The best travel books to inspire your wanderlust

by Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders

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Best travel books to inspire your wanderlust!

I am a big fan of reading and diving into a world with a turn of a page. So I wanted to share a list of my best travel books to inspire your wanderlust. I always take a book with me, when I am travelling and these are some of my favourites!

Image of a book and a cup of tea by the water - the best way to enjoy a best travel book

The best travel books

Levison Wood – Walking the Himalayas

I have enjoyed all of Levison Wood’s books describing his treks across continents, and while it was hard to pick one for this list of best travel books, I think this one was my favourite. He describes some of the most remote places through Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Kashmir region and through Nepal in such vivid detail it really brings it to life.

The reality of travel and the dangers he faced aren’t skirted around either, giving a very real and intriguing insight into this part of the world.

Buy this book here! 

Image of Levison Wood book - one of the best books to inspire wanderlust

Kirsten Newman – What I was doing while you were breeding

I felt like I related to this book on so many levels! If you are focusing on travelling more than settling down and having a family right now, then this is the book for you.

Kirsten is incredibly honest, and I loved the tone of voice. Perfect for those solo travellers out there among you!

Get your copy here!

image of what I was doing when you were breeding - best Travel books

Katy Colins – Destination Thailand

Katy’s blog ‘Not Wed or Dead‘ was the first blog I read, and she actually inspired me to start my blog. I avidly followed her story and was so thrilled when she turned her experiences into her love of writing.

Destination Thailand is the first in the ‘Lonely Hearts Travel Club’ series and follows Georgia as she embarks on solo travelling across Thailand after having her heart broken.

It is a great beach read, and I loved the rest of the series too!

Get your own here!

If you’re visiting Thailand – take a look here:

Thailand – Bangkok and Islands

Cheryl Strayed – Wild

One of the most epic hikes. Cheryl Strayed hiked the 1,100 mile long Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to run away from her demons. It is so honest, raw and moving. And such a physical and mental challenge, it is special to hear in her own words how she overcame all the tests to achieve her goal. I liked how initially she packed so much into her pack, and soon realised how little she needed. I feel all travellers can relate to that!

It is perfect for a lover of the outdoors, hiking and camping. But more than, it also inspires wanderlust for visiting this part of America. I’d definitely love to walk some of the PCT (perhaps not the entire thing!).

Delve into your own copy here!

image of cheyl strayed wild book - best book to inspire your wanderlust

J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings

So, this might be my ultimate travel book. I have a copy I bought back in 2013 which has now travelled with me to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Kenya and Uganda. So, as you can see, it is fairly well travelled. It has almost become a talisman for my travels and I.

While its not a travel book in the literal sense of the word, it’s a story of an epic journey. And of adventure, destination, hope, passion, determination, friendship and endurance. All attributes which definitely embody travel! Plus, the descriptions of the amazing scenery. Which, now thanks to the brilliant films, evoke images of New Zealand. Yes for me, this a travel book of the ultimate kind.

Get inspired with your copy here!

image of the book 'The Lord of the Rings'

Paul Theroux – A Dark Safari

This was my first Paul Theroux book, and I really enjoyed it. Telling the story of how he travelled overland from Cairo to Cape Town. It has such vivid descriptions of what he saw and his experiences across Africa. Travelling on such a variety of transport you can feel imagine what it would be like to visit there.

A thoughtful and observant writer who definitely goes beyond the usual tourist destinations.

Pick up your copy here! 

image of Paul Theroux - best travel book

Thinking of Africa?

The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

How to spend a day in Nairobi

Edward Rutherford – New York

This book was purchased in a book store in New York, it was just too hard to resist.

The book tells the story of New York from it’s beginning right through to the early 00’s, through the thread of a family tree. It was so fascinating learning more about the history of America and New York, told in a really engaging way. Definitely was a page turner and I could not put it down.

It made me immediately want to return to New York, a problem I always seem to have!

Find your copy here!

image of New York by Edward Rutherford - best travel book for New York inspiration

Heading to New York? Have a look at these posts:

Visiting New York for the first time – a first timers guide

5 Days in New York.

Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat Pray Love

An absolute classic; how could it not be on this list? A memoir of a Woman’s self discovery across Italy, India and Bali.

