here are a few of my personal travel-based suggestions to inspire your inner wanderlust.
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
A Field Guide to Getting Lost is an interesting and quirky book that is not a guide at all.
This collection of essays explores the art of getting lost in the unknown. Throughout the collection, Solnit provides a seamless drift through a number of topics relating to being lost, getting lost, or dealing with loss.
It’s one of those amorphous books that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be and is okay with that.
This book changed my life.
Literally. I have always been fascinated with the world and travel has always appealed to me more than anything on earth.
But I always thought independent travel was far beyond my means as a young woman and unfortunately, most of the people I know seemed to hold the same beliefs.
Luckily I found this book and realised just how wrong I was to think travel was out of my grasp. This book is short and simple; to the point and articulate while being incredibly accessible.
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman
This book was hard to put down. It is probably one of my favorite travel memoirs.
This book is a true story about a woman on the edge of a divorce who decides to set out alone to travel.
This book will seriously move you.
For those of you who either struggled through or didn't like Eat, Pray, Love, this book may be the answer. Rita's 20+ years of life as a nomad in places like Bali, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and Guatemala are much more earnest and genuine than those in EPL.
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
For someone who has a ferocious appetite to travel, this book gave me a fresh perspective on experiencing the world.
This book examines the why of travel. What compels us to see the world?
From the anticipation of a trip to the act of getting there, being there, and the return. It was the most thought-provoking travel book I’ve read all year.
It really made me think about why I travel and what I want to get out of it.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost, by Rachel Friedman
This book is quick fun read, capturing a girl's growing need to travel and to follow her heart.
Most of us will relate to this book – the desire to break out of our shell, the fear of the unknown, wanting to get more comfortable in our own skin.
Fact is, this is a great read that will make you think about testing your limits, facing your fears and choosing the life you want for yourself.
Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change by Andrew Solomon
Far and Away is a collection of Andrew Solomon’s remarkable articles about his worldwide travels over the past 25 years.
Andrew Solomon opened my eyes to new worlds.
This book is a wonderful collection of articles from the author's career as a writer and activist.
As the publisher notes, he writes "about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual" and covers topics as diverse as art, religion, mental health, history, sexuality, travel, inequality etc.
The Wander Year: One Couple’s Journey Around the World by Mike McIntyre
The Wander Year follows couple Mike and Andrea as they put their life on hold and lieu of travelling the world.
The couple share stories of travel mishaps, people they meet along the way and what it is like navigating a relationship while on the road.
This would be a treat for someone who would love to travel the world, but isn't sure where to start.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
Wanderlust documents Elisabeth’s 15 years of travel.
You follow this young and independent woman with 'wanderlust', as she crosses over 5 continents.
Elisabeth Eaves' portrait of her life and travels are very honest.
Reading her memoir, I was able to see through Elisabeth's eyes what it would be like to travel without restraints and commitments to a place or a person.
Atlas Obscura by Foer, Thuras, Morton
While this doesn’t really fall under the travel fiction category, I LOVE this book.
Atlas Obscura is a captivating and sometimes intense guidebook that highlights what an amazing world we live in.
This book features some of the lesser known places in the world that range from weird to obscure.
Every time I re-read this book, I just want to just pack my bags and take off and see the world after reading this book.