24 January 2019 by Anna Staford
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle? Or maybe you are looking to find some hustle and bustle to break away from your hum-drum days? Whatever your personal circumstances may be, it surely has to be agreed that travel can broaden your horizons and open up a world of possibilities. If you’re thinking of jetting off somewhere soon and fancy getting in the mood, or need a good read for your travels, take a look at these 7 must-read travel books. And don’t forget to buy decent travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip, so you can sit back, relax and count the days ‘til you go.
If you know your travel bloggers, Torre Deroche should be a name that you instantly recognise. If not, Torre is a very well-known travel blogger with, as it turns out, a key talent for romance writing. Love with a chance of drowning makes for compulsive reading. It’s a story about her overcoming a very real fear of the ocean by sailing the Pacific with her boyfriend in order for her to see the world. Whether you yourself can relate to a fear of water, or if you’re a sucker for romance, you won’t be able to put this one down.
Bill Bryson is another name synonymous with travel. For those of you looking to explore locations a little closer to home, Notes from a Small Island is the perfect book for you. Bill documents his travels up and down Britain, adding unique hints of nostalgia and humour to really paint an image in his reader’s minds. If you want to read beyond a romanticised view of Britain, this is the perfect book for you.
Rather than writing a book telling his readers where they should travel to, and what they should do, Alain has instead written a book looking at why people choose to travel, and why they enjoy travelling in the first place. You won’t find any clichés or stereotypes about travel in this book. Some would even argue that it takes a pessimistic look at travel, as Alain writes about how we can all too often often glamorise travel in our minds and find that the realities may fail to live up to expectations.
This book, penned by Jack Kerouac back in 1957 is a travel novel that many consider as timeless. It is a fictional piece covering a character named Sal, leaving New York and making his way to the West. Along the way, Sal sees his country, explores, meets new people, makes new friends, and parties many-a-night away. This book is fantastic for anybody out there looking to head off on a road trip as the title character is certainly empowered and made stronger by his travel adventures.
The late, great, and unmistakable Antony Bourdain is at his very best in this book. One of the best things about travelling is the different cuisines you get to sample, and Antony has covered this theme perfectly in his book. Antony speaks openly and honestly about how travel opened up his eyes to the outside world and how being on the road has helped him become calmer and more mellow as the years went by. This book allowed Anthony to appreciate what he had compared to some of the characters he met on his travels.
David Grann’s Lost City of Z is the story of what happened to Percy Fawcett, who was a South American explorer who trekked through the Amazon in search of the fabled ‘Lost City of Z’. This book is the perfect mix of biography, travel, and history and is a must-read for anybody with even the slightest interest in South America and the world’s most-famous rainforest. David writes about Percy’s amazing life, about ‘Z’ and about Fawcett’s sudden disappearance (along with his son and another friend) back in 1925. It makes for an incredible read and is perfect for those long-haul flights as you jet off to your chosen destination in search of your own (far safer) adventures.
If you’ve not read this book but find that the name sounds familiar, that’s probably because it was adapted into a hit Hollywood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. For those of you with a keen interest in backpacking, The Beach is ideal. The novel centres on an American backpacker who travels to Thailand in search of paradise. He finds himself in possession of a mysterious map which is supposed to lead a tropical beach island paradise. Once there however, it becomes clear that ‘the beach’ is not the tropical paradise he was hoping for. The Beach is perhaps a good example of what Alain de Botton wrote about in ‘The Art of Travel’, in that sometimes the notion of travel is better than the reality.
And that brings us to a close. If you’re thinking of travelling, or, have already booked your dream getaway and just want some enjoyable travel-themed reading to help you relax, unwind, and feel inspired, hopefully these 7 suggestions will do the trick. Remember, when travelling, find the best travel insurance you can, be safe, be organized, and above all else, make sure you have fun.
Read also: 5 Must-Have Free iOS Travel Apps