Travel Books to Get You Inspired
There is nothing better than settling down with your drink of choice, some snacks and an evening full of adventure, suspense, love and travel to help get you motivated to go travelling and see the world.
With bounteous amounts of books out there to choose from, it can get a little bit overwhelming when it comes to dedicating your limited time to something you may not enjoy. That is why I have taken my own time to save you the trouble and provide the best books to fuel your wanderlust.
Not only can you read these books over and over again but once you have finished them, you will feel the instant urge to log onto Vayama.ie, book a flight, pack your bag and head out to create your own adventures.
Here is my selection of the best books about travel:
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert, he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash.
He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Along the way he meets all kinds of people, each with their own unique stories, some funny and others harrowing but all of them revolve around each other and you find yourself relating to them.
As he reaches Alaska, he heads into the wilderness to live on his own and off of the land without help from the outside world. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the map away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanishes into the wild.
The Beach by Alex Garland
This is probably one of my favourite travel books and sparks the desire to go travelling to hidden paradise islands. This exotic action-packed story follows Richard as he learns about a secret island in Thailand where a tribe lives in complete bliss. That is until he arrives anyway.
Following him are a French couple and they risk their lives to get there. They are eventually welcomed into the group but things start to deteriorate quickly after a series of events set in motion the end of the tribe and the island. The best part? You can visit this island! It’s called Maya Bay and in the South of Thailand.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
In this fun and quirky book, Bryson attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast of America. He comes up against the usual obstacles of people telling him not to do it for various reasons such as age, health and relationships, but he maintains his determination to follow his dream and enlists his old friend Stephen Katz who has a drinking problem.
What ensues is a highly amusing hiking adventure through the wilderness of two old men trying to be young again and overcoming physical and emotional demands which they deal with in various ways. You will also find yourself there with them, cheering them on to the finish line laughing along at the dry humour and stunning scenery that they find themselves in. It’s a brilliant book that leaves you determined to never let age or other factors in life get in the way of following your dreams.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world, with its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom. It is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.
Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way.
But what starts as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat – Italy, Pray – India and Love – Bali. This is such a fun book to read as it is based on a true story which Elizabeth, the author experienced. She takes us through her transformational journey as she attempts to get over a messy divorce and uproots herself from the comfort of her bubble and heads to Italy where she starts her self-discovery by eating the local cuisine.
She then heads to India where she attempts to pray and find herself through mediation, getting to know a few loveable characters who build her soul and making her stronger as a person. Finally, she heads to Bali where she stumbles across many different types of love which leaves you feeling wholesome at the end of the book.
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums while serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison, torture, murder and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals.
The keys to unlocking these mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. This is a chunky book but well worth the time and is a very rewarding read.
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
This is a classic travel book and one that should have a home in your bookcase. The story starts with a bet then Phileas Fogg sets out with his servant Passeportout to undertake an incredible journey - from London to Paris, Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and back to London again, all in just eighty days. There are many surprises along the way - and a last-minute setback that changes everything.
Be sure to check out my website Take The Leap Travel for more information and travel advice as well as my Instagram @explorewithlee and @taketheleaptravel.
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