One of the best things to do in this world is to travel. When you’re travelling, you get to enjoy the thrill of leaving behind your known spaces and living every moment of your journey. There are many in this world who long to travel but keep their plans aside to fulfil some urgent matters.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of top travel books that would inspire you to escape the monotonous routines of your life. And explore some fascinating places. So, are you ready? Here we go!
Destinations of a Lifetime
When the National Geographic Society comes up with a book on travel, you can expect to have some of the most spectacular destinations in the world included in it. This book was released in 2015 and it takes you on a visual trip to some charming destinations around the globe.
You’ll get inspired almost instantly to pack your bags and get to any of those places. The images in Destinations of a Lifetime will be a treat to your eyes. They include mesmerizing islands, amazing artwork, scenic cityscapes, white-sand beaches, rainforests, and ancient structures.
Paulo Coelho is one of the most respected authors in the world today and his books are loved by millions. He wrote this literary phenomenon in just two weeks! He claims that The Alchemist was written in his soul and this is why he was able to write it in such a short time. You’ll be glad to know that he is an avid traveller.
The book follows the adventures of a young shepherd from Andalusia called Santiago. He travels to the pyramids of Egypt in search of a treasure, of which, he had recurring dreams. You are taken on a journey from Spain to the streets of Tangier. And then to the desert of North Africa as Santiago sets out to realize his dream.
An Australian convicted of bank robbery escapes from the Pentridge Prison and goes to India. He is a heroin addict and arrives in Bombay (now Mumbai) with a fake passport bearing the name Lindsay Ford. Bombay was actually a stopover on his journey to Germany, but he decides to stay in the city. He hires a guide named Prabhakar, who becomes his good friend.
The book then takes you through the terrible life he lives in Bombay. He is protected by an Afghan mafia don and gets to visit Africa and Afghanistan with his travels commissioned by the mafia. Shantaram is influenced by the real-life events of its author, Gregory David Roberts. It was described as a page-turning debut in the British newspaper, The Independent, upon its release.
Eat, Pray, Love
The book’s subtitle says it all – One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. Eat, Pray, Love is a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, an American journalist and author. It takes you through her journey across the world after getting divorced. You’ll also get to know what she discovered during all her travels.
This book was on The New York Times Best Seller list for many weeks! And the rights for a movie were purchased by Columbia Pictures. Also, the film version of this book was released on the 13th of August 2010 in theatres. It starred Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.
Seven Years in Tibet
Based on the real-life experiences of Heinrich Harrer, the author of this book, it was a best-seller in the United States upon its release in the country in 1954. Seven Years in Tibet covers the escape of the author and his companion named Peter Aufschnaiter from an internment camp run by the British in India. They travel across Tibet and spend many years in its capital, Lhasa.
The book gives you a glimpse of the independent Tibetan state before it was invaded by the Chinese army. A message from the 14th Dalai Lama was included in its Flamingo edition, which praised Harrer for his contribution to the cause of the Tibetans. A film version of this book was released in 1997 starring Brad Pitt and David Thewlis.
Set in Thailand, The Beach narrates the story of a young backpacker who goes in search of an idyllic and isolated beach. He comes in contact with a French couple who join him in his quest for the untouched paradise of white sands. Upon reaching this hidden beach, they discover a considerably large group of backpackers. They had been living there for 6 years under the de facto leadership of an American woman and her South African boyfriend.
The book was written by the English author Alex Garland and was published in 1996. It received praise from The Washington Post, Sunday Oregonian, and Publishers Weekly. A film adaptation of this book was released with the same title in 2000 featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton.
The Motorcycle Diaries
A memoir by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the world-renowned Marxist revolutionary, this book details his early travels with his friend Alberto Granado. Guevara was a 23-year-old medical student back then and Granado was a 29-year-old biochemist. It describes how Guevara undergoes a personal transformation upon witnessing the social injustices on the way.
The book was published in 2003 by Che Guevara Studies Center and Ocean Press in Havana. It has been described as a classic coming-of-age story and a voyage filled with adventure and the process of discovering one’s self. The Motorcycle Diaries has been on The New York Times Best Seller list several times since it was first published.
Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
Published in 1959, this book is considered a classic in the world of travel literature. It was written by Wilfred Thesiger, who is also known as Mubarak bin London in the Arab world. He was a British military officer, explorer, and travel writer. Arabian Sands is an insight into the massive developments in most of the Arab world after the Second World War and the rich Bedouin culture that was largely lost as a result.
It describes the traditional life of the Bedouins and is considered one of the finest literary works about Arabia. In the British newspaper The Guardian, Michael Asher described the book as a tribute to a world that was now lost forever.
Down Under by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is a best-selling writer who writes on a variety of non-fiction topics, including travel and science. Down Under is his travelogue about Australia and was released in 2000. It was published in the United States and Canada with the title, In a Sunburned Country.
In the book, the author describes about his travel throughout Australia. It details his interactions with people who belonged to different walks of life, and about the geography, history, flora, and fauna of the country. It also describes his impressions on the culture and amenities in each of the localities in Australia he had visited.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauer expanded his 9000-word article titled Death of an Innocent, which resulted in this non-fiction book and a film adaptation of it later on. Into the Wild was published in 1996 and went on to become an international best-seller praised by many of the reviewers. In 2019, the online magazine Slate placed it among the 50 best works of the past quarter-century in the non-fiction category.
The book describes the death of Christopher Johnson McCandless, who hitchhiked to Alaska’s snow-covered Stampede Trail. His body was found on this trail in an abandoned bus. He survived for 113 days on wild plants and an assortment of game and died eventually due to the consumption of a toxic plant.
These were some of the best books on travel, which are either based on the personal experiences or are biographies of those with a love for travel. We are all gifted with this small life and there’s much to explore in this world. So, embark on your journey to some unexplored places; but, while doing so, be alert and take good care of yourself!
By the way, which of these books did you find interesting?