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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!
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.
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!
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!
If you’re visiting Thailand – take a look here:
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!).
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.
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.
Thinking of Africa?
Edward Rutherford – New York
I actually bought this book in a book store in New York, I just couldn’t resist. And I am so pleased I did buy it.
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!
Heading to New York? Have a look at these posts:
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!
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!
If you are interested in visiting Mongolia, take a look here:
My 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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