From delicious food in Italy, to calm in India and a lot of self discovery in Bali, it will definitely make you think about heading off on a journey for yourself, as well as wanting to visiting these amazing countries. Italy for me is definitely calling again!

Find your own inspiration here!

image of eat pray love - one of the best travel books

Louisa Waugh – Hearing Birds Fly

Hearing Birds Fly is the beautifully written account of the time when Lousia lived in a remote Mongolian village. Her story completely transports the reader to the cold region in Western Mongolia. She describes the challenges she faced and how she dealt with the traditions and cultural differences she encounters.

It really makes me want to go back to Mongolia and explore even more!

Escape with your copy here! 

If you are interested in visiting Mongolia, take a look here:

12 reasons to visit Mongolia

Marguerite Van Geldermalsen – Married to a Bedouin

A new addition to the list! If you are interested in, or have travelled to Jordan, this is the book for you! Even if you haven’t this is an absolutely fascinating true story. Marguerite visited Petra, Jordan and found love. This story is a beautiful account of it was like living with the Bedouin’s in the amazing home of Petra.

Absolutely incredible!

Be intrigued here!

What do you think of this list of the best travel books to inspire wanderlust! What are your thoughts? Have you read any?

If you have any books you would class as ‘best travel books’ I’d love to hear your recommendations. I am always looking for new books to inspire me!

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melisliving December 17, 2018 - 7:07 pm

What a wonderful list of books, so many to add to my must have list! I loved Eat Pray Love, haven’t read any of the others but you make them sound unmissable 🙂


Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders December 19, 2018 - 7:23 am

Ah I hope you enjoy them! It’s such a great collection

Kerry LifeandLoves December 19, 2018 - 9:46 pm

Ohhh there are some fab books here Charlie, and Eat Pray Love is one of my favourite books ever! I love the sound of Hearing Birds Fly, and of course the New York one. One of my favourite cities. Fab list xx

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders December 20, 2018 - 11:30 am

Thank you!! I highly recommend. Particularly New York. I was obsessed. Genuinely so upset when I got to the end. One of my favourite books. xx

jasonlikestotravel December 20, 2018 - 11:41 pm

Really interesting list. The Paul Theroux book is currently an unread book on my bookshelf so perhaps I’ll have to change that soon! I’d recommend Bill Bryson if you haven’t read his books before.

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders December 21, 2018 - 9:39 am

Oh excellent suggestion! I’ll put it in the to read list!

Stefan January 2, 2019 - 3:52 pm

Great list.

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders January 2, 2019 - 4:33 pm

Thank you 🙂

shygirl March 27, 2019 - 10:42 pm

What a great post. Definitely going to check out some of these – especially the solo travel related ones! 😁 I read a lot of fiction as opposed to non-fiction so a travel book would be a great way to have a change!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders March 28, 2019 - 8:02 am

Ahh I hope you enjoy them! Let me know!

Franglais27 May 29, 2019 - 9:40 pm

Eat, Pray, Love is such an amazing tale and always reminds me of my trip to Sri Lanka. Were you able to read Married to a Bedouin whilst visiting Jordan?

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders May 30, 2019 - 7:02 am

I have it beside my bed to read! Haven’t got round to it yet though. But I did meet her son while I was in Petra!

A fork on the road June 9, 2019 - 6:18 am

I’ve read only four of these books, so you sorted out my summer reading already, thanks! And I also felt so related to What I was doing while you were breeding… Great recommendation!

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders June 9, 2019 - 6:27 am

You are welcome! Hope you enjoy. I loved that book too! Felt like it was written for me!

Anneka June 9, 2019 - 10:56 am

Fab post with some great recommendations! I absolutely adore Wild – I’ve read the book, listened to the audio book and watched the film about 5 times! I’ll definitely look up ‘What I was doing while you were breeding’ – it sounds like just my kind of read! Thanks for sharing. 💚✌️

Anneka @New Shades of Hippy

Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders June 9, 2019 - 4:11 pm

It’s such a good book! I reread time and time again. And I would highly recommend what I was doing while you were breeding. Highly relatable


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