Wanderlust is an addiction and there’s nothing like an interesting and inspiring book to ignite that spark to explore and experience. A traveller or not, you will definitely want to hit the road after reading one or more of these travel books.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
A cross-country trip with friends rife with debauchery and adventure is the stuff young dreams are made of, which makes this travelogue by Kerouac quite a compelling read. Set against the backdrop of jazz, poetry and drugs in postwar America, On The Road is counted among the most defining works of the Beat Generation and follows Sal Paradise and his fellow ‘Beats’ on a journey of self discovery. Buy here.
When the Road Beckons by Ravi Manoram
Travelling is often about challenging yourself and confronting your fears, something that the protagonist of the book learns when he embarks upon a solo motorbike journey to Ladakh. Beautifully descriptive and peppered with both humour and history, this book will surely make you want to leave everything, hop on a bike and escape to the mountains. Buy here.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara
Che Guevara, the famous Marxist Revolutionary, went on an exploratory expedition to South America at the age of 23 along with his 29-year-old friend, Alberto Granado. This is his memoir of the journey, a moving account of his observation of society, politics and humanity that influenced the integral part he played in the Cuban Revolution. Buy here.
Journeys of a Lifetime by National Geographic
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all your travel planning needs, this book is worth adding to your collection. With travel accounts on every possible destination in the world, there is something here for everyone—whether you’re planning to go on a luxury cruise or a hiking trip—from none other than the expert, National Geographic. Buy here.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
We all have fantasised about leaving everything behind to explore the world; here’s an account of someone who actually took the plunge. Young Christopher McCandless gave up his family and wealth to literally surrender himself to the Alaskan wilderness, to experience Nature in its rawest form. Inspiring and intriguing, this book is bound to ignite the explorer in you. Buy here.
In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh
No one weaves in historical facts and fiction as deftly as Amitav Ghosh. This book is an account of the years he spent in rural Egypt in the 1980s as he delves into the lives of a 12th-century merchant and his slave and finds himself mesmerised by the past and the present alike. If you’ve ever been deeply fascinated by a new land you visited, this book will truly hit the spot. Buy here.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Long-term travelling is something we all want to pursue, but are often apprehensive about. This non-fictional book, written by seasoned shoestring traveller Rolf Potts, will put all your doubts to ease. With tips on everything from how to pick the right destination to managing finances to dealing with diversity, this is a must-read for anyone bitten by the wanderlust bug. Buy here.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
American transcendentalist Thoreau’s account of his two years spent in a self-built cabin in the woods combines a social experiment, a quest for self discovery and the writer’s introspection into a compelling read that will inspire you to chase your dreams. Buy here.
Go Girl by Elaine Lee
Go Girl is a collection of travel stories by famous African-American women (the likes of Maya Angelou, Evelyn C White and Alice Walker), providing useful advice on destination choice, finding cheap airfare and more; an interesting read for all travellers irrespective of gender, age and race. Buy here.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
This one is bound to tug at the chords of every dog lover’s heart. The book follows Buck, a half Saint Bernard and half German Shepherd dog, on his journey from a comfortable domesticated environment into the wild. With Buck’s poignant portrayal, writer Jack London somehow urges you to listen to the call of your soul. Buy here.
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