7 Books That Will Fuel Your Wanderlust
If you are a book bug, you must have heard of these books (maybe you've read a few of them as well) - but if you aren't one who's patient enough to finish a novel - trust me, these books will keep you hooked till you finish reading the last page! And it's not just that - these books will seriously induce a strong desire to travel, making you think about your dream destination over and over again! And who knows, you might just fall in love with one of those places mentioned in these books and then pack your bags to discover it on your own.
Some of these books have been so popular, that they were translated into different languages and republished, made into movies and even added in high school curriculums in different parts of the world. No matter what - these books will not fail to wake up the traveler in you!
Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
"...to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless, newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through."
A 2006 memoir written by an American lady, the book comes with a subtitle - 'One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia'. After experiencing an unhappy marriage and a difficult divorce, Elizabeth traveled the world looking for solace and in this book, she narrates her journey and the incidents exactly the way they unfolded. Ditching her career in the USA, she traveled to Italy at first, chilling and enjoying while binging on all the good food options that she had. Later, she came to India and explored the roots of spirituality. Finally, she went to Bali, Indonesia, seeking a balance and fell in love with a Brazilian businessman. For those women who are trying to gather courage for the first solo trip, this book will be nothing short of an inspiration. The book became even more popular in the year 2010 when it was released as a movie starring Julia Roberts.
Life Is A Trip
Author: Judith Fein
“The difference between being a tourist and a traveler is that a traveler is open to unplanned experience and doesn’t have her nose stuck in a guidebook, tracking down famous sites. She ventures out from behind glass windows (in hotels and tour buses) and meets people. She connects.”
A mesmerizing work by Judith Fein, this book will take you on 14 different journeys and let you know about the goodness of the local culture and lifestyle, as the author experiences it. 'Life is a Trip' covers everything from Mexico to Micronesia and illuminates most of the destinations in a remarkable way, from inside out. The author hasn't failed to depict her unquenched thirst for traveling and discovering the world in a unique way. Very few authors can portray the inner transformations so well, the way Judith has done in this book, from wildly exotic experiences such as burial practices on an obscure Micronesian island or the work habits of good witches in Guatemala's mountains - this book will clearly tell you what lies beneath the surface!
Author: Alex Garland
“If I'd learn one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don't talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.”
Set in Thailand, this book is about a young backpacker's journey across Thailand, where he finds a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism. Coming from Britain, the protagonist Richard met a man in Bangkok, who gave him a map of this island that's nothing less than a paradise on Earth. Richard’s quest for the hidden beach of this island in the Gulf of Thailand takes him through jungles and waterfalls - and he meets a community of backpackers who came and settled down in that island to live a life completely cut off from the rest of the world. Thailand is a country that is probably there on your checklist already, and by the time you finish reading 'The Beach', you'll surely be planning to set out, to discover this island and witness it's beauty, all by yourself.
Into the Wild
Author: Jon Krakauer
“But somethings in life are more important than being happy. Like being free to think for yourself.”
An international bestseller of all times, this book was originally published as an article in the year 1993, later elaborated in 1996 and translated into 14 languages. The book is based on the life of Christopher McCandless, an American hiker and intrepid traveler who went on a hitchhiking trip across the Stampede Trail in Alaska and later died a mysterious death. The book narrates the entire journey of McCandless who leaves behind his parents, gives off his possessions and wanders off into the wilderness. The place of his death has become a mecca for trekkers in this Alaskan region, and the book will surely trigger your wanderlust cells, making you fall in love with the quest for the unknown.
Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum
Authors: Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner
“When we dare to hope, we create more hope in the world.”
Traveling often turns into a meaningful journey that changes the entire course of life - like it did for Jessica, an American student who went to volunteer in Kenya and met Kennedy Odede, a native from Kibera, one of the largest slums of Africa. Kennedy has started a youth empowerment group called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) and Jessica was a volunteer there, helping the girls of Kibera to have a better life. Their journey is as uncommon as their love story and together, against poverty and hopelessness, to make a deeper impact on the world. 'Find Me Unafraid' will not just fuel your wanderlust, but also inspire you to volunteer for the underprivileged societies of faraway lands, with the aim to share happiness and love among others.
Walking the Himalayas
Author: Levison Wood
"You meet all sorts of people along the way. I even met the Dalai Lama once; he was quite impressive!"
If you are an innate mountain lover like me, then you must have heard of this book that'll take you across the Himalayas - from Afghanistan in the west to Bhutan in the east - while narrating the story, Wood strikes a quintessential balance in sharing the magnitude of his own journey and the lives of the people who dwell in the snow-covered villages tucked between the slopes whom he met en route. In a duration of 4 months, British adventurer Levison Wood traveled to cover a distance of 2,735 kilometers meeting monks, tribes, soldiers, and commoners on the way and shared his experiences in this book that'll surely make you drool over the beauty of the majestic mountains. The book will also add some spiritual lights to your life.
The Great Railway Bazaar
Author: Paul Theroux
“Anything is possible on a train: a great meal, a binge, a visit from card players, an intrigue, a good night's sleep, and strangers' monologues framed like Russian short stories.”
Have you ever fancied to ditch a flight and travel far on a train? To state a fact, there are some amazing rail routes in the world which are worth experiencing at least for once in life! But before you actually Google them and make your checklist - grab Theroux's 'The Great Railway Bazaar' and give it a read. Back in 1973, Theroux ventured out for a four-months-long journey from London, through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and later, Southeast Asia, and his return journey was via the Trans-Siberian Railway. He narrates the stories of different places, cultures, people, sights, and sounds that he witnessed on the way - and it'll give you an insight into some of the legendary train routes - like the Khyber Pass Local, the Delhi Mail from Jaipur, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Hikari Super Express to Kyoto and more - that'll make you romanticize the joys of train journeys.
If you've been planning to take a break and set out for a gap year journey abroad, then you must rush to the nearest library and pick these books to get the adequate dose of wanderlust!
Which of these would you choose to read first?